The Dog Den

Learn and Play...Everyday!

1019 Jonathon Dr. Madison, WI 53713 | 608-278-PLAY (7529)
410 Atlas Ave, Madison, WI 53714 | 608-241-DOGS (3647)

Enroll Today!

About The Dog Den Team

DD Team

Our pledge to you: to be a passionate and dependable team, skilled in providing a safe, nurturing experience for you and your best friend.

What to the letters behind our names stand for?  

CPACP: Certified Professional Animal Care Provider

CPDT-KA: Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed

WE ARE HIRING!

If you are looking for a flexible work schedule where you are freed from the typical office routine, we may be the exact right place for you to be! No experience? No Problem! Our flexible training schedule allows you to learn at your own pace will get you ready to work with and train a pack of dogs in no time!

 

If this describes you:

  • A team player who is self motivated and wants to learn
  • Willing to go the extra mile to communicate and ask for help when needed
  • Willing to dive in and trouble shoot to solve problems that may arise
  • Timely, reliable, and consistent with a drive to always do your best work
  • Confident you can bring positive energy and fresh ideas
  • You love training dogs and working with their people
  • You want to learn how to supervise groups of dogs so they’re safe, stress free, and having fun!
  • You want to learn to manage dog behavior through training to improve the lives of dogs

 

 

Then we have the PERFECT job for you!

 

The Dog Den is in search of employees looking to turn a side passion into a job. We take great pride in our staff development and training and would love for you to be a part of our excellent team!

 

One more thing-- there are some physical requirements that come with the job, they are:

  • Ability to stand/walk for 6+ hours a day
  • Ability to repeatedly bend and pick things up
  • Ability to work with and train several dogs in one pack at a time, memorize names and defining features
  • Able to move quickly
  • Ability to adapt to changing weather

 

If this sounds like you, apply here

 


Hear from our staff:


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Laura Schorrak, CPACP, CPACM - Owner

Laura received her Bachelors of Science from UW-Madison in May 2001 where she focused her studies on two forms of biology:  Bacteriology and Zoology.   While studying Zoology, she concentrated specifically on how animals and humans interact.  Laura’s love for research and all things science, led her to begin her career in research.  She worked in several different laboratories at UW-Madison doing everything from working with plants, worms, bacteria, mice and even primates.  Although she always had dogs, cats, and various other animals growing up, it wasn’t until 2004 that she was able to adopt her very first dog on her own.  Kelly, a chocolate lab, came with a variety of problems ranging from little training and manners to several health issues.  It was because of Kelly, Laura began to focus on all things dog, learning about more about behavior, training and health. 
When The Dog Den daycare opened in December 2004, Laura was there the very first day.  She worked to create a unique daycare and training experience for Madison area dogs.  Under her management, The Dog Den won Best of Madison two years in a row.  When The Dog Den became available to purchase, Laura jumped at the chance to own the business that owned her heart and soul.  Because her background is in science and research, Laura is always keeping up with the newest research in animal behavior and training.  She reads everything she can and attends seminars to continue her education. She incorporates these things in her daily interactions with all the dogs, both in daycare and in classes.  Her previous training in lab work taught her that there are no one-size-fits all when it comes to animals and is always looking for new ways to approach training and behavior.  She loves helping people and their dogs create a fun and fulfilling life together.


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Amelia Johnston

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 

Information coming soon!

 

 


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ANG GILDEA, CPACP

FIDO PHOTOGRAPHER (AKA. THAT CRAZY LADY THAT DRESSES UP PUPS FOR FUN HOLIDAY PHOTOS), SENIOR PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and 201, CPACP 

Name: Angela or Ang
Joined the Team: 4/2014
Why you chose to work with dogs: I wanted a job that I enjoyed. I didn't want to dread going to work everyday. I love the fact that my job never feels like work and that I get to be a part of this family 

Favorite Part of your job: I just love seeing those lightbulb moments, whether in classes or in daycare. When I see that lightbulb go off for a dog, I can't help but smile!

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: I'd be a senior lab. Happy go lucky and up for anything, whether that's hiking at my favorite park or just chilling at home.

 


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Bailey Kingston

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Bailey
Joined the Team: 8/2018
Why you chose to work with dogs: It has always been a dream of mine to work with dogs because they all bring so much joy into my life, so it only feels right to do something for them somehow!

Favorite Part of your job: My favorite part of my job is getting to learn the unique personalities of all the dogs, and their favorites spots to get petted! 

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I was a dog, I would probably be a "velcro" vizsla! I am a bit dependent on those I love, and a little sensitive, but I also enjoy helping other people and getting to make new friends!

Other Insights: I am very grateful for how much I have already learned about dogs. There have been so many opportunities to expand my knowledge, even from working with the packs during daycare, and I am exciting to continue learning new skills and about everyone's best friends!

 


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BREANNA HUSTON

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Breanna or Bre
Joined the Team: 10/2017
Why you chose to work with dogs: I want to make a positive difference in the lives of dogs and their people, both in training classes and every day at daycare. Dogs love to learn and I love having the opportunity to aid in that process and see these dogs succeed.

Favorite Part of your job:Watching a dog get excited when they learn something new. The way they bounce and prance about with excitement about doing something right is absolutely adorable!

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: Golden retriever

Other Insights: Everyday comes with its own opportunities, often disguised as challenges, that give us the chance to grow and to learn more about how we can make our corner of the world better. By facing these challenges we are able to grow and by sharing what we've learned, that's how we can make the world a better place. I am so blessed to be working in the corner of the world that happens.


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CATT HUSTAD, CPACP, CVT

PLAYGROUP LEADER, Assistant TRAINER

Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and 201, CPACP, CVT

Name: Catt
Joined The Team: 6/2011

Why you chose to work with dogs: I fell in love with learning how to speak dog and how to work with all the different types of breeds. 

Favorite Part of your job: I love the training that we do. So many options and all Positive Reinforcement. It's always so amazing to see the light bulb moment with any of the dogs and watching the clients work with there dogs bring joy to my heart. 

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I could be any breed it would be an Irish Wolfhound. They are such amazing creatures. Gentle giants and I love watching them run and snuggle with family.

Other Insights: I currently have an almost 12 year old pug named Frankie who helped me fall in love with crazy clown breed. She is my heart dog and will always hold a special place in my soul. She is full of love and sass for such a small package. I also have a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy named Dierks who is full of life and energy and is just a goon. 


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Chelsea Mentink, CPACP

Canine Contentment Coordinator, Senior Playgroup Leader

Certifications:  Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and 201, CPACP

Name: Chelsea
Joined the team: 4/2007
Why you chose to work with dogs: I was new to the area at the time and needed a job. As it turns out  I also love dogs and found the perfect combination in The Dog Den. 
If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: I would be a German Shorthair Pointer


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CIERRA PRUITT

PLAYGROUP LEADER

 Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 

Name: Cierra
Joined The Team: 4/2018

Why you chose to work with dogs: Simply put, it is because I love dogs! If I could, I would own a million but this seemed like a better option. 

Favorite Part of your job: Being able to work with dogs is my favorite part of the job. Whenever I feel stressed from life or am having a bad day, I instantly feel better when I see my favorite buddies. Dogs will always love you no matter what and their snuggles are the best.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: German Shepherd - There is a German shepherd that I love to death at the Dog Den, plus shepherds are amazing. 

Other Insights: This job has been the best job I have had thus far. I am excited everyday to work with these lovely animals. 


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Cristin Alvarado

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 

Name: Cristin
Joined The Team: 1/2018

Why you chose to work with dogs: I started working at The Dog Den because I have always loved dogs, and was intrigued about learning more about their behavior and the training classes offered.  

Favorite Part of your job: My favorite part of the job is not only having my day brightened by the furry faces who greet me, but also getting to know each dog's personality and participating in our awesome training classes!

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: Border Collie


SmilingDaniela flanders, Cpdt-ka

Administrative coordinator

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Name: Daniela
Joined The Team: I returned to working for Laura and The Dog Den in April of 2017, but originally began working for her in 2007.

Why you chose to work with dogs: I began working for The Dog Den in college when I became very passionate about the bond we can have with animals and the intellectual capabilities animals have after taking a course with Patricia McConnell. I was particularly interested in learning more about the ways we can positively impact our relationships with dogs because of the close interaction so many people have with pet dogs. This interest became a passion as I entered the animal shelter and rescue world and became aware of the reasons so many pets were being surrendered. It became a goal of mine to help owners to understand and communicate better with their dogs so that they could have a successful and happy relationship for life!

Favorite Part of your job: My favorite part of the job is working with clients to determine the best way The Dog Den can help them reach their goals with their pup!

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I were a dog breed I would be a Jack Russell Terrier. I like to have a job to do and can be stubborn and independent, but am loyal to my friends + family and have lots of energy to get out and do things! 


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Deb Crawley, CPDT-KA, CVT, CPACP

Private Lesson Coordinator, Senior Playgroup Leader, Certified Dog Trainer, Class Instructor

Certifications: Completion of Knowing Dogs 101 and 201, CPACP, CPDT-KA, CVT, CGC and Star Puppy Evaluator

Name: Deborah or Deb

Joined the team: 2008

Why you chose to work with dogs: I came to the Dog Den as a client. I had a reactive dog that I needed help with. I had no idea at the time that this experience was going to change my life. Working with dogs turned out to be a dream come true, especially since I have loved animals my whole life.

Favorite Part of your job: My favorite part of working at The Dog Den is basically, everything. From helping clients and dogs create bonds and setting up training plans for them, to just cuddle time while working with the pack. The educational opportunities that are provided are exceptional. This allows for all of me to be a creative thinker to help all the dogs in my, care to live out theirs lives in a carefree manner whether they are here with us or at home with their families.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: I am asked quite frequently  which breed I would be if I was a dog. Honestly, I love all the breeds and would have a hard time picking just one. However, I can see the clown side of a Weimariner in all of us.

Other Insights: I would just like to thank Laura and all the wonderful clients for giving me the opportunity to work and play with their loved ones. 


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DIANE HUCK, CPACP

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and 201, CPACP

Name: Diane
Joined the team: 12/2016
Why you chose to work with dogs: I started working at the Dog Den after I realized I wanted to learn more about dogs and their behavior. After researching local facilities, The Dog Den really stood out because they incorporate training into the playgroup atmosphere. I have learned SO MUCH about dog behavior and training and how important it is to help dogs learn what we would like them to do versus just telling them what they shouldn’t be doing! I love the fact that every day I am helping a dog become the best version of him/herself!!

Favorite part of your job: My favorite part of working at The Dog Den (there are SO many) would have to be watching the dogs in our care blossom and grow! Nothing is more fulfilling then to see a dog happy and confident while playing and learning!

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I could be any dog breed, I would be a Labrador Retriever because I’m obsessed with food and love to eat!!

Other Insights: I just would like to say what an honor and privilege it is to take care of your dog while in our care! They are all so special and unique and a part of our family, THANK YOU!


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EMMA JEREMIASON

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101, Licensed Social Worker

Name: Emma
Joined the team: 3/2018
Why you chose to work with dogs: I started working at The Dog Den because I love the bond humans and dogs have, and wanted to learn more about dog behavior.

Favorite part of your job: My favorite part of the job so far has been learning all the different ways dogs communicate, and watching the relationship between dogs and their owners grow as they learn about dog communication!

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I could be any dog breed, I would definitely be a happy, wiggly boxer. I just love their distinct personalities, and their expressive, smooshy faces.


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ERIN SCHOMMER

ASSISTANT TRAINER

Information coming soon!



 


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GARRETT BOGGS

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Garrett
Joined the team: 2/2016
Why you chose to work with dogs: I started at the Dog Den because I was really interested in animal behavior and learning about dog training.  Also you get to hang out with dogs all day!!

Favorite part of your job: My favorite part of the job is working with shy or timid dogs and helping them through their fears.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I could be any dog breed, I would be a mutt because you get a completely unique mix and its really fun detective work trying to figure out what breeds they may have come from.


 

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Gretchen Hanchette

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Gretchen
Joined the team: 4/2018
Why you chose to work with dogs: I grew up in the country surrounded by a variety of animals but dogs are my favorite (horses being a close second because they're basically really big dogs 😉). Training and caring for dogs has always been a part of my life-- my sister and I even set up our own "Dog Daycare" for our three dogs in our mudroom as kids. I also spent many hours watching my dad train our labs and golden retrievers for duck hunting. My love and admiration for dogs never left, so I decided to work at the Dog Den to further my education. I've already learned SO much and truly love this job. 

Favorite part of your job: My favorite part of this job is developing individual relationships with all of the dogs. I used to think I knew what my favorite breed of dog was and now I'm not so sure! Watching all of the different breeds and personalities interact is so cool. Plus I'm always guaranteed a laugh with this job! 

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I could be any breed of dog, I think I would be a French Bulldog. These guys may be short and unassuming but they are full of life and love to have fun! They're loyal, patient, and sociable...and maybe a little stubborn too.


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Haley Highdale

Playgroup Leader, Assistant trainer

Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Haley
Joined the team: 1/2011
Why you chose to work with dogs: I first got interested in canine behavior when taking Patricia McConnell’s "Human-Animal Relationships" class during undergrad at UW-Madison - learning the basics just made me want to learn more.  At around the same time, I started working at a vet clinic that had a small dog daycare in the same building, and I sometimes couldn’t tear myself away from watching the dogs - it seemed like so much fun so I decided I wanted to get involved in daycare myself.  

Favorite part of your job: The best part of the job is getting to know our dogs and their people on a really special level.  It’s so great to connect with owners when they realize we truly love their dogs like they do.  I feel like I have hundreds of my own dogs - sometimes I find myself showing people pictures and telling stories about daycare dogs to family, friends, and strangers!  I’m so grateful that people choose to share them with us.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: Over the years I’ve found I get along really well with boxers - I admire their ability to go from “hilarious goofy clown-dog" to "ultimate nap-master” without skipping a beat, whatever your mood may be in they’re always right there.


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Jace Waller

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 

Information coming soon!

 

 


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JACLYN KERMICLE

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Jaclyn
Joined the team: 4/2017
Why you chose to work with dogs: My whole life I have loved animals! I grew up with dogs and I feel like working at The Dog Den is just an extension of my truest self.

Favorite part of your job: My favorite part of the job is when things finally click (with a training queue or relationship-wise) between me and a dog or between a dog and their person! Seeing those "aha!" moments is such fun! (But the cuddles and kisses are pretty great to)

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I were a dog, I would probably want to be a golden retriever because they are such wiggly, happy-go-lucky, fun spirited boys and girls! And who wouldn't want those pretty golden curls?


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JAKE CIELINSKI - PLAYGROUP LEADER & ASSISTANT TRAIN

Information coming soon!

 

 

 

 


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Jennifer Christianson

ASSISTANT TRAINER

Certifications: Certified Aromatherapist, NAHA Member

Name: Jennifer or Jen
Joined the team: 1/2018
Why you chose to work with dogs: My parents raised and competed show dogs throughout my childhood but my passion grew from there and evolved when I rescued my reactive fur-baby, Britney. After discovering how positively dogs responded to aromatherapy, I became a Certified Aromatherapist with additional specific training for animals, and began guest speaking and teaching workshops on the safe use of Aromatherapy for pets at various venues around Madison. Once I got to know the wonderful staff at The Dog Den, I realized that I wanted to deepen my practice and join the team.

Favorite part of your job: I enjoy watching both the dogs and owners progress with their understanding of each other, learning new skills and growing together. It's amazing to see the shift and growth in the animals, and how excited they are to learn.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: In my next life I will be an American Staffordshire Terrier. They are such an unconditional loving, people-oriented, intelligent and fiercely loyal animal combined with a fun level of sassiness and playfulness.

 


  

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JESS GORZELITZ

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Jess or Jessica
Joined the team: 9/2017
Why you chose to work with dogs: I was first a client of the Dog Den with my rescue dog, Dug. I took classes (Shy Dog and Rescue U) with him, and he did daycare, and I saw so many improvements in his demeanor and behavior! When the opportunity for employment presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity to pass on my super positive experiences that I've had on to others to help everyone fortify their relationship and expand their training with each dog. I love working at the Dog Den, I am constantly learning and developing my skills which makes coming to work each day exciting and enriching!

Favorite part of your job: My favorite part of the job is everything. Laura is the best boss, the staff here is super supportive, and a pleasure to work with. The dogs and puppies make me excited to come to work everyday, and allow me to live my dream. Also,  I find it super rewarding to train in classes with dogs/puppies/owners to fortify their bonds, and make improvements in behavior and training! Training classes are a great way to build relationship between owner and dog, and with the wide variety of classes we offer, there is something for everyone.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: I would be a Beagle for sure.


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Kathleen Ozimek

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 

Information coming soon!

 

 


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Katie Mahkorn

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Katie
Joined the team: 8/2018
Why you chose to work with dogs: I heard that The Dog Den was full of great people and great dogs. I've always loved dogs and wanted a job where I was more physically active, as opposed to the office desk job that I had previously.

Favorite part of your job: I love the flexible schedule, variety of training opportunities for the workers, and now I can personally verify that there are indeed a bunch of great dogs and people here.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: German Shepherd. I've always been fascinated by German Shepherds and would like to hopefully have one of my own someday. 

  


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Kerri Coffey

PLAYGROUP LEADER

 Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Kerri
Joined the team: 2/2017
Why you chose to work with dogs: I started working at the Dog Den because I've loved dogs all of my life

Favorite part of your job: My favorite part of my position is making connections and building strong relationships with dogs, as well as facilitating them building relationships with each other.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I could be any dog breed, I would definitely be a golden retriever! They are very friendly and want to do their very best for the people around them. It doesn't hurt that my first dog was a golden either!  

 


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Kourtney Franck, CPDT-KA

Class Instructor

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Kourtney
Joined the Team: 2008
Why you chose to work with dogs: My main personal and professional goal has always been to help alleviate stress & anxiety for animals, so dog training was a great fit!
Favorite Part of your job: Helping fearful dogs gain more confidence & seeing them start to have fun with their dog & human friends

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: My personality is probably most similar to an Irish Wolfhound.  (However if you were asking which breed I WISH I would be, I would want to be a stray mutt, then I could travel about wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted Haha!)


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Kristin Creeron

PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 

Information coming soon!

 


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Lauryn Ross, CPDT-KA, CPACP

One on One Coordinator, The Puppy Den Coordinator, Senior Playgroup Leader, Class Instructor

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CPACP, Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101. CGC and Star Puppy Evaluator

Name: Lauryn
Joined the team: 9/2012

Why you chose to work with dogs: I started working at The Dog Den as a part time job while doing my undergrad at UW Madison and quickly fell in love with the animal training and behavior world. Once I graduated I stuck around, and have never looked back!

Favorite Part of your Job: My favorite part of this job is how I've been able to make a career doing what I love. I never have the same day twice, and there truly isn't anything better than unlimited puppy kisses every single day! My passion is working with our puppies at The Puppy Den in both classes and daycare, and being a part of helping them grow into truly wonderful dogs.


If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: I would be an Australian Shepherd that didn't read the chapter in the manual about being hyper. More specifically, I would be my dog, Comet: a people-pleaser, up for a good adventure, but a couch potato at heart, and loyal and full of love to those closest to him. I guess we are a pretty good match for one another.

 


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Leigh Anson, CPACP

EVENTS & OUTREACH COORDINATOR, Playgroup Leader, Class Instructor

Certifications: CPACP, Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and 201, CGC and Star Puppy Evaluator 

Name: Leigh
Joined the team: 10/2015
Why you chose to work with dogs: When our dog, Avett, went through All Star classes, I absolutely feel in love with dog training. Through that experience I realized how training and communicating with your dog can truly strengthen your bond, and I knew I wanted to share that with others. After working in the training department and part time with daycare, I got hooked and went full time. It's been an amazing experience to grow and learn!

Favorite Part of your job: I absolutely love watching owners work with their dogs in classes and attend our events together. Helping owners with their dogs and growing puppies is probably the most rewarding part of this job for me. The bond between people and dogs can be so beautiful and heartwarming.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: Without a doubt, I'd be a spaniel of some kind (English Cocker, Springer, Boykin, Brittany, etc)! We share a love of learning new things, outdoor adventures, and spending as much time as possible with loved ones.

Other Insights: Thanks to all our amazing dogs and clients! I'm so grateful you share your loved ones with me and fill my days with wiggle bottoms! 


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Mackenzy Groth-Price

Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer

Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: MacKenzy or MacKen, Mack, Kenzy (I will answer to all of them)
Joined the team: 8/2016
Why you chose to work with dogs: I started working at The Dog Den because I wanted a job that lets me work with my hands and learn more about animal behavior. The fact that I have been given a chance to work with dogs, their owners, and my amazing coworkers everyday is a huge bonus!

Favorite Part of your job: My favorite part of this job is growing with the dogs everyday, especially the dogs and puppies that started daycare at the same time I did. It's inspiring to see how far we've come.
If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I could be any dog breed I would be either a corgi or a basset hound.

 


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Mai Thompson

Playgroup Leader

Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Mai
Joined the team: 9/2017
Why you chose to work with dogs: I started working at The Dog Den because I love being on my feet at work and also love working with dogs.

Favorite Part of your job:My favorite part of being at The Dog Den is helping dogs have a more fulfilling and active life. A lot of dogs are cooped up at home and I love helping organize a really fun out-of-house play day.
If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I could be any dog breed I would be an Australian Cattle Dog on a farm. They’re very hearty, healthy, and having a job to do like herding cattle would be a blast (if I were a dog!).

Other Insights: Working at the Puppy Den has a whole new level of fun that I didn’t realize and that’s seeing the puppies grow up and graduate to playing at the The Dog Den! >Looking at you Peanut<

 


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Melanie Nunez, CPACP

One on one coordinator, Senior Playgroup Leader, Class Instructor

Certifications: CPACP, Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and 201

Name: Melanie or Mel
Joined the team: 9/2015
Why you chose to work with dogs: I initially got really turned onto TDD when I took classes with Nala (Positively Focused) & Athena (Scrappers). The training philosophy really resonated with me and the improvements I saw with my dogs while using the skills taught just blew me away. I really wanted to become a trainer and I later learned that TDD offers lots of growth and support within the company. The wealth of knowledge available between resources provided here and other staff members is incredible. I knew I'd be in good hands!

Favorite Part of your job: I love watching all the little conversations the dogs have with one another in just split seconds. It's crazy to me how so many words can be put into the tiniest of movements. Every day you see and learn new things.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: I wish I could be a Pharaoh Hound. They are so beautiful and majestic. They move so effortlessly, which is the exact opposite of me, I'm way too clumsy and uncoordinated. I think it's just incredible how fast sight hounds are.


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NICK DAVID, CPACP

one on one coordinator, SENIOR PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

Certifications: CPACP, Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and 201

Name: Nick
Joined the team: 10/2015
Why you chose to work with dogs: I started at The Dog Den searching for dog experience for when I would apply for Vet School. I fell in love with the job, the dogs and never left!

Favorite part of your job: As everyone else, I really enjoy seeing all of the different personalities come forth when in a group setting. I also love the different conversations I get to have with the dogs (looking at you Morrigan, Mocha and Sanibel!)

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: I would most likely be a husky, since I tend to be stubborn and loving all at the same time. I also talk, quite a bit once you get to know me!

Other Insights: I love learning and growing with each and every one of your dogs that come here. Thanks so much for the opportunity to work with such amazing people and animals everyday.


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RENEE GRITTNER

AGILITY & RALLY INSTRUCTOR

Information coming soon!

 

 

 

 


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SPENCE AHLES

PLAYGROUP LEADER

Certifications: Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101

Name: Spence
Joined the team: 2/2018
Why you chose to work with dogs: While attending college at UW-Eau Claire, I got a job at an animal hospital because I missed my dog. There I discovered my passion for working with dogs. When school brought me to Madison, The Dog Den provided me an opportunity to continue working with dogs and learn about dog training and behavior.

Favorite part of your job: I love getting to know each dog’s personality and watching them interact and play with each other.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: My independent personality and active lifestyle are a good fit with the Afghan Hound. But let’s be honest, a lot of dog breeds have those qualities. I really desire the Afghan Hound’s majestic silky hair and long lean body—they’re the supermodels in the dog world.


 

Smiling

Steph Tauscher, CPACP, CPDT-KA

Logistics Coordinator, Senior Playgroup Leader, Class Instructor

Certifications: CPACP, CPDT-KA, Completion of The Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and 201. CGC and Star Puppy Evaluator, Pet First Aid Certified

Name: Steph
Joined the team: 4/2014
Why you chose to work with dogs: I started at The Dog Den as a client with my then baby Great Dane, Bane. I made it through one All Star class and decided that training and being with dogs is what I needed to do for the rest of my life. The energy and love the staff had for each one of the dogs in my class was palpable and it is my goal to provide the same kind of energy and love now that I am an employee!

Favorite part of your job:My favorite part of the job is working with the puppies at The Puppy Den. If you are ever within 5 square miles of Watson and Syene and hear a high-pitch squeal it is probably just me melting with joy (or trying to get a pack of puppies outside).  In all seriousness, I love spending time with the little, moldable puppies and watching them grow and figure out life.

If you could be any dog breed who/what would you be: If I were a dog, I would be…a great dane. Not just any great dane though, my great dane Brucey. To be able to experience life with as much love and joy as he does would make me the happiest version of myself. Anything else you want to

Other Insights: I look forward to continuing to further my education in animals, specifically canine learning and behavior, to provide the best care for all of your dogs that I have the privilege of snuggling and playing with every single day.  


Smiling

Thom VanCamp: PLAYGROUP LEADER, ASSISTANT TRAINER

 

Information coming soon!