Help us get our money's worth for dog training classes in Chicago!
November 4, 2010 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Where's the best place (in Chicago) to take our adopted dog for training classes?

We adopted a dog over the weekend. Yay! She's lovable! And adorable! And fun! And mostly well-behaved! But she could use some obedience training.

Wrigley's a 10-month-old hound mix. The only thing we know about her history is that she was surrendered to the shelter because her owners moved. She seems smart and is motivated by treats. She's already learned her new name, can potty on command 90% of the time, will sit on command about 3/4 of the time, and is responding well to being crated while we're away.

She does pull at her leash when we walk, but she's definitely got some beagle or other scent-hound in her, as she's ruled by her nose. She jumps a bit when she's super-excited, but otherwise she's fairly well-socialized with new people and dogs. No real aggressive tendencies that we've seen, except for one growly-nippy incident when we woke her to get her out of our bed. Obviously that's unacceptable, but the incident hasn't been repeated.

Even though her training is going well, we're sure that she could benefit from obedience training. I've been reading books, and feel like we're doing okay, but my husband and I are first-time dog owners, so I'm sure there are things for us to learn from a class as well.

We'd like to get her started as soon as we can, but aren't really sure where to go. The local Petco offers classes at a reasonable price, but I'm not sure if the classes are any good. I've found a few places with positive reviews on Yelp, but their classes seem to be at least twice the cost of the Petco ones. The shelter she came from will offer us a discount on their classes, but their next round of classes doesn't start until January, and we think we'd like to start sooner.

So now, to the real question: Are the basic obedience classes at big box pet stores like Petco a waste of money? Or are the more expensive classes from actual dog training schools the rip-off? Any Chicago folks have recommendations for quality dog training classes that are worth the time and money? We're in Old Town, but would travel for the right class, including venturing out into the suburbs.
posted by terilou to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We were quite happy with the Dog Obedience Group. Very compassionate training methodology, very nice people running it.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:03 PM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I highly recommend Janice Triptow. She's smart, serious, and very caring with both people and dogs. I think her classes are pretty convenient to you, too.
posted by walla at 2:35 PM on November 4, 2010

Oh, and congrats on your new addition to the family!
posted by walla at 2:41 PM on November 4, 2010

Karen Pryor's awesome ClickerExpo is going to be in Chicago in March. I would be there in a Chicago nanosecond if I lived in your area.
posted by bearwife at 3:03 PM on November 4, 2010

I don't have any Chicago-specific advice, but look for an Obedience Club in your area. These clubs are usually geared towards AKC sanctioned obedience competition, and almost always offer classes to the general public. In my city, they even offer a big discount for adopted dogs.
posted by tryniti at 4:27 PM on November 4, 2010

My favorite Chicago trainer is Jane Masterson of Canis Sapiens in Hyde Park.
posted by catrae at 6:21 PM on November 4, 2010

We loved working with Brandi Barker (yes, really her name) of Barker Behavior. Our dog was a bit of a special snowflake and needed some extra attention, and Brandi came out to our place for a couple of one on one sessions. She also offers regular classes.
posted by zooropa at 4:30 AM on November 5, 2010

« Older How can I get freelance programming work?   |   Best backup for a mac? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.