for DOGS

I offer reward-based dog training to engaged dog guardians wanting to develop shared communication and joyful responsiveness to build a life-long friendship based on mutual enjoyment and respect.


A dog is not a robot. A dog is not a stuffed animal. They are sentient beings with drives and desires, just like us, dropped in the middle of someone else's world with no say in the matter. It is our job to help them adapt and develop the skills and habits they need to thrive in our world. 


Dogs do what works for them, just like us. Behavior that is successful, that gets them what they want, becomes stronger and stronger the more it pays off. 


If you want a dog that responds to your cues happily, willingly, and enthusiastically, then it is our job to teach your dog both what you want, and to want what you want. It is our job to make what you want both clear and worth their while.


We do that by listening—listening for how they learn, listening for when they are open to learning, and listening for what they love. We let them be our teachers. We listen when they tell us that there are holes in our training before we label them as stubborn or dominant or distracted.


We understand that training is a two-way street, that skill and consistency is needed and expected as much from the human as the dog. We are willing to meet in the middle. We are willing to allow them to change who we are, so that we may be better companions. 

Group Classes

@ Urban Pooch Training and Fitness Center


I teach AKC Star Puppy® classes for families with a new arrival wanting to learn best practices in socializing, raising and training so you can lay the foundations of the life you want your puppy to grow into.


For those living with dogs thick in the throws of adolescence, I teach Junior Dog classes that focus on setting clear and appropriate direction to keep your dog safe and responsive as they awaken to the wonders of the world.


I work with dogs of all ages in our Levels Program, some new to their families, some who’s families have just decided that the time for training is now. In Levels classes we systematically apply layers of learning, following yours and your dog’s pace. We’ll progress your dog’s behavior toward that of a Canine Good Citizen®—a respectable companion to accompany you in the world—and build the reliability of their cues when off leash and in a variety of distracting situations. 


And then there are the dogs overstimulated by their everyday world, the ones who react with overexcitement, barking, lunging, growling, snarling, snapping, even biting—the dogs closest to my heart. For them I designed our Reactive Dog Program to give their humans the critical handling skills needed to manage reactive behavior while using positive reinforcement along with gradual desensitization and counter-conditioning to help shift these dogs from hard times to good times in life.



Private Lessons


If you are dealing with specific behavior issues not directly addressed by our classes, prefer to work individually, or think that group classes aren’t the best environment for you or your dog—I am also available for one-on-one work either in your home or at our facility.

Urban Pooch Training and Fitness Center

5400 N Damen Ave

Chicago, IL 

Intersection of Damen and Balmoral


Let's Talk!

If any of the above descriptions sound like you and your dog, I’m available for a free 30-minute consultation by phone or in-person at Urban Pooch Training and Fitness Center. 

We can discuss your dog’s history and challenges, and your dreams and desires, then I can make my best recommendations given the specifics of your situation.

© Shannon Lynne Sullivan 2017-2020.

    All rights reserved.

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