The Dog Den

Learn and Play...Everyday!

3124 Syene Rd. | Madison, WI 53713 | 608-665-3375
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About The Puppy Den Team

Our pledge to you: to be a passionate and dependable team, skilled in providing a safe, nurturing experience for you and your best friend.

What to the letters behind our names stand for?  

CPACP: Certified Professional Animal Care Provider

CPDT-KA: Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed


The Dog Den is looking for part-time and full-time dog lovers to join our team! It is our pleasure to provide top-level service to our clients by supplying a place where dogs can learn and play everyday at our award winning daycare, training and behavior company. We take great pride in our staff development and training process and would love for you to be a part of our excellent team!


You would make an excellent addition to our team if you:

  • Are a team player who is self motivated and wants to learn
  • You go the extra mile to communicate and ask for help when needed
  • You are willing to dive in and trouble shoot to solve problems that may arise
  • You are timely, reliable, and consistent with a drive to always do your best work
  • You are proactive, instead of reactive
  • You have confidence and will bring a positive energy and fresh ideas


Already meet all of those standards? Fantastic here are some requirements of the job:

  • A love for dogs AND their people
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced, active job
  • Ability to supervise dog playgroups while being aware of various play styles ensuring that all dogs are safe, stress-free and having fun
  • Able to quickly assess a situation and prioritize the order of importance of several tasks
  • Ability to maintain a safe and 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
  • Meets the following physical requirements:
    • Ability to stand/walk for 6+ hours a day
    • Ability to repeatedly bend and pick things up
    • Ability to handle several dogs in one pack at a time, memorize names and defining features
    • Able to move quickly
    • Ability to adapt to changing weather


An ideal candidate also understands that we are a small business, therefore we require assistance with the following tasks from our playgroup leaders:

  • Assisting with cleaning
  • Assisting with special projects such as art or photos
  • Assisting with basic grooming like nail trims and brushing
  • Representing The Dog Den at community events


Do you fit all of these requirements and feel a rage of excitement as you conclude reading this job description? Apply today!


Hear from our staff:



Laura Schorrak, CPACP - 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 : One on One Coordinator, The Puppy Den Coordinator, Senior Dog, Playgroup Leader, Class Instructor

Name: Lauryn
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

Name: Kourtney
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: Canine Contentment Coordinator, Senior Dog, Playgroup Leader

Name: Chelsea
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 Dog, 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: Fido Photographer (aka. that crazy lady that dresses up pups for fun holiday photos), Senior Dog, 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 Tausche, CPACPr: Logistics Coordinator, Senior Dog, 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)


Ashley Ennis: Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer

Information coming soon!


Haley Highdale: Playgroup Leader, GROUP CLASS INSTRUCTOR

Information Coming Soon!


Catt Hustad: Playgroup Leader, Group Class Instructor

Name: Catt
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: 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 : Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer

Name: Nick
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


Erin Schommer: Assistant Trainer

Information coming soon!


Amelia Johnston: Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer

Name: Amelia
Hometown: Madison, WI
Education: Sophomore at Madison College. I will be transferring to another institution for Fall 2017 for a degree in biological sciences. 
Main Location: Fitchburg
Why you chose to work with dogs: I chose to work at The Dog Den because dogs have always been my passion. Ever since I can remember, I have been obsessed with all things dog, so naturally working at a dog daycare seemed like the perfect fit! I discovered The  Dog Den at age 16 when I decided to take their Canine Good Citizen class with my standard poodle, Digger. I immediately fell in love with the idea of working with dogs all day, so two months after my 18th birthday, I applied to work at The Dog Den and here we are! 
If you had one super power what would it be: Enhanced senses. I would love to be able to experience all the world has to offer without ever missing a beat!


Renee Grittner - Agility & Rally Instructor

Information coming soon!


Brooke Kimball: Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer

Name: Brooke
Hometown: Lanesboro, MN
Main Location: Fitchburg
Why you chose to work with dogs: I chose to work at The Dog Den because I wanted to have a meaningful job that makes me smile each time I come to work! It's also been fun meeting so many like-minded people who have the same passion for dogs I do! 
If you had one super power what would it be: The ability to Fly! 


Garrett Boggs: Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer

Name: Garrett
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: Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer

Name: Diane
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; Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer

Name: Leigh
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! 


Kris Nichols: Playgroup Leader, Assistant Trainer

Name: Kris
Hometown: Merrill, WI
Education: Currently pursuing a Master of Science in Professional/Technical Communications from UW-Stout
Main Location: Fitchburg
Why you chose to work with dogs: I joined The Dog Den team in February 2016 as a client-turned-employee. I discovered The Dog Den in 2012 while looking for fun, positive-reinforcement training classes for my anxious but charming Great Dane mix, Duke. I quickly fell in love with the staff and mission of The Dog Den and enrolled Duke in daycare. The dog who once had to be lured in with hot dogs came to love his daycare time! He had a found a home away from home—a struggle with anxious dogs—and I realized I, too, had found a place that felt like home. After losing my corporate job to downsizing in January 2016, I jumped at the opportunity to work for the business I so love and respect. A lifelong lover of all things dog, I “get” canine communications and loves to use this skill in the daycare. I especially enjoy working with dogs (like my Duke) who have anxiety, insecurity, or reactivity issues.
If you had one super power what would it be: Animal telepathy--because how cool would it be to sit down with Duke over coffee and bully sticks and chat about life?


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! 


Bailey: Playgroup Leader, Groomer-East

Name: Bailey
Hometown: Sun Prairie, WI
Education: Licenced EMT!
Main Location: All
Why you chose to work with dogs: I love dogs and have a special place in my heart for special needs dogs. I ultimately want to work on training dogs with special needs and I see myself doing this for the rest of my life!
If you had one super power what would it be: The ability to talk with animals! 


Kristie Dantuma: Playgroup Leader and Assistant Trainer

Name: Kristie Dantuma
Hometown: Rockton, IL
Education: Madisoin Area Technical College to be a Vet Tech
Main Location: All
Why you chose to work with dogs: I love the role that dogs (and pets in general) play in our lives. They enhance our lives and there is always someone to listen to us. The only setback is that you can't keep pets forever! 
If you had one super power what would it be: A mermaid at will. I love the water and marine life!