Prep SchoolReserve Now
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.
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.
If we keep your dog overnight, the additional price is $40 per night.
There would be three private sessions, which would take place at your home if you live within our radius. If you live outside our radius, you would need to work out a plan with the trainer to meet, such as at Tucker Pup's or at a park. The first private session would be after the first three days, the second after the next three days, and the third would be at the end.
If we keep your dog overnight, the additional price is $40 per night.
There would be six private sessions, which would take place at your home, if you live within our radius. If you live outside our radius, you would need to work out a plan with the trainer to meet, such as at Tucker Pup's or at a park. The private sessions would take place after each three-day period.
- Initial in-person consultation with the trainer
- Multiple training sessions each day
- Starter set of treats that we recommend
- Treat pouch
- Optional clicker
- Walking harness
- Multiple play sessions per day, with dogs here for daycare and boarding
- Weekly progress meetings with your trainer
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
- Counter surfing
- Minor leash reactivity
Intermediate / advanced manners: (normally for dogs in our 24-session program)
- 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
- 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.
Having said that, 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 can make that claim - 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, fear, 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 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, then show you how to keep reinforcing them with your dog, 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. By and large, most dogs graduate with significant improvement.
Bottom line: there is no such thing as simply having someone else train your dog, then for the rest of its life you don't have to do anything differently. Even the most highly-trained dogs still need practice to keep up their game. For long-term success, the most important factor in the equation is YOU, and how you interact with your dog on a daily basis using our methods, which are fun, easy, and proven.
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.
Tucker Pup's Training Center
1044 W Fulton Street
Chicago, IL 60607
This is where we work on exercises indoors.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- We work on a few behaviors, but not a full curriculum like in Prep School.
- Less training time per day than Prep School.
- No in-home private sessions.
- 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 ten training days.
- Private session available at our training facility in order to review what we worked on, at a reduced rate from our normal private lesson fee
We are way more than satisfied with Prep School! Winnie is a completely different dog in every single aspect. Starting with the training, she has learned so many new things that make our every day lives so much easier. Prep school was the perfect option to get her trained fast since we both worked all day from home and weren’t able to focus as much time on training as we wanted to. David, Jessie and Jordan were absolutely wonderful to work with and genuinely cared and loved for Winnie way more than I could’ve asked for.
We started bringing her to Tucker Pup's when she was a little puppy which naturally made me nervous, but I am so glad we did. Moving onto the daycare portion of Prep School, wow! This made the whole experience even better. All the handlers were absolutely awesome! Winnie was very timid at first and did not take to other dogs like we wanted her to. She would stand off in the corner and keep to her own... 3 days in she started to come out of her shell and here we are now, she LOVES to play with any and all dogs! She is the sweetest, most well-behaved dog, and we have Tucker Pup's to thank for that. I can’t say enough good things! We will continue to bring Winnie back for daycare every once in a while because she loves it so much. I don’t think we will ever feel comfortable bringing her anywhere else for training or daycare.
Thank you for all that you do, Tucker Pup's!
- Nicole Morin