100 Hour Program Testimonials


The level one class was everything I had hoped for and so much more! CSCM’s “hands on” approach is by far the best way to learn. No online class can compare to the knowledgeable instructors demonstrating proper techniques, overseeing your implementation of the techniques and receiving instant feedback. I was pretty nervous about going back to school after 25 years! Thanks goodness for the instructors at CSCM! They are insightful, inspiring, enthusiastic and compassionate. They want you to succeed! As an out of towner, I was worried when the 7 day Level 1 class ended and I returned home. Fortunately CSCM has amazing follow up support. They check in, provide lots of online resources and return emails and phone calls in less than 24hrs, heck, usually less than an hour! I can hardly wait for Level 2!
— Heidi H.
When I signed up for this program I had no idea where it would take me. I am a 2015 graduate and NBCAAM certified. I have started my own business which is slowly growing, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have made many new friends by taking this program and we continue to support each other. I can’t thank Denise enough for the support she has provided and continues to provide as I continue to grow in the field.
— Sue B.
Learned a great deal of information about canine massage from Chicago school of canine massage! ! I didn’t know how much I would love it! All the insructors were wonderful and so helpful. And even after leaving Chicago, they were still available to help me.
— Jill W.
I am a Reiki Master and have been practicing for almost 15 years. After I completed Level 1, I began offering soft tissue massage to my clients to complement their Reiki sessions. It has been a HUGE success! Now my clients call for a Reiki massage and the results are simply amazing. By combining both techniques I am able to help companion animals to achieve balance, harmony, relaxation and peace. Thank you Chicago School of Canine Massage! I look forward to Level 2 in July so my practice can be a complete well-rounded service to my clients.
— Sue H.
I chose the Chicago School of Canine Massage for its comprehensive, hands-on program. This was a big decision as I had to travel 1,500 miles to attend. The 7 day immersion covered so much information - from behavioral to anatomy & physiology to massage techniques to career options. Hands-on visits to shelters and rehab centers, plus many visiting dogs to the classroom, offered experience with the instructor guiding my learning experience. This cannot be learned with an online program! The instructors were so incredibly knowledgeable and personally invested in teaching. The support that is available from a distance is perfect for someone like me that lives far away from the school. I feel I have invested wisely with this program and will learn all I need to learn to pursue canine massage with confidence. I can’t wait to attend Level 2!
— Nicole V.
I attended the 100 hour level canine massage class in March 2014 and found it very beneficial. I really appreciate the behavior component they teach and feel this class goes beyond canine massage. It was well worth the time and money. I really learned a lot about dogs.
— Mari M
I needed to find a good school that offered a well rounded course providing exposure to different dogs and had all the required facilities and resources on tap! Easier said than done. Finding a suitable course to fit the bill close to home was hard. There are good courses further afield, but the one that took my eye was a course run by the Chicago School of Canine Massage based in Chicago, USA. The CSCM boasted not only qualified and experienced staff but a very full curriculum of topics (some 17 in the basic course alone) presented in an intelligent way and with lots of hands-on experience. The course material stipulated some very sensible basics that any massage therapist worth their salt understands: hands-on practise, practise, practise and with dogs of different shapes, sizes, ages and temperaments. The icing on the cake: not only would we be working on well behaved family pets but also shelter (pound / rescue) dogs which had already experienced some very hard lessons in life. What better way to test my dog etiquette and the correct way to approach these heavily stressed dogs? Finally, the clincher: just in case our basic dog-manners were lacking the course also covered correct approach; dog etiquette, gaining a dog’s trust and general handling tips. The staff at the College provided everything I needed and all the administration was simple and quickly handled.

All too soon the course was over. We left the dedicated tutors, now friends, behind in their various businesses. We left our fellow students and their practice dogs to go their merry way back to their respective homes. Armed with an impressive folder of information and a few homework assignments we all went our separate ways to go and practice what we had learnt. And what did we learn? Massage is a very powerful and sometimes overlooked discipline that can not only relax a group of sore muscles but actually improve quality of life for dogs; just as it does for humans. Canine massage can also teach a dog to trust someone new and can assist a dog to learn to accept touch when previous experience of touch or handling has not been pleasant or appropriate. It is a great feeling when a dog that was in discomfort or which had been distrustful allows you to work with them and eventually drops off to sleep under your hands. It is even better when they come for their next appointment and they leave their pet parent behind in a rush to get to the massage mat! Overall it was a great experience and a real eye-opener to find so many other motivated people who want the best for their dogs and are prepared to travel and study to offer something that is a rewarding and useful complementary health modality.
— Giff G.
The Level 1 class was really outstanding and fun! The instructors are amazing, and the focus on extensive hands-on, closely supervised massage practice with such a wide variety of dogs was invaluable. I was impressed with the strong emphasis on studying canine behavior and communication, and practicing low stress handling and trust building techniques. This well-rounded approach to training and practice seems essential, and any prospective students who wish to be competent professionals can be confident that they will receive, without a doubt, the best possible training experience!
— Paul F
Denise is phenomenal - a talented and caring teacher. The Level 1 course was all I expected. We learned massage strokes but even more importantly we studied dog behavior. We worked on many different dogs with many different needs, and had the opportunity to learn from many other experts in the canine field too. I still have lots to learn and I already feel the support Denise and her talented crew are ready to give me on my path to becoming a canine massage therapist.
— Elizabeth W
When I signed up for the 100 level class I was nervous and excited. I was nervous because I had no prior experience working with dogs other then owning and loving my own. After my first day my nerves were gone and all that energy turned into excitement. Denise is an amazing instructor with great enthusiasm. Not only are we massaging dogs, but we are leaning about them and how to build trust with each one. It truly was amazing to see how some dogs were scared to be near us or touched and by the end of class they were climbing in our laps. It was a learning experience that has forever changed the way I look at dogs. I’m excited and can’t wait for the 200 level class. Oh, I do have to say it was great having my dog, Dyna there in class and practicing on her:)
— Melissa J
Studying at Canine Massage Chicago was truly an eye opening experience. Being in a small class allows close communication with the instructor. The instructors and student teachers are supportive, knowledgeable, and passionate about what they do!

Benefits of attending Canine Massage Chicago:
• Intensive, hands on experience
• A fabulous variety of speakers
• Excellent coverage of: Anatomy, Kinesiology, and animal behavior as well as massage techniques making it a truly well-rounded program!
— Alice H



300 Hour Program Testimonials

I chose CSCM because of the well rounded programs they offered. After speaking with Denise on the phone I knew it was the right school for me. I participated in the 300 hour Mentorship program, meeting 6 days a week for 3 weeks, it was intense. The small class size and hands on portion was just what I was looking for. Denise’s passion fueled my passion for canine massage. I have a background in dog training and have also worked in a natural pet food store. Massage for me was the next natural step in helping dogs.

I am grateful for all the support that comes from Denise and her staff. I love this journey I am on. The dogs continue to teach me as I work with them, listen to them and help to meet their needs.
— Heidi J.
Taking the 300 hour mentorship program at CSCM, was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The curriculum is so well developed and comprehensive and in doing my research, the best in the country. It includes not only anatomy and physiology and massage theory and training, but dives deep into behavioral and low stress handling....a key foundation of this work. The instructors and staff are incredibly gifted, passionate and genuinely invested in their students success, not only in class, but after graduation as well. The opportunities for hands on learning are daily in class and CSCM also offers clinics and opportunities post education. They are deeply invested in long-term education and success. I have loved watching the addition of relevant classes as the field changes and grows and couldn’t be prouder to be part of the CSCM family. If you’re interested in canine massage as a career or in just taking a pet parent class, the choice is simple and simply, the best thing you could ever do change your life and your dogs!
— Colleen E.
It’s not often you can genuinely claim something is life changing…yet that’s how I feel about the 300 hour Chicago School of Canine Massage (CSCM) program. I came into this class knowing virtually nothing about dogs… in fact, so unknowledgeable that I had no idea what I didn’t know. I am graduating soon… leaving with a sense of competence and a deeper understanding and command of canine behavior, anatomy, gait, muscles, language and, of course, massage. I am also moving on with new friends. I knew I would meet new people and establish a different network of contacts. I didn’t realize I would make lasting friendships.

I look forward to our weekly sessions. I am totally immersed in the material – the day flies. Classes are a combination of lecture and hands-on where we actually practice what we learned on real dogs. Denise and her team of Sara, Erin, and Deb are incredible resources – terrific teachers, competent coaches, generous with their knowledge and materials, and committed to ensuring each student feels successful and confident. This team of professional canine massage therapists speaks and teaches with credibility and authority.

The 300 hour program has truly exceeded all my expectations. I’m sure to some I might sound melodramatic…oh well. This has been a transformative experience – thank you Denise!
— Debby B
The CSCM career training program has not only taught me canine anatomy and massage techniques - I have learned more about canine behavior then I ever thought possible. Denise and her staff are so passionate and knowledgeable. The education and hands on experience they provide in this program has helped me become a better, more respectful pet parent as well as given me the tools and confidence to begin a career helping animals and improving their quality of life.
— Jaclyn C
The 300 hour course at the Chicago School of Canine Massage has been a lot of work; it takes time and dedication but worth every second. I have learned so much about canine behavior, body language, the skeletal structure, muscles, gait and systems of my canine friends, oh and don’t forget massage, so much about massage. The instructors are a phenomenal bunch; Denise and her team, Sara, Debby, Erin and Kim are passionate, knowledgeable, patient and outgoing ladies that want everyone to succeed.

Thanks to the Chicago School of Canine Massage I now have the ability to talk knowledgeably with the veterinary community. I had a general understanding prior to this course but now I can talk their language when it comes to my four legged family members. I am so excited about using what I have learned to help my own pups and the pups in the rescue community. Take the plunge, jump in with both feet…you won’t regret it.
— Julie K
Chicago School of Canine Massage is everything I wanted to prepare me for my new chosen field. The course materials, hands on practice, outside activities & events, let alone the expertise of the instructors are amazing! Denise is a wealth of knowledge in the field of massage, she & her instructors make it fun to learn! I know that I have made life long friends/colleagues that will continue to support each other in our continued work with animals!
— Mary F
Denise, Sara and Debby are devoted teachers. They believe in the “power of touch, massage and making a difference”. We are taught to listen and talk to the animals thru our fingers. We are pioneers in a new field filled with exciting possibilities. The Chicago School of Canine Massage makes this happen.

Thank you for your knowledge, insight and guidance to go out and practice this art.
— Collette P
As a Professional Dog Trainer, I always felt that there was a piece missing from understanding and helping dogs. Since enrolling in the Canine Massage Chicago Program, I feel better equipped to assist in increasing the quality of life for dogs that are brought to me with behavioral issues, general training, and relationship building.

This program is comprehensive, detailed, and touches upon all aspects of Canine Anatomy which are crucial to the understanding of Canine Massage and the overall dog. I highly recommend this program for anyone who works with dogs. My dogs are very happy that I pursued this educational opportunity, and so am I.
— Lisa B
Coming from an industrial background, I started my canine massage education with minimal medical knowledge but had a great connection with and love for animals. The instructors at Chicago School of Canine Massage teach a very comprehensive course and are great at presenting the information in a way that anyone can understand. They show you how each system in the body benefits from massage and emphasize the importance of proper techniques to elevate the health of clients. The ability to communicate findings to any pet professional and informing the pet parents of what is needed for them to assist in keeping their pet in optimal health are also included. They teach you how to look at physical and behavioral indications to help treat the pet in a holistic manner. I am very glad I decided to take the course and am looking forward to building a career helping our four legged friends feel their best!
— Timothy D
On my first day of class, I have to admit I was overwhelmed by the wealth of learning that lay ahead. But Denise Theobald’s passion for dogs, depth of anatomy knowledge, and hands-on massage experience (both human and canine) is an inspiration. She has made this journey interesting, accessible and so much fun.
— Pam K
If anyone is interested in learning how to help their own pets or create a lifelong service to others, Canine Massage Chicago has what they are looking for. I had an opportunity of a lifetime with Denise Theobald’s Canine Massage Specialist program being held at Integrative Pet Care, simply because I had the additional hands on experience with the finest rehabilitation therapists. Being there I learned gate assessment, individualized exercises and specific stretches. I was able to massage dogs that had recent CCL surgery, multiple missing limbs, learn about changes in their fascial network and how I could help them. I was also exposed to dogs with prosthetic limbs, dogs in wheeled carts and I was able to massage dogs that were paralyzed from a degenerative disc disease. Low stress handling and proper palpation techniques are also critical in facilitating healing. Thanks, Canine Massage Chicago, for giving me healing hands and thinking fingers!
— Kristina D
Being in the veterinary field, canine massage is something I had always wanted to do. Now thanks to Denise Theobald and Canine Massage Chicago I am a certified canine massage therapist. Denise is very knowledgeable, positive and a ray of sunshine. It was a great experience for me and my dogs. Denise’s well planned course and her wealth of experience to share, allowed me to learn and become confident in massage. The class was fun and easy to understand. What really made Denise’s course great was the personal attention to each student. She showed me how each technique felt on my arms or back. She then made sure I understood how all the techniques felt by doing it on her than her dog. When I started to do massage on my own dog, I was confident that I was doing things right. It was obvious my dogs really enjoyed it. This is the best method of teaching I can think of. I highly recommend her to anyone interested in learning this valuable art. I feel honored to have had her as an instructor. I now count Denise as a professional associate, mentor and mostly, as a friend.
— Robin V CVT, CCMT
When I found Denise Theobald after a lot of research, I found that this was the only long-term Canine Massage program out there. When I started the class I was just completely amazed and still am at the depth of knowledge and gift of teaching that Denise possesses. She has high integrity and passion that runs deep for Canine Massage. I am so grateful to have a chance to work with Denise, she is truly a leader in the Canine Massage field. And I would like to mention Sara May who is an amazing teacher, knowledgeable, and extremely passionate as well! Thank you both for the best experience I could imagine in learning about canine massage!
— Leslie Z