Maggie is a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (Knowledge Assessed) with a Certificate in Training and Counseling. She started Practical Obedience LLC in 2013 when she saw a need in the area for a personalized, in-home approach to dog training. Maggie’s goal has always been to offer a customized approach to help clients with the training most important to them, to help their dogs fit into their lives.
Maggie grew up with a love for animals and started riding horses at a young age. In general, the more difficult horses that needed some work seemed to "choose" her which started her passion for training. The family's lab mix, Baron, willingly accepted her early dog training efforts and attempts to build backyard agility courses for him. A career in some facet of the animal world seemed natural so Maggie attended the University of Wisconsin - River Falls and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science.
A few years later while training her first dog Wally, Maggie was inspired to pursue a career as a dog trainer. Like most first-time dog owners, she made mistakes early on but ended up with a very well-behaved dog who fit her lifestyle. Around that same time Maggie began volunteering and pursuing a dog trainer certification to start this career.
Maggie started her formal education when she received certification with honors as a Dog Obedience Instructor through Animal Behavior College in 2013 and completed extra courses in training shelter dogs and individual dog training sessions. In 2015 she received certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) which is an internationally recognized certification. Maggie completed coursework in 2017 to become a Fear Free Certified Professional to better support the veterinarian professionals in the community and help clients reduce fear, stress and anxiety during veterinary visits. In 2019 Maggie Graduated with Honors from the Academy for Dog Trainers to earn her Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC). The Academy’s 2 year program is known to be one of the most comprehensive, elite programs in science-based training currently available.
Continuing to pursue education for herself and her staff is a top priority through hands-on experience & mentoring, books, videos and attendance at several large conferences and seminars each year to learn from the top professionals in the industry. With Maggie’s education and experience she focuses her time and attention on more serious behavior problems and special training needs but enjoys helping with basic training and starting puppies off right when time allows.
Maggie believes that true dog training happens within a trusting relationship between a dog and their family. A trusting relationship with a dog cannot occur with the use of force, pain or fear any more than it can within a human relationship. All training methods and philosophy center around positive reinforcement of desired behaviors and improving the communication and understanding between owners and dogs. In her mission to educate herself and others regarding force-free training methods Maggie maintains membership with the Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin, Pet Professional Guild and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.
Maggie Keippel, CTC, CBCC-KA
Connie Maedke, CVT, CPDT-KA
Connie Maedke joined the Practical Obedience LLC team as a dog trainer in 2017. Connie has been a Certified Veterinary Technician since 1992 and also works as a CVT & behavior contact at Animal Hospital of De Pere. Connie was assigned as a behavior technician early in her career to be the main contact and resource for behavior concerns for the clinic's clients. In this role she has developed puppy and kitten consult programs, taught in-clinic puppy classes and focused on working to lower stress for fearful patients. Connie has always had a interest in behavior and has spent a great deal of time researching current training techniques, attending many seminars including the Purdue Dogs course and has always enjoyed sharing this knowledge with others. Continued mentoring and education opportunities all help round out Connie's dog training experience. She has enjoyed working with and training Stanley, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (pictured), as a therapy dog for many years. In 2017 Connie earned her designation as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and has completed coursework to become an Elite Fear Free Certified Professional to support her role both as a veterinary technician and trainer. Connie works part time for Practical Obedience LLC and currently takes on puppy and basic obedience clients to get new owners and dogs off to a successful start to their life together.
Shana Kleckner, CPDT-KA
Shana joined the Practical Obedience LLC team as a dog trainer in 2017. Shana has years of prior experience with dogs including working at a doggie daycare, dog walking, pet sitting and teaching group training classes. She previously taught puppy classes, basic manners & assisted with reactive dog training classes. She has worked as a receptionist & assistant at a veterinarian clinic and helped care for the boarding clients there. She’s been to many seminars over the years including Clicker Expo in 2011 and has been fully committed to force-free training methods her entire training career. In addition to the paid work she’s done with dogs, Shana has a passion for rescue work and has volunteered for several different rescues over the years. She has fostered and found forever homes for over 30 dogs… not all of which were as lucky as Hawkeye (pictured, left) who she couldn’t part with after bringing him into her home as a foster. Shana became re-certified as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer in 2018. She currently takes on puppy and basic training clients along with assisting with current client needs for drop in services.
Caitlin Fischer, CVT
Administrative & Dog Trainer Support
Caitlin joined our team to provide administrative support and assist with our Puppy DaySchool Program in 2021. She has been a Certified Veterinary Technician since 2016, when she graduated with her degree in Veterinary Technology from Madison Area Technical College. Since then, Caitlin has specialized in Emergency Medicine, Critical Care and Ophthalmology. Caitlin also attended UW Eau Claire, studying her passion of English – Creative Writing. Prior to and during college, Caitlin worked and volunteered in many veterinary clinics and shelters all across Wisconsin, always pursuing her love of animal care.
Caitlin’s true passion for caring for animals has continuously been a strong force in her life. She is constantly seeking and representing the voices that our pets have in order to give them a chance to be heard. Caitlin’s other hobbies include reading, writing, painting, yoga, music, and spending time with her husband Paul and their pets. They have a blind blue heeler named Danko, an Australian shepherd mix named Curly, and a sassy umbrella cockatoo named Jaspar.