About Us

New Customer FREE First Night

Looking for a new home-away-from-home for your dog? Their first night is on the house!

Discount subject to availability and blackout dates and cannot be combined with other offers. Lodging discount applies to first-time customers only and is valid for any lodging accommodation selected.

About Our Owner

Vision Statement

Katy Cushing realized her true passion centered on dogs early in her life. In 1988, she graduated from a school for dog trainers, where she discovered the unique bonds that are possible between dogs and their owners. After working with trainers in Chicago and Atlanta, she took her natural ability and training background and opened A Closer Bond in Palatine, Illinois in 1994.​

Over the years, thousands of families have realized their dreams of a better relationship with their dog and benefited from the attention, education, and experience provided by Katy and her team. The bonds created between people and their dogs really do last a lifetime. ​

Our Mission and Values

Value Statement

Our vision at A Closer Bond is to be world-class leaders and a pet parents’ first choice in the pet care industry by providing a consistently exceptional and personalized experience for our clients, their pets, and our employees.

Mission Statement

A Closer Bond’s mission is to establish peace of mind as pet care experts. We are committed to ongoing industry education while recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of each individual and their contributions.

Core Values

  • Honesty.

    To interact with clients and employees in an open and honest manner.

  • Respect.

    To demonstrate through actions and statements our respect for each individual client, employee and the organization.

  • Integrity-

    To always choose to do the “right” thing even when it may not always be the most popular option.

  • Trustworthy.

    To establish a high degree of trust with our clients, employees, suppliers and the organization through individual actions and statements.

  • Transparency.

    To consistently remain transparent in the communication about our products, services, methods and processes.

  • Education.

    To remain committed to seeking out and providing ongoing learning, development and educational opportunities for our clients and employees.

Awards & Credentials

Our extensive training and knowledgeable staff makes A Closer Bond stand ahead of the others.

National K-9 Dog Trainers Association (NK9DTA)

The NK9DTA is a professional organization formed to promote and maintain the highest ethical and business standards in the care and training of dogs and their owners. The NK9DTA’s mission is to provide support, continuing education opportunities, communication amongst members, and representation for all members in good standing. A Closer Bond Dog Center is proud to be a member of the NK9DTA, meaning we have successfully completed a course at the National K-9 School for Dog Trainers and in doing so, received professional certification that allows us to use the title Certified Professional Trainer and become a member of the NK9DTA.

International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA)

IBPSA is a professional business association that provides business resources, industry expertise, staff education and training, certifications, and legislative support for the pet care services industry. IBPSA Members include the owners and employees of pet boarding and enrichment program facilities, groomers, dog walkers, pet sitters, veterinarians, trainers, and holistic care pet care providers.

International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP)

Founded in 1999, the International Association of Canine Professionals was established to develop and promote the highest standards of professional and business practice among canine professionals. The IACP has grown to include professionals from all over the globe, encompassing every facet of the dog world.

The Dog Gurus Safety Pledge

A Closer Bond Dog Center has taken The Dog Gurus Safety Pledge. This means we made a commitment to design and operate our enrichment program for the safety of all dogs. We strive to ensure the physical safety of each dog with a goal for every dog to go home behaviorally and emotionally better than when they arrived.

Pet Tech CPR Certified

Earned through successful completion of Pet Tech’s specialized training program, Pet Tech certification shows advanced knowledge in pet CPR techniques, first aid skills, health care, and wellness information.

Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC)

PACCC is a nonprofit created by a team of industry experts to recognize high quality providers and help them meet the challenge of educating pet parents on the value of a pet care provider’s investment in education and training. PACCC’s mission is to bring independent testing and certification to the pet care services industry by means of stringent testing intended to reflect a professional’s broad knowledge of animal care. A Closer Bond Dog Center has completed all of the courses PACCC offers.

Daily Herald Readers’ Choice Award Recipient (2017-2019)

The Daily Herald Readers’ Choice Awards is a local contest where members of the community nominate and vote for their favorite local businesses. A Closer Bond Dog Center is proud to have received Best of the Best in the Daily Herald Readers’ Choice Awards in 2017 and 2018, and honored to have been recognized as a Top Pick in the Daily Herald Readers’ Choice Awards in 2019.

Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce

The Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to foster the advancement of commercial, industrial and civic interests that contribute to the growth and development of its members, the business environment, and a stronger community in the Palatine area. A Closer Bond Dog Center is a proud member of the Chamber.

Women in the Pet Industry Network

Women in the Pet Industry Network exists to help all categories in the pet industry foster giving, growing, and connecting for mutual benefit. Women in the Pet Industry Network was created to help pet professionals prosper.

Therapy Pets Unlimited, Certified Pet Evaluator

A Closer Bond Dog Center has earned recognition as a Certified Pet Evaluator for Therapy Pets Unlimited, a non-profit therapy pet organization founded in 2014 that works to ease grief, stress, and loneliness through friendly pet visits. Volunteer teams visit nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, schools and libraries.

American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen (AKC CGC) Approved Evaluator

A Closer Bond Dog Center is proud to be an Approved Evaluator for the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen program, demonstrating our committment to helping dog owners experience positive relationships with their dogs. The AKC CGC program is rapidly becoming recognized as the standard of behavior for dogs in our communities.

Joel Silverman, JSDT1 Dog Trainer Certification Course

A Closer Bond Dog Center completed the JSDT1 Dog Trainer Certification Course, a hands-on course taught by Hollywood dog trainer Joel Silverman. This is a unique dog trainer certification course focusing 90% on practical dog training, ultimately teaching the foundation for shaping animal behavior.

International Association of Canine Professionals

Cynopraxis/Principles of LIMA