Our Team

Our team has a combined  total of over 30 professional certifications and memberships, and over a century of dog training, showing, and breeding experience among us. They aren’t just trainers, they are owners, enthusiasts, and dog lovers. While all have had experience in balanced training, our deep understanding of canine behavior and psychology led us all to positive reinforcement-based  training. We are proud to be a force-free facility, where your dog learns to make better choices out of trust, respect, and love for you!

Brenda Belmonte, CPDT-KA

Founder and Owner | brenda@twopaws-up.com

Brenda is the founder and owner for Two Paws Up Dog Training, Inc. Brenda has been actively involved in showing and training dogs for over 30 years. Brenda, along with her husband and daughter, own Brenich Pugs and compete in both conformation and obedience events throughout the US showing several breeds of dogs. They have competed in such events as the Westminster Dog Show, the AKC Eukanuba Invitational Championship, and the International Kennel Club Show. They have shown several dogs ranked in the top 20 of their breed. Brenda is also an American Kennel Club Breeder of Merit of Pugs under the Brenich prefix.

She is a judge’s education instructor for the Pug Dog Club of America. In addition to being an all-breed obedience instructor, Brenda was the practice manager for a local animal hospital for over 25 years, specializing in behavior and nutrition, and specializes in reactivity and aggression. She is currently the breed columnist for the AKC Gazette, former columnist for Pug Talk Magazine, and is the author of The Pug Handbook, Training Your Pug, and The Silky Terrier Manual, all published by Barron’s Education. In April 2011, Brenda earned the distinction as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). She is also an approved mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College. Brenda has trademarked a program for reactivity and aggression in dogs, the S.A.F.E. Program for Dogs.

Stephanie Challand, CNWI


Stephanie developed her passion for dog training after adopting her third dog, Lance from a local shelter. He ended up having many behavior issues, leading Stephanie down this path. She read as many books and attended as many seminars as she could about dog training and behavior in order to help him. He made such wonderful progress and went from a scared, highly reactive dog to a confident NW2 dog before ultimately losing him unexpectedly in 2017 to lymphoma. He was one of those life changing dogs.

Stephanie started nose work in 2010 and was hooked from day one. She is a CNWI who recently retired her original nose work dog Logan and is now competing with her third nose work dog Leena. Along with nose work, she has also taught puppy classes and privates. She is always eager to learn and gain more knowedge about dogs. She is currently being trained by her adorable pups – Lacey, Logan, Leena & Leevi.

Wendy Kregor

FitPAWS Master Trainer | wendy@twopaws-up.com

Wendy’s interest in obedience training began more years ago than she is willing to put in print with a wonderful Sheltie named Rudy right here in the northern suburbs. However when she acquired a beautiful blue-eyed Siberian Husky in Seattle that was just a tad on the high strung side, the real work of obedience training began. Training Natasha was demanding, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding. Natasha led Wendy into showing in the obedience ring and since then she has become a self-admitted training class junkie. When Wendy moved back to the Chicago area, she spent many years trying to find training classes providing the same rigor as those in Seattle but that relied on positive reinforcement. Positive training methods became very important with the latest addition, a bearded collie named Mac, and she found the right classes with Brenda and Two Paws Up Dog Training. Since Mac acquired Wendy and her family, Wendy has become more involved in the dog world including conformation, CGC, and agility. Now, Wendy is excited to combine her experiences as an elementary education teacher with her skills in dog training. Wendy is currently training her youngest Beardie, Hans, in agility, rally, nose work and barn hunt. Wendy is the coordinator for our strength, conditioning, and mental fitness programs, and our curriculum writer.

Lisa Wageman

Canine Massage Therapist | lisa@twopaws-up.com

Having over 25+ years experience in all venues of training and showing, Lisa strongly believes in having titles in front and back of her dog’s names. She has finished dogs in Conformation to Championships, Obedience to multiple Utility titles, Tracking to many TDX’s, Agility titles, Rally titles, Barn Hunt, Nose Work, and Titles of Road Dog sponsored by the Dalmatian Club of America and acknowledged by AKC. She has also earned multiple CDX’s from other kennel clubs. She has been professionally breeding and showing Dalmatians, and training other breeds, for over 20 years. Years of ring experience has given her the patience and skills to educate new puppy owners, as well as the retired dog that just needs some “fine tuning”. Using positive reinforcement makes training fun, which is a must to truly enjoy your canine companion. She is currently working on her Board Certification for Canine Massage Therapy, is an AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, a S.T.A.R. Puppy Instructor, and a certified Barn Hunt judge.

Julie Jensen


A retired police dispatcher and veterinary receptionist, Julie’s true passion lies with training dogs to be helpful members of our society. Not only is she familiar with the training of service dogs, having assisted her mother with her dog’s training, she is an active member of K9 Reading Buddies of the Northshore. She has earned several titles in Nosework and obedience. Julie recently received her Canine Conditioning Coach certification from Do More With Your Dog, and is also in the application process to become an evaluator for Alliance of Therapy Dogs. She currently runs the Therapy Dog Program at Two Paws Up,  and is a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a S.T.A.R. Puppy Instructor. Julie’s newest family member, a Great Dane puppy named Leo, is working on becoming a service dog for Julie.

Tracy Reichert, ABCDT


Tracy started on her journey of training out of her deep love for dogs. Born in South Carolina, she was raised in the military lifestyle, her father serving his career in the Navy. After proudly serving our country herself for 6 years in the United States Navy, including 2 deployments, she settled down with her husband Chris, who is currently still serving. After having her daughter, Sylvia, she decided to embark on her true passion, dog training, and attended Animal Behavior College. Tracy came to Two Paws Up as a mentor student, and now is part of the team, working in the office and as a lead instructor in our Puppy Adolescent and FLEX Level One classes. She also currently serves the whim of her adorable French Bulldog, Roxy, and Vesta, a Dalmatian, who she has begun showing in conformation.

Emma McGowen


Emma graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her Bachelor’s in Communication in the spring of 2018. Later that year she adopted her Boxer mix, Elsie, and came to Two Paws Up Dog Training as a client. The more she learned about dog training and understanding dogs, the more she wanted to learn so she became an intern and then a mentor student here. Using her background in communication, Emma trains at the Day Training Academy and teaches classes and privates to help bridge the communication gap between owners and dogs.

Sue Sentowski, CNWI


Our Nose Work instructor, Sue Sentowski, brings the knowledge and experienced she has gained from training her own dogs to compete in dog sports like Agility, Rally, Dock Diving and Nose Work to her classes each day.

Sue has been involved with nose work since 2010 and has trialed with her dogs, Splash and C.J., both of whom competed at the NW3 level. She is currently starting her new puppy Lake in Nosework and Dock Diving.

Sue knows that participating in a training program that uses positive reinforcement is not only the best way to succeed in competition but is also essential to building a productive human-canine relationship.

Sue is also the owner of canine swim facility, Sue and Crew, H2O.

Rebecca Simon


Rebecca comes to Two Paws-Up after retiring from a career as a Speech/Language Pathologist. A lifelong animal lover, she has been volunteering at a local animal shelter for many years. This led to her interest in learning the latest practices in dog training. She began at Two Paws-Up as a mentor student and then an intern. She can be found in our Puppy Head Start Program, and teaching Puppy Foundations or Adolescent Classes

Kailin Olufs


Kailin has loved animals for as long as she can remember. It is possible she has not come across a creature she hasn’t wanted to either study or snuggle. Or both! Kailin followed this passion to The University of Montana where she got her bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology. Her passion for dog training, however, came after fostering, then adopting, her dog Boo from Chicago Animal Care and Control. When Boo started showing signs of reactivity, Kailin tried to learn everything she could to help her. In doing so she gained a new appreciation for and interest in dog training. She sought professional help for Boo at Two Paws Up, learned they have a mentor program, and the rest is history! Kailin became a mentee in February 2020 and is now working over at our Day Training Academy trying to absorb as much training knowledge as possible from her more experienced team members. She is also currently working on obtaining a Diploma of Canine Behavior Science and Technology from the Companion Animal Sciences Institute.”

Sarah Adams


Loving dogs from a very young age, Sarah started training her dog to compete in 4H dog shows while she was still in elementary school.  In addition to dog shows, she started visiting a nursing home with her therapy dog, and she also began fostering dogs for a local animal rescue.  As she grew, Sarah continued to volunteer with animal shelters, and used every opportunity to learn more about dog behavior and training.  In college, she interned at Penn Vet Working Dog Center, and has worked as a service dog trainer.  She has a particular interest in helping people suffering from psychiatric disabilities.  In 2019, Sarah completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and is on the path to graduate with a dog trainer certification from Karen Pryor Academy in 2021.  She loves working with people just as much as dogs, and is looking forward to working with you!

Mary Londo , Family Paws Parent Education Educator


Mary developed her passion for working with canines at a young age.  She has worked in the animal care field since high school, where she was first introduced to the world of training as a volunteer with Two Paws Up.  She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor’s in Biology and a double minor in chemistry and psychology in 2017. Upon graduating, she moved to Florida for a year and worked full time as a trainer for a positive reinforcement training company, managing the day training programs, conducting private lessons, and teaching puppy and basic manners classes at both of their training centers. While in Florida, she was introduced to Family Paws Parent Education and has recently completed their licensing program as a licensed educator of dog and child safety.  She is also a licensed presenter of the FPPE Dogs & Storks and Dogs & Toddlers educational seminars.   She is happy to be back with Two Paws Up providing FPPE seminars and taking remote consultations for dog and child safety from her current home near St. Louis.  Her next goal is working towards completing her Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) certification and her AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator certification.