Welcome to the A+ Dog Training Website! 20+ YEARS OF TRAINING DOGS!

9170 Trinity Drive , Lake In The Hills, Illinois

Lindy Sander

Lindy Sander
Owner, Director of Training

Lindy brings her lifelong love of dogs and horses together with proven training techniques that have helped dog owners improve their relationships with their dogs.

 

As a young girl, Lindy’s love of animals led to training and showing both her dogs and her horses.  She was lucky enough, at a young age, to be sponsored into one of the local dog obedience clubs.  Several of the club’s trainers guided her through different levels of training.  At the same time she had the opportunity to work with a well-known horse trainer that realized Lindy’s potential with animals.  He shared his knowledge of animal body language and human intervention and helped Lindy earn top honors in riding competition.  Training her Toy Poodle for competition and a rescued German Shepherd to guard the stables helped Lindy understand big dogs and little dogs right from the start.  A teenager's dream was realized the first time she took her horse out for a trail ride with her faithful Shepherd/Collie mix heeling along off leash.

 

In the late 1980’s, a small Cairn Terrier mix puppy inspired Lindy to get back to competitive dog training.  Her natural ability was recognized by a trainer and was invited to apprentice.  Always thirsty for knowledge and an avid book reader, Lindy has quite a collection of dog books.  After two years of hands-on experience, Lindy was conducting classes.  Her Cairn mix earned top honors during his short show career and her new dog, a Rottweiler, was ready for competition both in obedience and conformation.

 

Helping owners understand their pets’ behavior and rehabilitating unwanted pets was endlessly rewarding.  With her competition students winning numerous awards and the support of her family and clients, Lindy decided to quite her full time management position with a major company and pursue the dream of a career as a professional dog trainer.  The amount of time and energy spent developing and perfecting techniques paid off when Lindy was asked to manage a training facility while the owners took a hiatus.

 

The success of her students both in the show ring and in their homes led to an ever-increasing reputation.  Whether for the family pet, competition, or Therapy Dog Certification, her professionalism and her personal attention to individuals and their specific problems has been called extraordinary.  In 1998 in order to take that personal attention and professionalism to a higher level, A+ Dog Training was born.

 

Lindy consistently strives for professional and personal attention.  Some people come from more than 65 miles away to train at A+ Dog Training.  Her staff has been hand picked to enhance the services that A+ Dog Training offers.  Lindy’s definition of a good trainer is being able to find the right training technique or method for both dog and owner.  Recognizing different personalities of individuals and their individual dogs are key ingredients to training success.  The success of a variety of personalities and a variety of breeds demonstrates Lindy’s capabilities.

QUALIFICATIONS 

·         Over 45 years of experience training dogs

·         24+ years experience as instructor for Puppy Kindergarten, Beginners Obedience, Advanced Obedience

·         24+ years experience rehabilitating “unwanted”, “uncontrollable”, “aggressive “ dogs

·         Attended George Alston conformation handling seminar and received Best Handler award

·         Achieved eight obedience titles, five rally titles, and two agility titles on six of her own dogs with top honors

·         Achieved owner-handled champion titles on 15 Cairn terriers

 

 

 

Carolyn Farr

Carolyn Farr
Assistant Trainer

After attending several different training classes for three years at other facilities I was drawn to A+ Dog Training by their ad in the Northwest Herald.  My ambition was to become a good dog trainer with knowledge from successful trainers.  I found Lindy to be the most successful and the most personable to her clients.  Assisting in classes has given me the wide range of knowledge needed to handle the many personality types and behavior issues that dog owners encounter.  Successfully obtaining obedience titles on my 3 year old Doberman, Roxie, by both myself and my 13 year old daughter has been rewarding.  But helping owners solve their "dog problems" has been the most rewarding.

Jean Locke

Jean Locke
Lead Agility Instructor

Jean started her agility career right here at A+ and has been successfully competing in various agility venues:  AKC, CPE and NADAC.   She continues to take private lessons with some of the finest trainers in the field and brings her training and experiences home to her students.

Jean specializes in rehabilitating rescue dogs through agility.

“I became involved with agility when I rescued my corgi Simon.  He was morbidly obese and had aggression issues from the abuse he had sustained.  I needed to refocus his fears and energy into something positive.  Through agility, his mind and body healed and now he is the friendliest dog and a fantastic agility competitor!   When I adopted my second corgi, Nigel, he had been living outdoors and had limited human contact.  He was terrified and very sickly.   It was two months before he would walk through a doorway!  He soon started following Simon around as we trained agility in our backyard.  I saw his confidence grow, so I began working him every day.  That was a true turning point for Nigel.  Working with an extremely fearful dog has forced me to think “outside” the box and become a better trainer.

 Our classes are high energy, fun and positive.  Each student receives individual attention as we work one at a time in the ring.  Whether you train in agility just to have fun with your dog, to rehabilitate or to compete, it’s all the same in my eyes.  It must be about you and your dog having fun!”

Don’t let our small ring fool you!   Students learn proper handling techniques:  tight handling, distance work and how to laugh at yourself!  

“I have found that my students and their dogs are more successful if they are having fun and being challenged, so we are very progressive.” - Jean

Interested in classes?   Please contact Lindy Sander at A+ for further information!

 

            

Alison Prokopczyk

Alison Prokopczyk

Assistant Trainer (currently on hiatus)

 

Alison has been living and working with various breeds of dogs her entire life as far back as she can remember.  As a child and as a hobby she trained not only her own, but her neighbors dogs as well.  They learned to sit, heel nicely, down and generally behave.  As she reached adulthood she came to take dog training more seriously and began to study dog behavior and different training techniques.  She knew safety came first when raising children with dogs and a well trained, well behaved dog was imperative.  She has always loved the giant breeds and after living with a St. Bernard for many years decided to explore the Mastiff breed.  She acquired a Mastiff from someone who had a litter.  He had many health issues and she turned to Mastiff Rescue for advice on his problems.  This began her journey with Great Lakes Mastiff Rescue where she continues to be a very active volunteer, evaluating temperaments, fostering, transporting, home visits, etc. 

 

Alison first adopted Jake (he is the dog on the far left), a two year old Mastiff with some behavioral issues.  Jake was rushing at other dogs for no apparent reason even though he had been well-socialized at his foster home.  After contacting several trainers in the area included Lindy Sander at A+ Dog Training, it became apparent during their conversation that Lindy had the most experience and expertise in solving behavioral issues.  Lindy invited Alison and Jake to attend a beginner’s obedience class for evaluation and possible private training to improve Jake’s behavior.  Happily Jake responded positively to the class setting and came to realize that Jake was not rushing in an aggressive manner but rather lacked some basic social skills in meeting new dogs, especially on-leash.  Thanks to Lindy’s expert advice and assistance Jake now has the following accomplishments:  Canine Good Citizen Award (CGC), Companion Dog (CD), Rally Novice (RN), Rally Advanced (RA) and is a Delta Society Therapy dog.  Jake has a big following with the children at the Crystal Lake and Cary Library and has been featured many times in the Northwest Herald.  Jake has also been in numerous area parades, pet expos and is a featured dog at Barnes and Noble and Borders reading programs.  Jake is a regular therapy dog visitor at NIMC Physical Therapy Department and Family Alliance in Woodstock. 

 

As with many active rescue volunteers, Alison eventually acquired several more “keepers” from the fostering rescue program.  These dogs came to Alison with either health or behavioral issues.  Gracie, next to Jake, has earned her CGC, CD, RN and RA titles.  Carson, on her left has earned his CGC, CD, RN, is a Delta Society Therapy Dog and is currently working on his RA title.  Wyatt, her youngest on the far right, has managed to earn his CGC, RN and is a Delta Society Therapy Dog in spite of numerous setbacks due to health issues.  In front are her two brindles, Amos, on the right, has earned his CGC, CD, RN, RA and is a Delta Society Therapy Dog amazingly because he was dog aggressive when first coming to her as a foster dog.  Diva, the brindle on the left who came to Alison with health issues, has earned her CGC, CD, RN and is a Delta Society Therapy Dog.  In spite of having the reputation of being a notoriously difficult breed to obtain obedience titles on, her Mastiffs have actually taken first place twice, second place, twice, and third and fourth places in competition.

 

With Lindy’s guidance and expertise Alison’s knowledge and expertise grew and it was a natural progression that Alison began working as a staff member at A+ Dog Training.  Alison looks forward to continuing to learn and grow through study and hands-on experience with the many different breeds and temperaments of dogs who become clients of A+.