Experience matters. It can mean the difference between successfully addressing bad behaviors and succeeding to create new ones. When you choose The Fine Canine, you're putting your trust in professional dog trainers who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the training room; over 40 years of combined experience in training, behavior modification, community education and service.
We're very passionate about what we do and that's evident in the more than 5,000 dogs we've helped train and rehabilitate over the years. We are extremely proud to have made a difference in the lives of so many pet owners, and we're confident that we can help you enjoy many years of fine canine companionship with your pet as well.
To learn more about each of us, please read through our profiles below.
Monica earned her B.A. in Biology from North Central College and minored in French at Iowa State University. She is a member of the National Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the International Marine Animal Trainers Association. She has attended numerous animal behavior courses and seminars for dogs as well as cats, horses, and dolphins that allow her to remain at the forefront of animal training and behavior counseling. She has also earned multiple competitive agility titles with her Dalmatians, Hannah and Drake.
Monica has worked as a veterinary technician for a total of ten years, handling cats, dogs, horses and exotics. She has rehabilitated and released wild birds and raccoons, and worked as an intern at Willowbrook Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. She has also volunteered her time at the John G. Shedd aquarium in Chicago where she worked with, and had the opportunity to observe, the training and care of their special marine mammals, specifically the Beluga whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins. She has instructed riding lessons to children and adults at a horse show barn for six years, and shown hunter/jumper style for a total of sixteen years. Additionally, she worked with urban underprivileged programs by giving horse riding opportunities to children living in the city of Chicago, and as former president of the Iowa State Equestrian Club, she organized horse training workshops for local 4-H pony club children and their horses.
Monica is interested in helping anyone train any type of dog. She specializes in teaching young children how to properly care for, train and compete with their pets. She teaches group and private lessons focused on pet obedience, trick training, and behavior modification. Her most recent project involves the development of an agility club for children and their dogs.
A few words from Monica ...
"I have always enjoyed having people trust me with their pets and especially helping people build trusting relationships with their animals.
My methods are non-abusive, minimally invasive and very effective. I believe in taking the most current knowledge on canine pack behavior, including mother dog to puppy interactions, and applying these relationships in training methods. I feel that these are the interactions that will provide the natural connection to your dog. I advocate a strong foundation in puppy training to provide many years of fine canine companionship. I specialize in teaching interested young children how to properly train or show their dog. I am very aware of the escalating numbers of shelter animals and pets that need rescuing. As such, I am always excited for a chance to touch the lives of these animals and to provide the training for them to be stable, confident, and well-loved pets."
Long Grove, IL
Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers
I love my job! Every day I get to help people improve their relationship with their dog. I'm a student of both human nature and dog behavior. First and foremost I consider myself an instructor, which means that my goal is to teach you how to be successful with your dog.
I have spent the past eight years working at perfecting my craft with my own dogs by competing in obedience, agility, conformation, and hunt tests. I have titled dogs in all of these arenas and enjoy the challenge of competition, but most important to me is the relationship between me and the dog I'm working. My primary breed is the Brittany, a sporting breed, that is both intelligent and independent. I have a 7.5 year old male, Murphy, a 2.5 year old female, Cassidy, and my rescue Sheltie, 6 year old Maddie. For the past five years, I have attended Jack and Wendy Volhard's Top Dog Training Camp and Instructor's School, which caters to both novice handlers and instructor's such as myself. I moderate the Volhard Training list on yahoo groups and help answer behavior questions from all around the world. I attend both local and national seminars to keep abreast on behavioral and training methods. This March will find me working with Stuart and Pati Mah in Florida to hone my agility skills and bring back new ideas to my students.
I serve on the national board for American Brittany Rescue and am the 2nd Vice President for the LaSalle Brittany Club. The most rewarding part of these jobs involve matching rescues to their new homes, and then sometimes even getting to see them in my classes.