are top area dog trainers and
dog enthusiasts in Illinois and Iowa. We have created an affiliation
to better educate families on dog building techniques and
We have expertise in training service dogs,
therapy dogs, drug detection dogs and family ready dogs.
We are constantly amazed by what dogs can be built
to achieve. We believe that the next level of dog training is
Below are some websites of participating dog
Below are the bios of the professionals we work
owner of MCA, is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.
Susan trains with Paws4Therapy, Inc., CM Academy of Dog Training,
Professional Service Dogs, Inc., International K-9 Operations, and
Susan has written
and published over 25 articles and has been a guest speaker for many
facilities. She is currently working on a book about training for
acute care facilities.
with CM Academy and Paws 4 Therapy, Inc for six years. She
developed the specialized temperament-screening tool used for the
evaluation of dog/handler teams. Since 2001, she has screened over
750 dogs and trained over 175 dog/handler teams
specifically for the hospital environment.
She trained 10 dogs
for use in therapeutic programs at Linden Oaks Behavioral Healthcare
Facility which includes the Child/Adolescent Units, S.A.F.E
Alternatives (for treatment of individuals who self-injure), eating
disorders, and adult inpatient programs. In addition, Susan
established resident dog polices, for a resident therapy dog she
trained for placement in a residential treatment center for eating
Susan has trained with 3 master
trainers covering tracking, clicker training, therapy work, puppy
raising, obedience, scent detection and defense. Canine course
work included Ethology, Animal Behavior, and Genetics. She
continues to study and perform research regarding dog behavior.
She has worked with over 80 breeds ranging from the Chinese Crested
to the Irish Wolfhound.
Susan’s primary job is educating the owner about
their dog's behavior and how it fits into their life. An owner's
understanding of behavior issues like: aggression, pack order,
socialization, separation anxiety, fear, positive and negative
reinforcement etc. is essential when creating a training program.
Susan's goal is to find the right
method for the dog and the family. She does not dictate, she
educates people about what equipment to use and the pros and cons
of each method. The principles of learning are the same with
each dog, but methods used for specific breeds may vary.
Jim Stenfeldt is a master trainer and
considered a local dog whisperer in his field. 35 years of
experience has made him and expert in dog and pack behavior. His
innate ability to quickly identify the root of a dog’s issue, and
then fix the problem with ease has earned him this reputation.
Jim has been a
tester/observer for Therapy Dogs, Inc for 10 years. Since 2001, he
has screened over 700 dog handler teams and certified over 175
specifically for the acute care hospital environment. Current
clients include Edward Hospital, Northwest Community Hospital, OSF
St. Anthony Medical Center, Palos Community Hospital, and Linden
Oaks Behavioral Health Facility.
Stenfeldt, founder of CM Academy of Dog Training, has been training
dogs, pet owners, handlers, and instructors for over 30 years. CM
Academy offers private and group classes that cover a range of
fields which includes therapy, tracking, basic obedience, utility,
basic obedience and Service Dog Training (mobility assistance,
packing, hearing, weight bearing, and scent detection).
also owns a private drug search company which provides searches
for federal and state prison facilities, area school districts,
local law enforcement, private industry, and households.
Jim uses positive reinforcement training, but prefers
verbal and physical reinforcers rather than treats or a clicker. He
specialized in aggression rehabilitation. Dog training is his full
time job, not a part-time hobby.
founded Paws 4 Therapy, Inc. in 2001; which specializes in the
development and operations of hospital-based Animal Assisted Therapy
(AAT) programs. Patty was hired as a consultant by Edward Hospital,
Naperville, IL to implement their first AAT program. Since then,
Edward’s program has grown to 100 volunteer dog-handler teams,
conducted over 91,000 bedside visits, raised over $250,000 of
charitable donations; and increased patient satisfaction scores
20-40%. She conducted a research study on “The Impact of AAT After a
Surgical Procedure in the Acute Care Environment”. Her program was
featured by JCAHO in 2005 as a “best practice.” Patty has
personally owned and trained three registered therapy dogs.
Her program has been featured in Modern Healthcare
Magazine, WGN news, ABC News, Advanced Nursing Practice Magazine,
the Oprah Angel Network and numerous local papers. She has been a
guest speaker at the ADVANCE Job Fair and Career Event, Illinois
Benedictine University, College of Dupage and many community service
Currently, Patty is the Director of AAT at Edward
Hospital and President of Paws 4 Therapy, Inc. She has fully
developed and implemented the AAT program in four acute care
facilities and one mental health facility; and has served as a
consultant in the development of several other institutional AAT
programs. Patty maintains a vast working knowledge of hospital
policies and procedures, infection control, and risk management
issues. The Paws 4 Therapy, Inc. program is the standard used in the
new 2008 IDPH Guidelines for Animal-assisted therapy in the acute
care hospital environment.