Kevin has been improving the lives of owners and animals alike in the Chicagoland area since 2010. After apprenticing with respected protection/ obedience specialist, Darrel Hager, Kevin continued to learn from many of the top trainers and animal specialists across the country before establishing Mannered Mutts.
Client after client, Kevin is constantly amazed by canine intelligence and is proud to be working side-by-side with such loving creatures to push the bounds of obedience excellence.
Kevin is a proud doggie daddy to Hero the American Pit Bull Terrier, Hank the Dutch Shepherd, and Balca the Sheep Dog Mix.
Show some love to Kevin’s mentor, Darrel Hager, owner of Attention Dog Training in Orlando, FL by watching his videos!
Hero is an American Pit Bull Terrier who was rescued at 4 months old from Wright-Way Rescue now in Morton Grove, IL. They met by chance. While doing a demonstration for the rescue, we asked if there was a challenging subject we could apply our training methods to. They exclaimed, "Do we have a naughty puppy for you!" Then pranced out Hero, whom was said to have endless energy and was known to have leapt over the visitors' corral and dashed about the rescue. From start to finish her tail never stopped a-waggin' and she seemed to have a natural drive for fetching and play. After finally passing out her first night in her new home on the crook of his neck, Kevin's heart melted and he knew he had found a special new companion.
Hero was your standard puppy with all the standard naughty puppy behaviors, including constantly chewing on and chewing up anyone and anything near enough, potty time in the house, barking and whining whenever she felt inclined, and using all of her 20lbs to pull her way to China anytime there was a leash involved. Keep your eye on that girl 'cause the moment you stop, you've got trouble! After applying the Mannered Mutts Management System she very quickly transformed into the well behaved, booty wiggling, advanced obedience show-off that everyone falls in love with. Whether its protection work, fetch, or learning the next command, Hero love's to work, learn, and spread joy to all she sees. Unfortunately, that joy mostly comes in the form of mouth kisses so you might want to keep your mouth closed! Ask to see her 'sit like a lady' the next time you see us out!
Balca is a sheep dog mix found as an abandoned puppy in the forests of the Tatry Mountains of Southern Poland. From early on, she showed fear based aggressive tendencies toward dogs and people, which left her to avoid contact with the outside world. Her protective instinct was strong and she became dangerously protective of her people, possessions, and territory. Due to her extremely high prey drive she was unreliable off-leash and an ardent puller when leashed. She would excessively bark at windows, on-leash, and at the fence. A bit of a handful, you might say.
After applying the Mannered Mutts Management System, we are now able to fix situations as they come up and in many cases prevent them from even happening. Balca has learned to love to play with all sorts of dogs and has become more tolerant and less reactive to undesirable energies. She has blossomed into quite a social dog, that now welcomes new guests and seeks out not only attention but affection where rubbing the insides of her ears tops the list. Happy dog, happier owners! Ask to see her 'Polish high-five' Łapa the next time you see us out!
Hank is a Dutch Shepherd, rescued from PAWS Chicago. Kevin met Hank after he had been called in to evaluate an extremely troubled pup, which happened to be in his experience, the most troubled pup he'd encountered to date. Hank had extreme dog-aggression which would intensify to full-blown meltdowns at the sight of any dog, even if from blocks away. He would redirect his aggression on his owners' stomach and arms out of frustration, while flailing and shrieking as they went. He was very sensitive and skittish around city sounds and fast moving objects. On top of that, Hank had extreme separation anxiety, that led to screeching and destructive behavior, which effectively wore down his owner, not to mention the neighbors. He required specific individual attention and due to several other circumstances, his owner thought it would be best for all parties to re-home. It took perhaps a millisecond and the decision was made to add this hardheaded tiger-dog to our family.
Hank has made incredible progress! His stability and self-control gets better everyday and is truly a work-in-progress. We may never be able to drop him off at the dog park for a few hours but while supervised Hank does well around other dogs on and off leash. Hank has graduated into advanced obedience which gives us the ability to manage his behavior no matter the circumstances. We are able to go walking without getting dragged down the road and without needing to wear ear protection or a full bodied bite suit. Hank loves to work and is able to either let loose or relax with the rest of our stable pack. No shortage of personality with this one, which leads to more laughs than we can handle at times. Ask to see his 'crazy dance' the next time you see us out!