About The Puppy Den Team
Our pledge to you: to be the dog experts for your family! We promise to stay on top on the research and training to be able to pass that onto you and your pup through engaging daycare programs, group training classes, puppy programs, private training, and behavior consults.
WE ARE HIRING!
If you are looking for a flexible work schedule where you are freed from the typical office routine, we may be the exact right place for you to be!
We are looking for positive, energetic, and motivated applicants to grow our daycare Playgroup Leader & Training team! No experience? No problem! Our flexible training schedule allows you to learn at your own pace will get you ready to work with and train a pack of dogs in no time!
We are a local, positive reinforcement-based dog daycare and training facility with a strong emphasis on understanding canine behavior and improving the communication between dogs and people. Providing a family-like atmosphere for both our clients and their dogs is very important to us. Our philosophy is simple: we love dogs! We love to help our clients build a better relationship with their dog and we strive to understand the dogs in our care and help them be the best pup they can be! Daycare is an interactive play environment and carries some inherent risks, both to the dogs and to the staff. Our #1 priority at The Dog Den is safety of our staff and our dogs. Our Playgroup Leaders play an integral role in keeping everyone safe, healthy and happy by supervising the play and interactions of all the dogs in our care.
Dog daycare is a learned job; we are all always learning from each other as team members, AND from the dogs! Experiencing daycare and training classes first-hand is the best way to learn and to become comfortable with many types of behaviors you will experience on the job. You will not be expected to be able to perform any of the following job duties without going through a training program first, however upon completion of that training program you must meet the Playgroup Leader job responsibilities outlined below.
We are currently hiring for part-time and full-time help. Playgroup Leader daycare shifts typically run between the following hours : M-F 6:00am-12: 30pm and 12:00pm-6: 30pm Training classes are held on nights and weekends. We are looking for applicants who are available to work both daycare AND training class hours.
Starting at $10.00 per hour. Our training program is extensive, with plenty of opportunities for advancement.
-A love for not only dogs, but also their people
-Passionate about being part of a team that provides great customer service
-Strong written and verbal skills with good attention to detail
-Patience with both animals and humans
-Enjoy learning and also passing along your knowledge to others
-Comfortable in a fast paced, active job
-Ability to be flexible and to switch between tasks quickly and effectively
-Ability to supervise dog playgroups while being aware of various play styles, ensuring that all dogs are safe, stress-free, and are having fun
-Ability to maintain a safe & clean space for the dogs by watching for, picking up, and properly disposing of any waste
-Desire to work with dog behavior to improve the lives of dogs
-Upon completion of training program, ability to recognize possible canine behavior issues and ability to be proactive to help improve these behaviors in order to maintain the safety & happiness of dog packs
-Meet all of the physical requirements listed below
-Ability to stand and walk for 6+ hours a day
-Ability to repeatedly bend & pick things up
-Ability to handle several dogs in one pack at a time, memorize dog names & defining features
-Ability to move quickly in response to the dogs
-Ability to tolerate different weather changes that are typical for the region (snow, rain, humidity, etc.)
-Ability to lift 50lbs
- Ensure safe play
- Constant monitoring of the dogs
- Engage dogs in safe play
- Pet, brush, and talk to the dogs
- Take dogs outside several times per shift, regardless of the weather
- Praise dogs for good behavior, help to modify unwanted behavior
- Know the names of all the regular dogs as well as their play styles
- Know all the names of all the dogs within your care for that given day
- Attend to accidents inside immediately
- Follow provided cleaning lists for daily tasks that need to be completed
- Work on varied cleaning and extra tasks as needed or assigned
- Maintain and improve the general look, atmosphere of the building.
- Greet all clients politely and professionally as soon as you see them (inside or outside)
- Speak honestly but tactfully regarding dog’s behavior and health while in our care, choosing to be kind and unjudgmental
- Provide clients with information on additional services available at The Dog Den, including group classes, playgroups, and private lessons
- Answer phone calls professionally and knowledgeably
- Write detailed report cards regarding dog behavior, health, playmates, etc.
We are a small business and therefore require assistance with the following tasks from our Playgroup Leaders:
- Assisting with special projects (taking photos of the dogs, doggie art, etc.)
- Assisting with basic grooming such as nail trims and ear/eye cleaning
- Representing the Dog Den at community events on occasion, weekends and holidays may be required
If this sounds like a position made for you, please click below to apply. We would love to hear from you soon!
Hear from our staff:
What do the letters behind our names stand for?
CPACP: Certified Professional Animal Care Provider
CPDT-KA: Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
Laura Schorrak, CPACP, CPACM - Owner
Laura received her Bachelors of Science from UW-Madison in May 2001 where she focused her studies on two forms of biology: Bacteriology and Zoology. While studying Zoology, she concentrated specifically on how animals and humans interact. Laura’s love for research and all things science, led her to begin her career in research. She worked in several different laboratories at UW-Madison doing everything from working with plants, worms, bacteria, mice and even primates. Although she always had dogs, cats, and various other animals growing up, it wasn’t until 2004 that she was able to adopt her very first dog on her own. Kelly, a chocolate lab, came with a variety of problems ranging from little training and manners to several health issues. It was because of Kelly, Laura began to focus on all things dog, learning about more about behavior, training and health.
When The Dog Den daycare opened in December 2004, Laura was there the very first day. She worked to create a unique daycare and training experience for Madison area dogs. Under her management, The Dog Den won Best of Madison two years in a row. When The Dog Den became available to purchase, Laura jumped at the chance to own the business that owned her heart and soul. Because her background is in science and research, Laura is always keeping up with the newest research in animal behavior and training. She reads everything she can and attends seminars to continue her education. She incorporates these things in her daily interactions with all the dogs, both in daycare and in classes. Her previous training in lab work taught her that there are no one-size-fits all when it comes to animals and is always looking for new ways to approach training and behavior. She loves helping people and their dogs create a fun and fulfilling life together.
Lauryn Ross, CPDT-KA, CPACP : One on One Coordinator, The Puppy Den Coordinator, Senior Playgroup Leader, Class Instructor
Hometown: Appleton, WI
Education: BA in Biology and Zoology from UW-Madison
Main Location: Puppy!
Why you chose to work with dogs: I love to help people help dogs. It is important to me to build a positive human-animal relationship between owners and their dogs through guidance and education amongst both species.
If you had one super power what would it be: The ability to believe it's not butter!
Kourtney Franck, CPDT-KA: Certified Dog Trainer, Class Instructor
Hometown: Hutchinson, MN (1.5 hours west of Minneapolis)
Education: Bachelor degrees in Conservation Biology and Anthropology, UW-Madison
Main Location: All
Why you chose to work with dogs: I love learning more about dog behavior and how people can learn to communicate with dogs. Learning more about dog behavior and communication is essential to helping dogs live happier, more enriched lives with us!
If you had one super power what would it be: Looking on the bright side of any situation
Chelsea Mentink, CPACP: Canine Contentment Coordinator, Senior playgroup leader, Playgroup Leader
Hometown: Fond Du Lac, WI
Main Location: Fitchburg (All locations when needed)
Why you chose to work with dogs: I understand dogs better than people and love helping people see what I see.
If you had one super power what would it be: Teleportation (with my dog Romeo of course) so I don't have to drive everywhere.
Deb Crawley, CPDT-KA, CVT, CPACP: Private Lesson Coordinator, Senior Playgroup Leader, Class Instructor
Name: Deborah or Deb
Hometown: Front Royal, VA
Education: Certified Veterinary Technician
Main Location: All
Why you chose to work with dogs: I love working at The Dog Den as I can fulfill my dreams of working with all different behaviors in order to help dogs succeed in the human world.
If you had one super power what would it be: The ability to be in more than one place at a time.
Ang Gildea, CPACP: Fido Photographer (aka. that crazy lady that dresses up pups for fun holiday photos), Senior Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer
Name: Angela or Ang
Hometown: Jordan, MN
Education: BS in Biology from UW-Madison
Main Location: Fitchburg (but let's be honest, you'll probably see me everywhere)
Why you chose to work with dogs: Growing up I always loved animals and knew I wanted to work with them as a career. Being young and naive, I figured that meant I'd go to vet school. When I discovered the field of behavior and more specifically dog behavior I was hooked. I jumped in head first, never looked back, and I love every second of it. I love watching dogs grow and learn; that lightbulb moment for dogs (whether it be for a training moment, a trick, or a simple obedience skill) is one of my favorite thins to witness in this job.
If you had one super power what would it be: I would love the ability to never lose anything. The second you think it's lost, it appears right in front of you...Ah imagine all the time that would be saved!
Steph Tauscher, CPACP, CPDT-KA: Logistics Coordinator, Senior Playgroup Leader, Class Instructor
Name: Stephanie (when I'm in trouble), Stephie (if your my Grandma), or Steph (all other times)
Hometown: Sobieski, WI
Education: BS in Buiness, Management Emphasis UW-Platteville; Master's Degree in Project Management (MSPM) UW-Platteville
Main Location: All (you will see me EVERYWHERE!)
Why you chose to work with dogs: I chose to quit my corporate life after starting training classes at The Dog Den with my Great Dane, Bane. It was the best life choice I have ever made and I have never looked back. I love getting to share my passion for dogs, dog training, and overall dog wellbeing with everyone I encounter. (I also love flooding your social media with ALL OF THE dog photos)
If you had one super power what would it be: The ability to change the soda in front of me to whatever soda I was craving at the time (because it is NEVER the same)
Catt Hustad: Playgroup Leader, Group Class Instructor
Hometown: Belleville, WI
Education: Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology (CVT)
Main Location: Fitchburg
Why you chose to work with dogs: I became interested in dog behavior through school and love interacting with all of the different breeds and learning each dog's mannerisms.
If you had one super power what would it be: Flying, because it's so much faster than walking or driving and I love to be up high.
Melanie Nunez, CPACP: Senior Playgroup Leader, GROUP CLASS INSTRUCTOR
Name: Melanie or Mel
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Main Location: All
Why you chose to work with dogs: I think body language is so interesting as it's own language. It's similar to learning a foreign language like Russian, Spanish or Sign language. I also think it's so interesting how dogs learn and what they're capable learning. It's also facinating to me to watch how dogs and people communicate with one another. I love how each day the dogs teach me how to be more selfless, more compassionate, and love unconditionally.
If you had one super power what would it be: To fly
Nick David, CPACP: Senior Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Education: Bachelors in Animal Science
Main Location: Fitchburg
Why you chose to work with dogs: I always wanted to work with animals, however, I originally wanted to go to vet school and go down that path. That changed once I started to work at The Dog Den, I changed my mind and decided to follow my passion for animal behavior!
If you had one super power what would it be: Teleportation
Garrett Boggs: Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer
Hometown: Lanesboro, MN
Main Location: Fitchburg
Why you chose to work with dogs: I've always loved working with animals, and especially dogs, so when I got the opportunity to join The Dog Den team I took it! I love that I get to wokr at a place where we can provide a fun and safe environment for dogs to learn and play!
If you had one super power what would it be: Becoming a Jedi Master!
Diane Huck, CPACP: Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer
Hometown: Portage, WI
Education: Associate Degree in Nursing
Main Location: All
Why you chose to work with dogs: I got my first dog only 4 years ago and she has changed every life plan I ever made. Though I loved taking care of people, I felt a special connection with animals, especially dogs, and just knew I needed to follow my passion. I became consumed with all thing DOG! I wanted to know all I could about them, be around them, and help take care of them. The Dog Den was just the place to dog that! They are the best at what they do and I just HAD to learn from the best. It's a pleasure and an honor to care for our dogs every day and I'm SO lucky to have found my true calling!
If you had one super power what would it be: To be able to converse with dogs. I'd love to know what they are really thinking and what they would say to us if they could!
Leigh Anson, CPACP: Playgroup Leader, Training Instructor
Hometown: Pendleton, IN
Education: BS in Chemistry from Butler University and MS in Biochemistry from University of Notre Dame
Main Location: All
Why you chose to work with dogs: Working at The Dog Den provides me with an incredible opportunity to enhance the bond between dogs and their humans. It's just so heartwarming and fulfilling to see those relationships develop through training. Additionally,a quick snuggle from a pup on a rough day is definitely one of the best perks to working at daycare!how can you not smile seeing a happy, wiggly, dog?
If you had one super power what would it be: The ability to talk with animals!
Mackenzy Groth-Price: Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer
Name: MacKenzy or MacKen, Mack, Kenzy (I will answer to all of them)
Hometown: Madison, WI
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts, UW-Madison
Main Location: Fitchburg
Why you chose to work with dogs: I chose to work at The Dog Den because I have always loved animals, especially dogs. Working with dogs all day is a dream come true. My family has two 8-year-old basset hounds Gracie and Lucy and they are the silliest, sweetest furry friends. I owe so much to the loyal, goofy, and loving companionship my dogs provide. I have been fortunate enough to have had such great dogs in my life and I am looking for a way to share my love for dogs with others. The Dog Den provides a safe, family environment in which I can exercise my passion for animals and their owners. If I can do anything to strengthen the understanding between a dog and its owners, as well as the people in the dog's life, I will have done my job well.
If you had one super power what would it be: To be a shapeshifter so I could turn into all of my favorite animals and gain their individual powers. I could turn into an eagle and majestically fly away, a shark and swim as a fearsome predator or run with my pack as a dog!