Our Training Philosophy
Our training methods have been developed by our highly experienced team over the course of more than 15 years. We do not utilize a one size fits all training approach. Instead, our proprietary training methods are tailored to each individual dog and their owner’s goals....
We spend a lot of time getting to know each dog, their owner and the specific issues and goals. Something that sets us apart from other trainers is that we highly modify our training for each situation. If a dog is fearful we are likely to use lots of treats and really excited voices to try and motivate them and help them overcome their fears. On the other hand, if a dog is extremely excitable we focus on calming them down. In that case we probably wouldn’t use treats and would use a calm voice to praise them.
We believe that a dog should understand right from wrong and what is expected of them. During the teaching phase of training our goal is to ensure that the dog understands all of their obedience commands as well as the house rules that have been established with the owner. Once a dog understands their obedience commands and the house rules, we phase in an appropriate correction for them to understand that the rules will be enforced.
We use a variety of training tools depending on the dog and the specific situation. We will suggest using a crate as part of the solution when a dog is destroying things around the home or having potty training issues. We will work on any collar type of an owner’s choosing, but we always recommend what we consider the best tool for each particular dog. A very calm dog can do great on a standard buckle collar or harness while a very excitable dog that pulls will probably do much better on a prong collar. As we stated above, we may or may not use treats depending on your particular situation. We might recommend an electronic/remote training collar for certain situations, most commonly off-leash recall in a non-fenced area.
We love training dogs, hanging out with dogs and talking about dogs! Feel free to reach out anytime, and our friendly team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
After college Matt Covey uses his childhood passion and experience from breeding Golden Retrievers in order to start training dogs full time. Much of his time is spent rehabilitating dogs that are living in animal shelters and humane societies. As Matt’s reputation grows so does his clientele. Before long, Matt is traveling all around the Chicago area in order to help people with their dogs.
Growing to Meet Demand
Matt Covey is unable to keep up with the demand from clients and rescue groups so he decides to bring on additional trainers. One of these trainers, Matt Wlos, would eventually become a partner in the business and become instrumental to the future growth of the company.
Expansion is needed!
We have a lot of clients that travel from Wisconsin to Illinois in order to work with our trainers and we realized it is time to expand into new markets! During this timeframe we opened new locations in Milwaukee and Madison. Our trainers are busy developing our proprietary training methods and creating our in home training protocols. Our main focus is starting to shift from simply solving behavioral problems to preventing them from occurring at all. Our puppy programs are created to help people raise the perfect dog from day one. Also during this time Matt Covey starred in a pilot for Animal Planet.
Suburban K9 Academy
In order to train our team, the Suburban K9 Academy is founded. It utilizes the principles and processes that were learned from the Milwaukee and Madison expansion. The Academy is a private facility with multiple buildings on 4 acres. Trainers live on site and are immersed in training every day. This allows us to continue to grow into future locations.
Present & Future
Giving our Employees the Best
As the company continues to grow and add new locations, so does our commitment to our team. We are now able to offer our entire team healthcare, a 401k plan, paid time off as well as other benefits. In order to provide the best training services possible we are creating a team of happy and committed employees. We know that when people are taken care of their true passion will shine through on a daily basis.
ORGANIZATIONS WE'VE HELPED
Our business started by working with and training dogs that were considered unadoptable at various animal shelters and humane societies. Here are a few of the many organizations we've helped.
With Suburban K9, you gain access to highly experienced professional trainers who use proven methods to deliver the best possible results. All of our trainers are full-time employees who are dedicated to tailoring our programs to both you and your dog’s individual personalities.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING
Alex Bassett was the trainer for our overgrown pup Kobe. Kobe is a 6 month old mastador (English mastiff/Labrador) who weighs 85lbs and... read moreAlex Bassett was the trainer for our overgrown pup Kobe. Kobe is a 6 month old mastador (English mastiff/Labrador) who weighs 85lbs and will be over 150lbs when fully grown. We knew we had to get him trained and Alex didn't disappoint.
In our first meet and greet, Alex jotted down areas we wanted to focus on with Kobe's training. She was also very attentive to learn our lifestyle and Kobe's boundaries when she visited our house such that Kobe's training was tailored to make him succeed. Our top three priorities were to make Kobe heel on walks, reduce barking and nipping, and recall. I'm happy to say that after 2 weeks of boarding with Alex, Kobe was fully trained on these three asks and some of the basic commands were more structured (sit, down, stay).
We are very pleased with the training and the follow up session that Alex has provided. She has given us feedback and pointers on questions we may have. In addition she has shown us ways to challenge Kobe to progress his training. read lessBrij P.
We rescued a puppy and wanted him to have a wonderful training experience, so we chose SuburbanK9. Molly J., had our dog Otis for... read moreWe rescued a puppy and wanted him to have a wonderful training experience, so we chose SuburbanK9. Molly J., had our dog Otis for the two week board and train. Molly was amazing from the start: kind, warm, friendly and easy to talk to about what we were looking to accomplish with his training. We received daily updates about his progress during his two week board and train. He came back to us a happy, well socialized puppy and very easy to walk in a leash. We have two other dogs, so we definitely needed him to heal at our side during daily walks. Overall, Molly did a wonderful job training him and I highly recommend her and SuburbanK9 for all your needs when looking into training any new dog you add to your family. read lessDarlene Sliva Bingham
Holly at Suburban K9 was tasked with taking our new 6-year-old rescued German Shorthaired Pointer retired hunting dog and turning him into the most... read moreHolly at Suburban K9 was tasked with taking our new 6-year-old rescued German Shorthaired Pointer retired hunting dog and turning him into the most lovable family pet. SHE IS DOING IT! Ranger came to us scared, growly and aggressive out of fear. We were actually scared of him for a while. While he was well trained as a hunting dog, he had no idea how to just be a dog. He has made such great strides and while he is still working on finding another 'dog friend', he can easily coexist with other dogs, isn't at all aggressive anymore, and is just relaxing into dog life after a few short months! He responds to all the commands we need him to and you can just see how happy he is trying to please us. Thanks for turning a scared 80 lb dog into a great big love-bug! read lessBetsy Braack Weil
Amber at Suburban K9 Dog Training did an absolutely an excellent job with our french bulldog Louie. After two weeks of training with her,... read moreAmber at Suburban K9 Dog Training did an absolutely an excellent job with our french bulldog Louie. After two weeks of training with her, his behavior and manners completely changed. We are able to bring him everywhere we go without us having anxiety about how he is going to act and behave around other people and dogs! We are so grateful and highly recommend her and Suburban K9 Dog Training. It was definitely worth the money and wish we had done it sooner. Thank you so much!! read lessStacey Dunlap
I contacted Suburban K9 when Moxie was 4 months old. As a group, we decided to wait until Moxie was spayed before we did... read moreI contacted Suburban K9 when Moxie was 4 months old. As a group, we decided to wait until Moxie was spayed before we did the two week board and train. We are nearing retirement and want Moxie to be a travel companion A month after Moxie was spayed, (at 6 months old) Gracie and Samantha met me at my house. We had previously spoken several times on the phone and exchanged e-mails. We went over what I was wanting and how they were going to train Moxie. We felt very confident that the training would go well and Moxie was in great hands. During the training we received many regular pictures and updates regarding Moxie's progress. When Gracie and Samantha brought Moxie back to us after two weeks, she was happy, healthy, and well behaved. It was an amazing transformation. Gracie and Samantha stayed a couple of hours that first day and showed us what Moxie had learned, how the commands worked, and what we needed to do to get the best eesults. They came back a week later to check on us and we were doing great. We now practice what Moxie has learned everyday and she is getting really, really,, good. It is nice to walk around the neighborhood, in a park, or into a store and have Moxie in heel. She walks right there where she is supposed to and can sit and stay while you talk or pay at a register. She doesn't jump on anyone, she doesn't pull or rush into a doorway, she is very patient and follows instruction well Moxie is certainly very well behaved and we look forward to traveling with her. If we decide Moxie needs to learn anything else or we get another puppy, we are certainly going to reach out to Gracie and Samantha with Suburban K9.
To Gracie and Samantha, thank you so much for what you have done for us. To Suburban K9, thank you for having such great animal people on your staff. To everyone else, I highly recommend giving them a call as I know you will be very happy with what they can do for you.
Doug S..... Spring, Tx read lessDoug Singleton
I called Suburban K9 about our 7-month-old puppy who had a number of behavioral issues. We needed help with potty training, being able to... read moreI called Suburban K9 about our 7-month-old puppy who had a number of behavioral issues. We needed help with potty training, being able to control her while walking, stopping her from biting things and staying off the counters among other things. The company was great to work with from the start. They answered all my questions and there was no pressure to sign up for anything. We ended up selecting the 2-week Board and Train program for our girl and she came back to us a new woman! I was barely able to control her on our walks prior to the training. Any dog, bike, person, etc. she came across had her pulling me towards them and then she consistently jumped on the people and dogs with it being hard for me to get her down. After her training, we are now able to control her and take pleasant walks with her. Our trainer, Kayla, is excellent. She took a lot of time when she came to pick up our dog to explain the approach they take when working with their boarders and exactly what her days would be like. She kept us informed regularly of progress made and we were very comfortable entrusting our dog to her. When our pup returned home, Kayla took a lot of time teaching us the commands and techniques we need to continue to let her know that we are her leader. Besides the major change during our walks, she now understands what “no” means when we let her know that what she is doing inside the house is not acceptable and in general, we have seen such a great improvement. I highly recommend Suburban K9 and Kayla to train a dog of any age that you need help with! read lessCindy Wichser
Holly W. is amazing my basset-hound vizla mix is or should I say WAS the most disobedient dog and very anxious of loud noises,... read moreHolly W. is amazing my basset-hound vizla mix is or should I say WAS the most disobedient dog and very anxious of loud noises, people everything- pulling me on walks, not being able to go in public with him and him always stealing food from tables. We’ve had 3 private classes now with Holly and she has taught him and I corrections, how to walk and obedience and let me tell you it took some work but he is already a different dog. She always left me with helpful notes and homework because the key is also to reinforce all he learned with her at home AND then he homework is something I can do everyday which is much more rational to me than other dog trainers. I can’t wait to see what else he will learn in the next two lessons. She also had Ian shadow her amazing work and he was great too!! This was the best investment I ever made, your dog is with you for at least a decade and you want those years to be great and fun as opposed to stressing out about them not listening to you so go to Suburban K9! Also my friend at the dog park did the 2 week board and train with Zach (I believe) but regardless she had nothing but positive reviews about Suburban K9! read lessDzesika Teresko
Sabrina has been a god send! Buzz and Phoebe are 3 and 1yr old English Bulldogs. They had a lot of challenges adjusting... read moreSabrina has been a god send! Buzz and Phoebe are 3 and 1yr old English Bulldogs. They had a lot of challenges adjusting to each other and finding their role in our family. Sabrina is so loved by them and us. She has successfully helped Buzz through his anxiety issues and we can now walk through the neighborhood without stares from fellow walkers. They were reluctant to Sabrina at first cause she expected a lot from them, but now they can't wait for her weekly visit. She takes them to fun places and does lots of socializing with them while incorporating training. Sabrina keeps us informed of their progress and listens to our concerns. She has changed our life! read lessJill Orner Lovelace
Right from the very beginning everyone was extremely helpful and informative. I inquired about putting my five month old German Shepherd into training and... read moreRight from the very beginning everyone was extremely helpful and informative. I inquired about putting my five month old German Shepherd into training and had a lot of questions of course. I received answers to everything I could possibly think of including the interview process for the trainers themselves along with the benefits of each package and what I should expect. Lilliana arrived to my house and was super friendly and easy to work with right away. She spent a half hour with us in the house and our puppy and getting to know more about what we were looking for and to see how she acted in her environment. We signed up for the two week board and train which was a little scary at first to know that we wouldn’t get to see our new puppy for so long but we knew she was in good hands. Throughout the course of the two weeks Liliana sent us updates via text message along with photos and videos of how Maci was doing in the training and all the new pup friends that she was making. At the end of the two weeks Lilliana returned with Maci and spent two hours with us showing us what she learned and transferred the skill sets over to me, my husband and two small kids. We saw an immediate transformation from Maci especially from the basic obedience of just not jumping on somebody at the front door, not going on the couch and heeling by your side when going on walks. Lilliana had all of the items on hand ready for purchase that she used throughout the training that allowed us to continue the training process with her. It was convenient for her to have everything already and made it easier for us to avoid having to skip a beat with the training. There were two more training classes that followed in the home with Liliana it was great to have her coming back and following up to see how she was doing. We are so proud of the growth we’ve seen from our dog and every penny was worth the training for the lifelong adventure we will have with Maci. I highly recommend Suburban K-9 and definitely Lilliana Calero! Thank you! read lessMelissa Godinez
We sent our almost 1 year lab, Ash, to board and train with Julia. He has had some anxiety issues (covid puppy, barking, doesnt... read moreWe sent our almost 1 year lab, Ash, to board and train with Julia. He has had some anxiety issues (covid puppy, barking, doesnt want us to leave, wont stay in his crate) as well as just needed some better manners (jumping on people, bad leash walking/pulling). I have to say I was skeptical of how he would come back and how much of this could be changed. I have to say that Julia is a wonder and Ash has come back a different dog!!!! He now enjoys laying in his crate, he knows all the commands, and is a completely different dog when walking. I can now trust him to let the kids walk him. Julia checked in with us every other day or so and sent us pics and has come back for 1 of 2 follow ups. You can tell how much she knows about caring for and training dogs and how much she cares. She has also randomly checked in on Ash. Overall the entire K9 experience is one we would highly recommend (and have already!!) to anyone that is having training issues with their dog. And please ask for Julia! She was amazing with Ash!! read lessCathy Blaesing
Our trainer, Erin Hansen, was a tremendous help to all members of our family! My boyfriend and I have a year and half old... read moreOur trainer, Erin Hansen, was a tremendous help to all members of our family! My boyfriend and I have a year and half old shar pei named Leroy. Before we looked for training options, Leroy was aggressive towards other people and dogs and it was especially difficult to have people come over to our house. He also used to pull really hard on walks. Once we started working with Erin, she taught us how to work with Leroy and push through his stubbornness to get the results we wanted! Throughout our ten weeks of training, we were able to accomplish obedience commands with positive reinforcement, control and peace of mind when people come into our home, and walking without pulling around the neighborhood and inside of public stores around people and other dogs. We are so glad that we did this training because it truly benefits everyone in your house! read lessCarey Amelia Roan
Shelby (Suburban K9 Dog Training) is a remarkable dog trainer that radiates positivity and confidence. We had a smart, sassy puppy that was... read moreShelby (Suburban K9 Dog Training) is a remarkable dog trainer that radiates positivity and confidence. We had a smart, sassy puppy that was beyond problematic in his destructive and biting ways. Having owned and self-trained several dogs throughout our years without any problem, we realized quickly with this puppy that we were way out of our league. Shelby was able to command his attention and obedience immediately. It was pure magic. She taught our puppy, as well as me and my kids so much about dog behavior. Shelby made herself readily available, was responsive and was able to troubleshoot and solve problems in real time. Having a trainer come into our house for sessions was phenomenal. Shelby was very considerate of our home and our time. Each session she worked with our puppy independently then left plenty of time to go over all the training that took place ensuring we understood and felt comfortable with our “homework”. We went from an overwhelmed family with an out of control dog to very happy dog owners in just 10 sessions. I cannot recommend her enough. read lessAnne Corcoran
Utilizing the expertise of Suburban K9 Dog Training was the second best decision I made...the best decision being adopting a 5-year-old German Shepherd, Jaeger.... read moreUtilizing the expertise of Suburban K9 Dog Training was the second best decision I made...the best decision being adopting a 5-year-old German Shepherd, Jaeger. He is a sweet dog, but we never had a Shepherd before and needed help with leash training, fence barking and socializing. Zach came to our house which was the best way for him to see Jaeger in his own environment. Zach was on time for all lessons, and we even had a lesson at stores to get Jaeger socialized in unique situations. Zach was friendly and informative, and Suburban K9 has so many options to chose the best training for all pets. read lessKathy McGrath
We worked with Allyson in Dallas and she has transformed our Golden pupper! Before Obi started the board and train with her, he was... read moreWe worked with Allyson in Dallas and she has transformed our Golden pupper! Before Obi started the board and train with her, he was hyper, pulling us on walks, jumping on everyone, chewing everything, hating the crate...being first time dog family and having very little time and no experience ourselves to train him, we signed up for board and train plus. We are blown away by the results. Now he walks into his crate, enjoys relaxing in there, great walker (even my 7 yo can walk him), chills in the house without going after our or kitty’s stuff. We stay consistent with continuing practicing commands every day. Obi LOVES when Allyson comes for training sessions. We feel so lucky we found this training program. Thank you Suburban K9! read lessHoney Yabid
We were given an 4 year old English Bulldog named Duke from a friend who couldn't handle his behavior of going after people in... read moreWe were given an 4 year old English Bulldog named Duke from a friend who couldn't handle his behavior of going after people in the house. They were going to put him down so I took him so I could give him a chance. I new he wasn't a mean dog but we didn't know how to help him. At first he was managable but after a couple months he started going after my wife so bad that we had to live on different levels of the home. We were at the end of patience when someone told us about Suburban K9 Dog Training. Julia Rose was our trainer and helped us save Duke from his behavior problems. The first session Duke wanted to go after and "attack" Julia, but at the end of our 5th and final session he was fine. He allowed strangers to come in the house, he didn't care that Julia was there, he even let Julia give him treats and pet him. After they left he even was sitting by my neighbor on the couch wanting pets from them. It was a total 180. I know that if it wasn't for Julia and Suburban K9 Dog Training that we would of had to try and find another home for him. Thanks again. read lessMike Cristofori
Shelby was an absolute pleasure to work with. I did the two week board and train and my lab/pit mix Harley truly enjoyed her... read moreShelby was an absolute pleasure to work with. I did the two week board and train and my lab/pit mix Harley truly enjoyed her time with Shelby. My main concerns were walking with tugging, jumping on guests, and walking out open doors when not commended to do so. Harley is a pleasure to walk now and she only jumps on ppl when she is super excited but you can see she really fights the urge to do so...but she’s getting so much better. We are still working on the front door but she doesn’t charge the door like she used to. She is such a smart dog and her time with Shelby really did wonders for her. I can’t thank her enough! read lessJessica Toro
We did the 10 sessions package. Our dog was extra hard: adult, no prior living in a house, not potty trained. Training was longer... read moreWe did the 10 sessions package. Our dog was extra hard: adult, no prior living in a house, not potty trained. Training was longer and harder than predicted and I only made it (didnt get rid of the dog) because of our trainer Alexis. She help my hand through it, gave so many tips, taught me so much. The company as a whole was easy to work&communicate with, organized, and flexible. Highly recommend! read lessDina Palmer
Sabrina has been terrific in helping us welcome our new puppy to the family. She is energetic, caring and gives great advice. Always on... read moreSabrina has been terrific in helping us welcome our new puppy to the family. She is energetic, caring and gives great advice. Always on time and responsive to our questions, she has done a great job training ALL members of the family! Highly recommend her and Suburban K-9. read lessSusan Faber
Our Customized Training Programs
All of our programs are custom tailored based on your
dog and your family's goals.
Board and train boot camp
Your dog will live with one of our expert trainers
We pick-up, drop-off and provide follow up training in your home. Results Guaranteed! We offer standard 2-3 week options as well as custom length stays.