Setting Up for Success
Just as you have high standards for whom you allow to work with your dog, we have high standards for our clients. We are most successful with clients who take responsibility for working proactively and positively toward success.
In-Home and Private Sessions
Private lessons are the appropriate starting place for dogs with specific behavior challenges, including fear and aggression, as well as for owners wanting to learn on their own schedule or with more individual attention.
We also offer in-home day training programs, where we train your dog several days a week and then transfer the skills to you.
Group classes are an appropriate starting point for dogs with no history of fear or aggression toward other dogs or people, and are especially recommended for most puppies under 16 weeks of age. If your concerns include fear or aggression, please contact us about private training prior to signing up for a group class.
Our group classes are held at:
Chicago, Medical District/West Loop:
Medical District Veterinary Clinic at Illinois
Our very small classes, with 3-4 teams per session, afford lots of individual attention from the instructors.
- For adult dogs, the $250 fee includes 6 sessions.
- For puppies, the $250 fee includes 6 sessions. Space permitting, Puppy Start Right teams may attend an additional session each week at no charge during their enrollment period. Availability will be announced on a weekly basis and is first come, first serve.
- Enrollment is rolling. That means teams start at staggered times, and as one team graduates, we have room for another to join.
- If you are a new client, your first session must be a humans-only orientation (dogs stay home).
- Returning students do not need to attend orientation.
- Group class enrollees and graduates get $20 off their first private lesson and our minimum package for private sessions is waived. This is a great option for new puppy owners, who can often use the extra help at home!
Ask about our discounts for repeat clients and referrals to friends and family!
Which Class Is Right For Me?
- For dogs who are 6 months and older who have graduated from Puppy Start Right, or are new to Animal Behavior Training Concepts: Canine Manners Matter.
- For puppies 2-5 months of age: Puppy Start Right.
- Returning students who have completed Canine Manners Matter: Canine Manners Matter may be repeated multiple times, with teams working at individual levels.
- For dogs with specific behavior challenges, including fear or aggression related to people or other dogs, private lessons are a more appropriate starting point. Please contact us before registering if you are not sure if group class is right for you and your dog.
Please note: There are no refunds after orientation, or if no orientation is required, no refunds after the first session, as your fee has reserved a spot in our program to the exclusion of other teams.
For Puppies 2-5 Months
PUPPY START RIGHT Congratulations on your new adoption! In this level, your pup will learn the simple but important behaviors that form the foundation of all other learning. Just as important, he'll gain crucial exposure to new environments, new people, new dogs, new objects, and veterinary and home-care procedures. This is known as socialization, and it is crucial: good puppy socialization now can help to prevent serious concerns later. Other topics covered include house training, crate training, and puppy nipping and mouthing. The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program is available for those interested, and the price of the test is included in your fee.
Puppy classes are currently offered at Medical District Veterinary Clinic on Mondays at 7 PM and Saturdays at 1:30 PM. Puppy teams should choose a primary day to attend classes. If there is room in another class in a given week, may attend the second session at no extra charge.
For Dogs 6 Months and Up
CANINE MANNERS MATTER Is your dog exploding out of puppyhood into full-blown adolescence? Just brought an adult dog into your household? In Canine Manners Matter we'll focus on the basic skills your dog needs to be a well-behaved member of the family, including sits, downs, and stays, loose-leash walking, coming when called, and polite greetings for family and visitors. We'll also teach fun tricks and enriching games you and your dog can play together. You'll learn how to communicate effectively with your dog and resolve common behavioral complaints in a positive way.
Canine Manners classes are offered at Medical District Veterinary Clinic on Thursdays at 7 PM and Saturdays at 3 PM. Students should choose a day to attend classes, but may make up one missed class on the other day, space permitting.
ONGOING CANINE MANNERS (Prerequisite: Canine Manners Matter) Continue to improve your dog's skills, on and off leash, with increased distraction, over longer duration, and from a greater distance. Learn how to train more complex behaviors and behavior chains. Our ongoing courses are tailored to the individual needs and interests of the students. This course may be repeated as many times as you like.
Email us to be notified when we offer this class next.
Canine Good Citizen/Therapy Dog Prep
This course, offered when there is sufficient demand, will help you prepare for the ten items on the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen test or the tests you and your dog must pass to become a therapy dog team. As a bonus, since two of our instructors are certified CGC evaluators, you can take the CGC test in the same space where you prepared. The price of the class includes your testing fee.
Email us to be notified when we offer this class next. If no group class is scheduled, we can help you prepare in private sessions.
Ready... Set... For Groomer and Vet
Do you have trouble trimming your dog's nails? Does he shirk the vet's touch or snap at the groomer's brush? In a fun group environment, we can help you make medical handling and grooming less stressful and more enjoyable for your dog.
Email us to be notified when we offer this class next. If no group class is scheduled, we can help you with these skills in private sessions or during our regular group classes.
See the results in the video below, where Rhodesian ridgeback Santino stands for a blood draw with no restraint:
Seminars and Workshops
Laura Monaco Torelli is available to present multiday seminars on clicker training, proactive training for grooming and veterinary care, and other topics.
Our staff can also customize shorter sessions for your dog business, shelter, or rescue group on topics including (but not limited to) canine communication and dog-bite prevention, solving common behavior problems using a positive reinforcement approach, appropriate puppy socialization, cohabitating cats and dogs, enrichment games, and safety at the dog park/dog beach.
Therapy Dog Testing
In addition to offering therapy dog prep classes, Animal Behavior Training Concepts is honored to host Pet Partners therapy dog testing in Chicago. For more information on the Pet Partners program, please contact Shirley Lieb with Paws 4 Patients.