Matt Covey is the owner and lead trainer of Suburban K9. Having grown up in a family that spent their time breeding and showing dogs, it was only natural that Matt's long time passion for dogs turned into his profession. Matt started his career as an apprentice trainer but soon he was training on his own. Their mission is to modify negative behavior which may lessen the enjoyment owners get from their dogs and may lead to relinquishing the family pet. Matt instructs owners on how to communicate with their pets in the dog's natural language, and how to fulfill the dog's first and most pressing need: leadership. Obedience training is also an important part of all of our training opportunities.
Matt is certified with the Red Cross for Canine CPR as well as with the AKC (American Kennel Club) as a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. While Matt trains a variety of dogs, he specializes in rehabilitating aggressive and fearful dogs and helps them regain a balanced state of mind and become social with people and other dogs.
Matt's dedication to ensuring every dog gets a chance at their best life has led to his special relationship with the West Suburban Humane Society. Matt provides specialized training for dogs in their care to assist with preparing these dogs to be successfully placed in "forever homes."Additionally, Matt donates his time to train the staff and volunteers at West Suburban Humane Society to help ensure the dogs in their care are handled properly every day.
The letters linked below are from past Ask The Trainer columns published in the shelter's quarterly Stray Thoughts newsletter, which is sent to all WSHS members.
If you have a question that you would like to see in Ask The Trainer, please write to:
West Suburban Humane Society
1901 W. Ogden Avenue, Downers Grove, IL 60515.
Adopted Dog Syndrome
When someone adopts a dog there are generally questions about the dog’s history. Where did they come from? What life experiences have they had? How did they end up here? Rescue groups will do the...
Beyond the Food Bowl
On a scale of 1-10, how excited does your dog get when it comes to feeding time? 11? That sounds about right. You pull the lid off of the food container to the wafting smell of Salmon and brown...
Choosing A Training Methodology
Choosing a method of dog training is extremely important. If you chose a method compatible with your worldview you are more likely to follow through and put in a lot of enjoyable hours training your...
Choosing the Right Vet
For many people finding the right vet involves pulling up Google Maps and choosing the vet’s office that is the closest to their home. While 20 years ago proximity might have been the most important factor,...
I will save you the suspense. We are 100% in favor of kenneling all puppies when they are unattended. A puppy generally does not have enough impulse control to resist chewing things they shouldn’t...
Do What You Love, Love What You Do
Do you love your job? I hope you do! Unfortunately, studies have shown that a majority of people do not find their job to be rewarding. This is a troubling fact when you think about the amount of time...
Enriching the Lives of Shelter Dogs
For any true dog lover, spending a day surrounded by dogs can leave them with a feeling of immense fulfillment. As a company, Suburban K9 has dedicated a large amount of time to working with dogs...
Gotcha Day - Puppies
Today is the day! It’s the day you and your family have been waiting for! You finally get to bring your new puppy home! Puppies are oh so cute, and oh so little! They trip and fall over their feet...
Hide and Seek = Fun and Learning
Hide and seek is a great game to play with your dog. Not only is it fun for both of you, but it is great exercise and gives your pup a lot of mental stimulation! Hide and seek requires your dog to...
How to Choose the Right Puppy
Bringing home a puppy is an incredible and exciting event! My goal is to help you choose the right dog for you. Believe it or not, there are a lot of potential pitfalls when choosing a dog. As a...
As mentioned in our “Picking a Puppy” article, littermate syndrome is a serious behavioral condition. The condition develops when two young dogs end up bonding too tightly with each other. It may...
Picking the Right Dog
When looking to buy or adopt a dog it is very important to research the breed and evaluate the specific dog that you are looking at. Many times people become focused on a breed because they like the...
Proofing, It's Not Just For Barking!
Anyone out there that has baked bread has heard of proofing your dough. It is the final step of allowing the shaped dough to rise before baking. Proofing is also a term that is used in dog training...
Puppy Housebreaking and Nipping
As the proud owner of a new puppy you are probably dealing with two very common “issues” that are typical of young dogs. The first issue that I hear questions on the most would be potty training,...
Socializing a Puppy
Socializing your dog is one of the most important things you can do for them. Socializing is simply the process of teaching your puppy what is normal in the human world. The good news is that this...
Socializing Your Dog
Socializing a dog should be a fun and positive experience for both of you. Although the term gets used frequently, many people don’t fully understand what it means. Socializing a dog is just...
Socializing Your New Puppy
When you bring a puppy home the first thought on your mind is probably having fun! Afterall, the reason we get dogs is that we love them so much and they bring untold joy to our lives. Our goal as...
The Science and Art of Dog Training
When I was an up and coming dog trainer, the psychology of training animals absolutely fascinated me. We are two different species yet we need to communicate on a daily basis! How do we get there if we...
Training for Respect
As a dog trainer that specializes in behavioral issues I hear a variant of this phrase from someone new every day. “I don’t understand why my dog does this, I’ve done obedience training with him,...
Tug of War - Good or Bad?
Our opinion is that tug of war can be good or bad depending on how you play. If you play in the wrong manner it can create behavioral issues in your dog, but played in the right way it can help you...
Using Nosework to Help Solve Behavior Issues
Lets face it, most people have busy, hectic lives filled with work, cooking, cleaning and a thousand other tasks. The average dog on the other hand does not have a “job” to keep them busy and is...
What is the best containment solution for you and your dog?
You love your dog and would probably do anything to keep him safe! In order to give your dog the best life possible, it is crucial to find a way to keep him contained in your yard and out of...
Why Does My Dog Lick His Paw
Many dogs lick their paws and they do it for a variety of reasons. Before you start correcting your dog for the constant licking, it is important to figure out the cause. One very common cause of...
Your Dog During These Trying Times
It is certainly a difficult and uncertain time due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but luckily we have our pets! We have heard from many people that their dog is the only thing that has kept them sane...