Train My Dog for Me in Chicago

Prep School

Reserve Now

  Back to Training Overview


With our Prep School option, you drop off your dog at our training facility three days per week for three weeks, and one of our trainers will work one-on-one with your dog to instill a full set of manners, listening, and self-control skills. This includes walking with a loose leash, coming immediately when called, listening the first time, staying in place when you walk away, leaving objects alone, and much more. We work both indoors and outdoors, depending on the weather, and spend a lot of time walking your dog in the neighborhood.

Once per week, you meet with your trainer at our training facility for a progress meeting, so you can learn how to keep using the exercises at home. We also answer your questions and make sure that we're all on the same page.

Prep School also includes daycare each day that your dog is here. This socialization is a crucial factor for a dog's behavior. In our daycare environment, we separate the dogs into groups based on size and temperament, we have the nicest outdoor area in Chicago, and staff monitor the dogs at all times.

By the end of the program, most dogs have made massive progress, and our customers are delighted that they have a great listener.

Space is limited, and reservations are required.


Freddie the Pit Bull Loved Prep School (0:46)

Benefits of the Prep School Format
Some people prefer Prep School, some prefer private lessons, and some prefer classes. Each has unique characteristics and advantages.

Prep School can be effective because our trainers work with your dog in a highly-focused manner, day after day, to create great listening. Learning new behaviors takes repetition, and we have the time and energy to put in these repetitions. Typically, when we work with a dog in this manner, it becomes very responsive to our methods, and we can train it very rapidly. Your dog can make massive strides in a three-week period. This rapid development is not as realistic in other training formats. Therefore, we're giving you a head start and overcoming frustrating behaviors that your dog may be exhibiting. Most of our Prep School customers don't have the time, energy, patience, or knowledge to make this progress in such a short period of time.

Susy is a fantastic. My dog Roscoe loves her. There has been a dramatic positive change since working with her in Prep School.

- Deena Carr

Pricing
Base price: $1,600

Included in your tuition:
  • Initial in-person consultation with a trainer at our facility, to review your goals, answer your questions, and discuss the plan.
  • Nine days of training at our facility (three days per week, on weekdays). You drop off and pick up your dog each day. Multiple sessions each day with a trainer.
  • Multiple daycare sessions per day while here for training. This helps with socialization, which is an important part of training.
  • Free trial daycare day for your dog, to get him acclimated to our play environment.
  • Equipment
    • Starter set of treats that we recommend
    • Treat pouch
    • Walking harness
    • Optional clicker
  • Three progress meetings with your trainer, once per weekend for one hour each, at our facility. We will show you what we've been working on and how to be consistent at home.
Payment Terms
Payment must be received in advance, in order to hold your reservation.

Payment options:
  • Credit card, including over the phone or in person
  • PayPal Credit, where you can pay over time, and pay no interest if paid in full within six months. Learn more  Open in New Tab
  • Cash or check
Behaviors We Address:

In Prep School, we try to implement the same curriculum and behaviors that we use in our classes.

Basic manners / listening:
  • Loose leash walking
  • Coming to you (recall)
  • Waiting for permission
  • Focus and attention
  • Leaving items alone
  • Staying in place
  • Jumping
  • Minor leash reactivity

Intermediate / advanced manners: (normally for dogs who have already gone through Prep School, and want to do another session
  • All of the behaviors mentioned above, plus:
  • Add distractions to all behaviors above
  • Off-leash heeling (walking at your side while staying very focused on you)
  • Go to a place, such as a crate or mat
  • Finish (end up at your side after coming to you)
  • Sit, down and stand from a distance
  • Emergency stop
  • Front command (come directly to my feet and give me eye contact, in the sit position)
  • Basic tricks

We CANNOT work on the following, as these are specific to your home. These would require private lessons.
  • Potty training
  • Dog-human aggression or reactivity
  • Separation anxiety
  • Barking
  • Major leash reactivity
  • Correcting off-leash play behaviors such as biting or playing roughly

If you are trying to resolve behaviors not mentioned above, just let us know. It's very possible that we can work it in for your dog.
What Sets Apart Our Prep School Experience?
You may find other businesses offering some version of in-house training, and may be wondering why you should choose ours. We can't comment on other businesses, but we feel confident that when you ask lots of questions of others you may be considering, the choice is clear.
  • Our Prep School program is run by our Senior Trainer, who has over 20 years of dog training experience, numerous industry-standard credentials, and leads a full team of trainers here. He's not someone who just calls himself a trainer.
  • We also have other staff members who help our Senior Trainer, so your dog would also gain exposure to other staff members, which is important for socialization purposes.
  • We only use positive reinforcement. No choke chains, shock collars, prong collars, or dominance methods. We are very transparent and have nothing to hide. The fact that some call it "Boot Camp" should be your first red flag that they may be using domination, which is not necessary and is very outdated.
  • Your dog does not need to stay overnight - in fact, most people drop off each day. For places that offer a "Boot Camp" where your dog is gone for 2-3 weeks (or longer) this can be very stressful and demoralizing for them. In our format, your dog will go home each night, building his relationship with you and sleeping in his own bed at night. They typically come bounding through the door the next day and are happy to be here.
  • Training is a major component of our business and we take it very seriously. We have the largest and most comprehensive dog training program in Chicago, including with classes, private lessons, puppy socials, and more. This is not something we just happen to do on the side.
  • Your dog would be in play for a portion of each day, for socialization purposes. The play includes our outdoor play area, which is the nicest in Chicago and includes grass meant for dogs, pools, and playground equipment.
  • We train indoors and outdoors, including on walks around the neighborhood. Our training facility is spacious and is great for indoor exercises, such as with the use of cones.
  • We have a very structured system, where exercises build on each other and get more and more difficult, so that by the end of the program, your dog should be able to perform a wide range of skills very reliably.
  • We include several retail items in our package, such as a walking harness and treat pouch.
  • You meet with your trainer once per week at our training facility for progress meetings, so you can stay consistent at home and have a deep understanding of what we are working on. In many other businesses, you only have a brief meeting at the end, if at all, and it can be very overwhelming to take it all in.
Will I Still Need to Train My Dog Afterwards?
We have successfully trained many dogs with our Prep School program, and have countless satisfied customers. We put them on the fast track and give them a head start, which can be especially helpful for people who don't have the time or whose dog may take a lot of extra work.

Having said that, you will need to continue using our methods after Prep School ends. This would be true of any training business, and would be true if you were to go to a class or any other training format. Anyone who tries to say that you won't have to do anything differently after going through their training program is simply not being honest or realistic with you. Even the most highly-trained championship dogs need consistency, motivation, and practice.

This does not mean you have to spend hours and hours with your dog each day after going through our program. It does mean you have to use the right commands, rewards, equipment, posture, and voice each day going forward in order to achieve the behaviors you want. This doesn't necessarily take any extra time, and you can weave them into your dog's daily routine, such as when you go on walks, feed your dog, go through doorways, and more.
Do You Guarantee That My Dog Will Learn All of the Behaviors?
By and large, most dogs graduate with significant improvement. However, we do not guarantee or promise that your dog will master all of the behaviors by going through Prep School or any other part of our training program. No trainer on Earth can make that claim for every dog - if they do, they are either not being honest, or they likely are using dominance methods that create a short-term effect based on fear (e.g., shock collars, choke chains, prong collars, yelling, physical correction, and more). With those methods, dogs aren't truly learning for the long haul - they are simply trying to avoid a negative consequence in the moment, and their behaviors normally get worse and worse over time. We do not believe in these methods, as they are very short-term, outdated, ineffective, and unnecessary. Many people who have tried them with a different trainer end up coming to us for help.

On the contrary, we instill behaviors into your dog through the use of positive reinforcement and repetitions. We then show you how to keep achieving these behaviors, in meetings during the program and once the program is finished. This will still require proper techniques on your behalf. If you have questions after the program ends, we can help answer them. Every dog is different in how they respond. Many show remarkable improvement immediately, and some may take longer before their behavior is changed in every category. This progress can be affected by their background, socialization, genetics, medical conditions, anxiety level, lack of grooming, and more.
Locations:
We work both indoors and outdoors (weather permitting). Our primary indoor space is at our Training Center at 1044 W Fulton Market Avenue, right around the corner from our main facility.


Tucker Pup's Training Center
1044 W Fulton Street
Chicago, IL 60607

This is where we work on exercises indoors.


Tucker Pup's Pet Resort
219 N Carpenter Street
Chicago, IL 60607

This is where you will drop off your dog, and where we have daycare and the boarding suites.
Requirements:
  • At least three months old
  • All vaccinations up-to-date, including canine influenza, bordatella, distemper, and parvovirus. Rabies is required for dogs 7 months and older
  • Spayed / neutered if 7 months or older
  • Not reactive towards people
  • No crate / kennel aggression or reactivity
  • Able to be in play with other dogs
  • No contagious conditions, including but not limited to giardia and coughing
  • Sign our Liability Waiver and Prep School Agreement
Need Transportation?
Tucker Pup's does not provide transportation, but can put you in touch with transportation companies. You can also schedule rides with companies like Uber and Lyft - you just need to tell them you are bringing your dog.
Drop-off and Pickup Times
If you are dropping off your dog each day, please arrive between 6:45am and 10am and pick up between 4pm and 7pm.
What if my Dog isn't Learning, is Too Anxious, etc.?
We try to give dogs ample time to adjust. After two days of working with your dog, we should have a strong sense of whether the training is working well. We are very honest, and if it seems like it's just not working out, we will call and tell you. If we jointly decide to stop, we would prorate your remaining amount as a refund or credit. After two days, if your dog is responding well to the training, Prep School is non-refundable, because by giving you a space, we took it away from someone else.
What if I Can't Make it on a Particular Day?
You may be able to work out a customized schedule with the trainer, if done in advance. If you simply didn't show up, or cancelled with less than one week advance notice, we would still consider the day as used, because by giving you a space, we took one away from someone else.
What if I Need to Keep My Dog There for a Few Nights?
If you need your dog to stay here on certain nights, that is a possibility. You can mix and match which days you drop off, and which days your dog will stay with us overnight. It's very flexible. You just pay the extra fee for the overnight option at the end of the program, based on how many nights your dog actually stayed here. The price for staying overnight is $60 extra per night.
What's the Difference Between Prep School and 'Stay and Train?'
Even though we train your dog in both 'Prep School' and 'Stay and Train,' each has unique characteristics.


Prep School:
  • More defined curriculum and structure, with a minimum of 9 training sessions.
  • Pay in advance.
  • Multiple private sessions included, at our training facility.
  • Treats and equipment included.


Stay and Train:
  • We work on a few behaviors, but not a full curriculum like in Prep School.
  • Less training time per day than Prep School.
  • Pay when you check out.
  • If your dog is boarding with us, there is a minimum of three training days. If here for daycare, we can train just on that day. For Prep School, there is a minimum of nine training days.
  • Private session available at our training facility, after your boarding stay, in order to review what we worked on. This is at a reduced rate from our normal private lesson fee.
  • Treats and equipment sold separately.
Health Warranty Program
Dogs in Prep School are covered under the same terms and conditions of our Health Warranty Program as dogs in daycare and boarding.