Alex Schnell

Owner/Lead Trainer
Alex grew up in western South Dakota. During his childhood, he was an avid dog lover. Alex first saw the amazing potential that dogs had watching bird dogs work the fields while hunting. Alex continued to work with hunting breeds until he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2012. With a desire to continue working with dogs in the military, Alex was selected to become a Military Working Dog Handler. Since 2013, Alex’s life has been dedicated to the craft of dog training. During his military career Alex worked with dogs in our Nation’s most elite units, including the Marine Special Operations Career, where Alex completed three combat tours with his Multi-Purpose Canine Bass. Bass is one of the most decorated working dogs in American military history.
Since beginning his career in 2013 Alex has trained hundreds of dogs, handlers, and dog teams. Alex has experience during his time in active duty and working for federal agencies like the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. In late 2020, Alex brought his subject matter expertise to pets and their owners, helping hundreds of families improve the relationship they have with their dogs.
Alex has assembled a team of K9 Coaches that excel at dog training and owner coaching to ensure you become a DOG TEAM LEADER.
View Fox Nation interview


Alex’s Certifications and Qualifications include:

  • Special Operations Multi-Purpose Canine Master Trainer Certification
  • Department of Defense Supervisor Trainer Course
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Transportation Security Administration Canine Training Instructor
  • GAK9 Tactical Trailing Instructor Certificate
  • Vohne Liche Kennels Substance Detection Trainer Certificate
  • Vohne Liche Kennels Apprehension Certificate
  • Controlled Aggression Trainer Certificate
  • Military Working Dog Handler Course
  • Specialized Search Dog Handler Course
  • E-Collar Instructor Course
For the first two years he served as a dog handler, Alex was able to attend advanced canine courses focusing on off leash obedience, directional control, and e-collar certifications. In 2014 Alex was selected to join an elite unit in the Marine Corps: The Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Multi-Purpose Canine (MPC) Unit. At this unit, Alex traveled all over the world for canine training. He became an expert in advanced obedience training, substance detection, controlled aggression, and team protection, and trailing. During his time at MARSOC Alex completed three combat deployments to the Middle East and Africa with his working dog named Bass. Together Alex and Bass led hundreds of patrols, located explosives, and cleared enemy strongholds. Alex and Bass have received combat and valor awards for their actions overseas.
Alex was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2019 and continued to pursue his passion of training dogs. Alex was hired by the Department of Defense as a lead trainer for the Military Working Dog Course at Lackland Air Force Base, TX. Just under a year later Alex joined the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Canine Training Center staff which is also located at Lackland Air Force Base, TX. During his time at TSA Alex trained and evaluated hundreds of dogs who were purchased to join the security measures at airports all over the United States. Alex also went through several instructor development courses which allowed him to become an expert in teaching dog obedience training techniques to law enforcement officers and TSA security officers.
Alex’s lifetime has been devoted to service and training dogs. Helping dogs and their handlers/owners create a lasting bond through training and proper instruction is why Alex and Ivy League Canine Academy continues to push towards the top of this industry throughout San Antonio, Von Ormy, Bulverde, and Schertz, TX. Contact us to learn more.
Maddie Schnell

Maddie Schnell

Owner/Director of Business Operations
Maddie Schnell was born and raised in Rapid City, SD. She grew up playing a multitude of sports, loving the outdoors, and her family always had a house full of dogs. Maddie played four years of collegiate softball at Augustana University while majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in English. She taught Elementary and Middle School for over 6 years between her time in South Dakota, North Carolina, and here in San Antonio, Texas.

Maddie has helped Alex grow the business since its inception in 2021. She decided to make it her full-time endeavor in the fall of 2023.

Maddie’s professional background is a huge asset for ILK9 as she brings a padded skillset and years of experience that allow her to seamlessly tackle any and all business operations.

With years of experience creating educational content and learning how to communicate and differentiate her teaching to reach students and colleagues with various learning styles, Maddie has taken the lead on updating and expanding our training curriculum. This has improved our overall academic training plans for both our owners and dogs. Her experience and expertise conducting professional development courses has allowed our Ivy League Canine Academy team to continue to advance in their ability to teach concepts to owners and seek additional education when it comes to dog training techniques.

As Director of Business Operations, Maddie not only helps train dogs that come through our program, but her role also extends to managing the Ivy League Canine Academy team. This encompasses everything from training schedules, curriculum development, client management, social media, and all other imperative business operations. While she does not have specific dog training experience, Maddie has been surrounded by the canine community for the past five years between her and Alex Schnell’s time in North Carolina while Alex was a canine handler for MARSOC and their time here in San Antonio. Through years of hands-on experience and being immersed in the canine community, she has learned the ins and outs of dog behavior and the complex skill set required to be an effective and passionate dog trainer from some of the most influential names in the canine community, including her husband, Alex Schnell.

Maddie is finally able to bring her active lifestyle, love for dogs, and passion for education to continue to help Ivy League Canine Academy thrive and offer the most comprehensive training experience for owners and dogs in the area.

Profile Pic 2 400

Zach Fresquez

ILK9 Trainer

Zach was born and raised right here in San Antonio, TX. He grew up always having a family dog and loved to interact with all animals, but never thought a future career as an animal trainer was in his future.

He graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Applied Mathematics in 2017. Since graduation, Zach’s career has centered around educating and advising people in a professional setting.

In 2014, Zach adopted his first personal dog, Harry. Two years later, Zach expanded his dog family when his wife, Mar, brought her Daschund mix, Riggins, into the family. Together they adopted a third dog named Willow, a beautiful Husky/Blue Heeler mix.

Zach and his family had some issues with their newly formed pack. For years they had to keep Riggins and Harry physically separated in fear of an aggressive fight breaking out at any moment. They could not have their dogs out together inside their home and could not leave the dogs alone. Zach and Mar were essentially held prisoner by their dog’s behavioral problems. These circumstances brought Zach to Ivy League Canine Academy in 2021. Zach, his family, and all three of their dogs went through ILK9 Academy’s training curriculum to overcome these behavioral issues and begin a new journey.

Since Zach and his dogs graduated from ILK9 Academy’s training curriculum Zach has found a new passion in his life: Dog Training. His life was truly revolutionized by the training and his goal is to now pass that feeling on to other dog owners.

Since January of 2022 Zach has worked with ILK9 as an intern and assistant trainer. He has gone through extensive behavioral modification courses and electronic certification courses. Zach has been an official ILK9 Academy Trainer and Owner Coach since December 2022. Zach is now bringing his subject matter expertise and unique perspective as a rehabilitated dog owner to help you accomplish all the goals you have with your dog!”

Dog Trainer

Zach F’s Certifications & Qualifications Include:

  • ILK9A Canine Behavioral Modification Course
  • ILK9A Canine Electronic Collar Certification Course
  • Bachelors Degree in Applied Mathematics from Texas State University
Profile Pic 2 400

Alex Marquissee

ILK9 Trainer

Alex grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin surrounded by dogs as family pets and always wanted a career where he could work with dogs. Alex was able to make that dream become a reality when he was selected to become a Military Working Dog Handler during his service in the Marine Corps.

Alex served in the United States Marine Corps from 2014 until 2022. During his distinguished service as a Marine, Alex accomplished many things in the Military Working Dog community. Alex excelled as a working dog handler and earned the privilege for advanced opportunities, schools, and deployments with his assigned working dog named Gage. Gage and Alex completed two sea-service deployments during their service while stationed in Okinawa, Japan. After his tour in Japan ended, Alex continued his working dog career as the Chief Trainer and, eventually, Kennel Master at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, CA.

After a distinguished eight year career, Alex was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and moved his family to San Antonio, TX. Alex brought his eight year career and subject matter expertise to the ILK9 Academy team in 2022. Helping dogs and their handlers/owners create a lasting bond through training and proper instruction is why Alex and Ivy League Canine Academy continues to push towards the top of this industry throughout San Antonio, Von Ormy, Bulverde, and Schertz, TX.

Dog Trainer

Alex M’s Certifications and Qualifications include:

  • Military Working Dog Handler Course
  • Specialized Search Dog Handler Course
  • Military Working Dog Team Deployment Training Course
  • Homemade Explosives Training for Military Working Dogs
  • Kennel Master Mobile Training Team Course
  • Department of Defense Supervisor Trainer Course
  • E-Collar Foundation Training & K9 Problem Solving Course
Dog Trainer

Mel Alcoser

ILK9 Trainer

Mel was born and raised in Southern California. After graduating high school in 2017, Mel enlisted in the US Army as a Military Working Dog Handler. She completed military working dog school and was stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, TX. In 2020, she deployed with her dual-purpose Military Working Dog Cinka to Iraq, where they were attached to an Infantry Battalion belonging to the 82nd Airborne Division as an explosive detection assist. After completing their overseas assignment, Mel and MWD Cinka were sent to Army base Fort Leonard Wood, MO for an off-leash explosive detection course learning how to use and apply the electronic collar. Melissa and her MWD Cinka assisted in numerous United States Secret Service (USSS) missions in support of the President of the United States, foreign dignitaries, and other diplomatic VIPs. In 2022, Mel and her MWD Cinka were chosen to attend the SWAT and K9 Interacting During Deployment School (SKIDDS). After completing the tactical course, Melissa and MWD Cinka were selected to be the first female military working dog handler on the Fort Hood Special Reaction Team (SRT). Their mission was to be on call most days to be able to respond to any high-level threats that face the Fort Hood military installation. During her career, Mel earned the rank of Sergeant in the Army which afforded Mel the responsibility to lead soldiers and military working dog training over a five-year career. Mel began a military internship process with Ivy League Canine Academy in January of 2023. She is now shifting her passion for dog training and subject matter expertise towards a new mission and purpose here at ILK9, which is to help train household dogs to become healthy companions for their families and to help owners morph into Dog Team Leaders.

Dog Trainer

Mel A’s Certifications & Qualifications include:

  • Basic Military Working Dog Handler Course
  • Patrol Explosive Detection Dog Enhanced Course
  • Canine Tactical Operations Course
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Explosive Awareness & IED familiarization Course for K9s
  • Terri’s K9s Tracking Course

Jeff Chappell

ILK9 Trainer

Jeff was born and raised in Atlanta, GA but moved frequently during his childhood due to his father being in the Army. Growing up, Jeff was led by his adventurous spirit and love for animals. After graduating from high school in 2017, Jeff decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career of serving his country and joined the US Army, shipping off to basic training two weeks after graduation.

Jeff’s first duty station was in Fort Myer, VA. His passion for working with animals drove him to capitalize on an elite opportunity to attend The Military Horseman Course. Jeff graduated and became the 94th badge holder of the Military Horseman Badge. For the next 2 years, Jeff was assigned to the Arlington National Cemetery Caisson unit and conducted 206 military funerals with full honors.

After his tour concluded at Arlington National Cemetery, Jeff was transferred to Fort Benning, GA where he served as a fire team leader in a Light Infantry Unit under 3rd Infantry Division.

In 2022, Jeff was transferred for the final time in his career to Fort Sam Houston, here in San Antonio, TX. Jeff served on the Fort Sam Houston Cemetery Caisson unit and conducted another 130 military funerals with full benefits. Jeff separated from active duty with an Honorable Discharge in May of 2024 after a 7-year career.

Since 2022, Jeff also began his career professionally training canines. Jeff has experience and background in hunting dogs, protection canines, PSA sport and competition canines. Jeff joined the Ivy League Canine Academy in March of 2024 and will now bring his 7 plus years of experience in animal behavioral modification and education to the San Antonio area.

Dog Trainer

Jeff C’s Certifications & Qualifications Include:

  • ILK9A Canine Behavioral Modification Course
  • ILK9A Canine Electronic Collar Certification Course
  • Military Horseman Course
  • Basic Leadership Course
  • Combat Life Saver Course
Dog Trainer

Lulu Melvin

ILK9 Trainer

Lulu, a vibrant native to San Antonio, graduated from the University of Texas San Antonio with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. She stumbled into the world of bartending where she honed her interpersonal and customer service skills for 7 years. She loves an active environment and genuinely enjoys connecting with people and their stories! Also, having two dogs, a cat, and reptiles at home, it’s safe to say she loves connecting with animals too.

Ever since Lu was little, she’s been invested in learning about animals, their husbandry, and their behavior. Canines in particular were a draw! With this in mind, Lu shifted gaze onto a more fulfilling career path- dog training. A passion reignited by her loyal companion, Cannon, a charismatic American bulldog with a personality as immense as his size (to say the least). Upon rescuing, Cannon struggled with severe behavioral issues Lu hadn’t yet experienced as a dog mom. This presented her with challenges that would ultimately shape her future. After six long months of ‘dealing’ with Cannon’s issues, he was sent to a three week board and train program, changing life as they knew it.

Having witnessed so much growth in “Baby C” afterward, Lu realized there was way more to this training thing. So she immediately immersed them both into daily obedience practice to keep challenging their skills. The new, positive lifestyle changes they experienced together had a profound effect on Lu. The more the duo overcame, the more she felt called into replicating her experience for others.

Lu completed the ILK9 internship program through the guidance of owner and lead trainer, Alex Schnell, and the rest of the ILK9 team. Although she had a solid foundation of dog training skills from her journey with Cannon, Lu has become a subject matter expert in canine behavior and owner coaching techniques.

Lu prides herself on her adaptability and perseverance in the face of
challenges and is excited to help you find a deeper connection with your dog!

Dog Trainer

Lulu M’s Certifications & Qualifications Include:

  • ILK9A Canine Behavioral Modification Course
  • ILK9A Canine Electronic Collar Certification Course
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Texas San Antonio