Our Training Program
It helps you communicate better with each other, creating the foundation for a happy relationship.
Many people wait too long, or don't train their dog at all. This can lead to behavioral challenges that are much harder to correct later on, and can make your life unnecessarily stressful.
What Do You Want to Resolve?Don't just accept unwanted behavior! We have helped thousands of dogs overcome their challenges, and we can help yours, too.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more behaviors that we can help you address and resolve in your dog, using only positive reinforcement techniques.
What's the Root Cause?There's always more to the story when it comes to identifying why dogs behave the way they do. If they pull on the leash, that is likely related to the fact that they want to be in control and haven't learned their boundaries. If they are anxious in the elevator, it may be because of a prior experience that shook their confidence. Then, every time the bell rings and the doors open, they relive that stressful situation again. We help you find the root cause of these types of problems, and resolve them in a comprehensive manner using fear-free exercises and techniques.
Don't Wait Until It's Too LateWithout proper training, these challenges only get worse, typically until something really bad happens. We strongly advise that you not wait until your dog bites someone, or pulls you over, or can't be around other dogs, or can't be left alone in a crate while you're gone.
The problems can seem so overwhelming for some people that they end up giving up their dog to a shelter, or they yell at their dog, yank its leash frequently, and resort to methods such as choke chains and prong collars (which still don't correct the behavior). This is unfortunate, as the behaviors could have been easily addressed with positive reinforcement training.
Are You Unknowingly Part of the Issue?Many people actually encourage unwanted behavior, such as by petting their dog when it jumps on them. They also use the wrong leash, the wrong corrective devices, language that confuses their dog, an ineffective tone of voice, and improper body language. They repeat the dog's name and the command over and over. They also don't use effective rewards, so their dogs are not motivated. The problem gets even more challenging when multiple people are handling the dog, such as a spouse, kids, and dog walkers. When using the wrong techniques, your dog starts to tune you out, and you get frustrated because he doesn't listen to you.
But He's MOSTLY Fine...When asked about training, many people are in denial and say things like "He doesn't need training - he's mostly fine." No doubt he's a great dog and that you love him dearly. But wouldn't you rather have a dog who is "all-the-way" fine, and resolve challenges like leash pulling? You'll thank yourself, and wonder why it took you so long to correct the issue. Don't compromise or settle - your dog is capable of more than you may think.
Looking for an Easy Fix?Well-behaved dogs who are great listeners aren't born that way. While our exercises are fun and easy, it does take time and patience. Some people think they will just send their dog away to training boot camp, or think they don't need training because their breeder "trained their puppy." Here's the honest truth: you can't outsource training to someone else. YOU must be skilled at the techniques, so even if someone else trained your dog for you, all would be quickly lost because you likely wouldn't be consistent with what the dog has learned. Just commit to training your dog yourself, and the results will speak for themselves.
My Dog is UntrainableAll dogs can be trained, if you use the right approach and effective, positive motivation. Maybe you tried a different trainer in the past, or even tried to train him yourself, and your results were questionable. Just keep in mind that all trainers are different, and maybe the techniques weren't as effective or current as they could be. In addition, maybe the environment wasn't ideal, or maybe your dog was just not as ready to learn back then. In our program, we cut through the nonsense and outdated thinking, and put you on the right path to success by using the exercises that simply work.
Dogs LOVE to Learn, and to Have a JobSome people have the wrong idea about training. They think it will be a burden on themselves and their dog. However, they don't realize that dogs LOVE learning new behaviors, when we use the proper techniques. They also love to have a job.
Training helps bring out the best in your dog, whether it be from having polite manners, participating in sports such as agility, or even visiting hospitals as a therapy dog. You'll have a stronger relationship with your companion, which is presumably why you got a dog in the first place.
Both you and your dog will be much happier!
Our training program takes a comprehensive approach towards improving your dog's skills and behavior. We can help correct and prevent unwanted behaviors, plus instill good habits in both you and your dog that will last a lifetime.
How it Works
- Identify the behaviors you want to prevent or change. Our trainers are very experienced and can help you with just about anything. If you have a puppy or want to focus on a broad set of skills, that is no problem - we can cover quite a lot, especially in a class, and follow a standard curriculum based on our professional experience
- Set up a free consultation, if you need help deciding on the best approach, based on your particular dog, home environment, lifestyle, and goals
- Choose your training format, such as private lessons, classes, or turnkey training. We can help you make this choice. For some dogs it is a combination of multiple formats over time
- We show you how to address the behaviors, using positive reinforcement methods. We demonstrate the exercises, then immediately correct your techniques when adjustments are needed
- We give you home exercises that should take 30 minutes or less per day. You can incorporate these exercises into many of your current routines, such as when you feed your dog, go through doorways, and go for walks. You must practice these exercises each day in order to instill the behaviors in your dog reliably. The home exercises are easy and fun for both you and your dog, and are really like games. If they seem too easy or too hard, we can adjust the level of difficulty. The exercises also are designed to build off each other, in order, so you start with a strong foundation and go up from there
- Use our online portal to:
- Access the home exercises and other helpful content (starting July 9, 2019). This is helpful because once you're alone with your dog, you may not remember everything the trainer covered. It's also great because you can access the information even if you miss a class. You can easily view the information on any phone, tablet, computer, or other Internet-connected device
- Log your exercises using our online tool, TrainTrack™. This helps you remember how many repetitions you put in per week, and even what other people (e.g., your spouse) have worked on with your dog throughout the week.
- Call your trainer if you need some quick advice in between sessions, if you are having difficulty and simply can't progress. We can typically give you a power boost
- Your dog improves! You'll be amazed at the progress if you use our methods as instructed, and put in the repetitions consistently
- We make the exercises much more challenging. We don't want to just teach super-easy behaviors such as sitting. We want your dog to master the behavior under any condition, so we make the exercises harder and harder, under a variety of circumstances. For example, he comes to you when you call him, but will he do that while at the dog park, playing with other dogs? When walking or running away from you? Our "progressive difficulty" model is how you build long-term listening and reliability
- You decide how far you want to go. Stop after one course or 6-lesson private lesson package? Continue to intermediate and advanced training? Delve into agility or other sports? Gain certifications? Visit hospitals with your therapy dog? We can help you go quite a long way and bring out the best in your dog
Train-the-Trainer ApproachTraining a dog is the easy part. Training humans to change their behavior is much harder! If you don't change your ways, your dog's improvement will not last long. That's why we need to train YOU to train your dog. Once you're at home and no trainer is around to help, you must be able to work with your dog effectively.
Positive Reinforcement OnlyWe do not use dominance methods, such as shock collars or choke chains. We do not advocate poking, pulling, yanking, or yelling at dogs. In our program, there is no need to "show them who is the boss." These methods may achieve a desired behavior in the short-term, but it normally doesn't last, and can build fear and distrust in your dog. Dogs don't learn well under those conditions, just like most people.
Instead, we use rewards, praise, love, and patience, combined with effective exercises and techniques. Put in 30 minutes per day, and your dog will rapidly improve.
Over the years, we have trained thousands of dogs using only positive reinforcement, and the results are fantastic.
Skills, Listening, and Self-ControlMany people teach their dog a few commands, which may work well indoors with no distractions. However, everything goes out the window when taking the dog outside, where it's highly distracting, inviting, and sometimes stressful.
With our program, we show you how to teach your dog a broad set of important skills, not just a few. Our exercises help your dog to learn to listen the first time, every time. Your dog will learn self-control, so it remains cool and calm, no matter the situation. You will notice the difference right away!
The Anti-Cruelty Society is the oldest and largest animal welfare organization in Chicago. They are located in River North, only a few minutes from Tucker Pup's. They rescue and adopt out more than 4,000 dogs per year.
We are very proud that The Anti-Cruelty Society has selected Tucker Pup's as their official training partner. We provide classes, private lessons, socials, certification tests, and more at their facility, plus private lessons and turnkey training at peoples' homes. Our goal is to help people train their adopted dogs so they can reach their potential, live happy lives, and avoid being surrendered to a shelter.
The room is very large, and parking is free in their garage, located at Grand and Wells.
Didn't adopt your dog from the Anti-Cruelty Society? No problem - you can still use our training services at their facility.
Designed for Busy People
Our training program is designed with you in mind. We give you homework exercises in between sessions that should take 30 minutes per day. Can't spend the time on a particular day? That's OK. Just keep working on the other days.
We show you how to complete the exercises while in class or in private lessons. Our trainer has hand-selected them based on their simplicity and effectiveness. They get progressively more challenging throughout the program, which helps your dog learn them really well.
The best part is that you can incorporate these exercises into your daily routine. You can easily practice them when you go to feed your dog, take it on a walk, go down the elevator, go to sleep at night, and so forth.
Within a short period of time, your dog should be showing remarkable improvement, as long as you have put this time in and followed the trainer's advice.
Watch our free webinar about how the Tucker Pup's training program can transform your dog.
We do not use dominance methods, including shock collars, physical force, or raised voices. These methods create an environment based on fear, and the learning typically does not last very long. In addition, these methods don't create as loving of a relationship with your dog over its life, and can create great frustration for dog and owner alike.
In a positive reinforcement environment that is properly implemented, dogs actually want to make the right decisions, the learning is lifelong, and dog and owner are much happier.
We have been using positive reinforcement with great success for many years. Our techniques have been proven to work effectively, not only by us, but also by leading trainers across the world. These methods work well on all breeds, ages, and sizes of dogs.
We are raising the standard of care in dog training.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Positive reinforcement methods only - no dominance methods
- We offer private lessons at your home, group classes, and seminars
- We address a wide range of challenges, from obedience to behavioral issues such as leash reactivity
- Pre-paid private lesson packages at a discount
- Trainers who are professional and highly experienced
We enjoyed the training with David. He was always patient and positive and unstood our wiredhair fox terriers stubbornness.Tamara Hirsch
David is a great trainer! I emailed him a few times with questions and he was very responsive. The techniques he uses produce results. I would highly recommend him and Tucker Pups for training.Elissa White
David was very professional and extremely patient with our puppy. His tips were helpful and we are continuing with our at home training. I would highly recommend Tucker Pup's to all our friends!Steve and Lisa Pascua
Classes were great, we learned a lot of training tips and tools that we will be able to use outside of class. David is a great teacher and is very knowledgeable.Joe Wilush an Alex O'Connor