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Shag Bark Pet Retreat
  • “Thanks to Brian for helping teach an old dog new tricks”

    – Katie Leep (Maxine — Dog)
  • “We continue to be very impressed with all services”

    – Ann Barta (Stanely — Dog)
  • “We Loved coming here for training. Very relaxed atmosphere and felt very comfortable. Brian has a good sense of humor!”

    – Tom and Victoria Coberly (Stella — Dog)
  • “We’ve been coming here for boarding and grooming since Brian took over, and my sheltie LOVES it! She wags her way in the door, greets everyone, and has a fabulous time and looks gorgeous!”

    – Cheryl Silva ( Katy — Dog)
  • “We've been bringing our dogs here for over 20 years. Love this place.”

    – Katie Maki (Mickey — Dog)
  • “Grooming can be stressful for our old dog Tara. She had a great time and looked wonderful!”

    – Sarah Koth (Tara — Dog)
  • “My dog Riggs loves to come here, it's his second home. I know when I drop him off he's always well taken care of and loved.”

    – Karen Barrett (Riggs — Dog)
  • “We have peace of mind bringing Mac here, knowing he is well cared for and has fun. He knows when we turn onto Grass Lake Rd. where we are heading and can't wait to get there. Amazing!”

    – Nancy Miller (Mac — Dog)
  • “So Friendly and accommodating! Refer everyone I know to come here. You're the best! ”

    – Debbie Hart (Molly — Dog)
  • “The staff really love the dogs and seem to know them all personally, my dog loves it here.”

    – Raymond Springer (Jak — Dog)
  • “Zoe loves her friends at Shag Bark. All we need to do is mention “Shag Bark’ or your “Favorite place’ and she is at the garage door ready to go. We can't even talk about Shag Bark unless she is going right then!”

    – Suzie Teal (Zoey — Dog)
  • “Shelby Loves coming here! Thanks for treating her so wonderfully. I'm so thankful for doggie daycare, to let out Shelb's extra energy and let her play with all her friends!”

    – Debbie Prather (Shelby — Dog)
  • “I love that we found a place that treats our baby Madori like the princess she is. Cat's can have a rough adjustment period when you change their routine, but Madori LOVED the vacation. It makes going away so much easier when I know she is getting as spoiled as she would at home, Thanks guys!”

    – Kathleen Burman (Madori — Cat)
  • “I think Rocky likes it here more than home. He never wants to leave. I know he is in good hands at Shag Bark”

    – Joan Richardson (Rocky — Cat)
  • “Awesome Place! You take great care of our Daisy!”

    – Ronald Ludwig (Daisy — Dog)
  • “Very nice staff. I feel that Fritzy is being well taken care of. Thank you!”

    – Heike Bates (Fritzy — Dog)
  • “Brian is the dog whisper he is so great with the dogs!”

    – Sandy Mosak (Max — Dog)
  • “I hadn't been able to break through with any training with Dudley until this class. He wouldn't sit, come, stay, down or heel. Now he does thank you. You have been most helpful.”

    – Carol Malick (Dudley — Dog)
  • “Brian is fantastic with Mia, she has learned so much in the past year from him.”

    – Laura Goecke (Mia — Dog)



"This place has been around forever. Now that I am a customer, I can see why. First of all, the lady that took my reservations (Amy) was extremely friendly and patient. Like a lot of people, I 'm pretty neurotic about leaving my dogs in the care of strangers. Amy was incredibly patient and accommodating with all my ridiculous questions. the other staff that I met during drop off and pick up were also very friendly and über professional. Futhermore, the facility is cleaner than one of the hotels that I stayed in during my vacation. Not coincidentally, my dogs were returned to me smelling just as clean as they were the day I dropped them off. I have never had that happen with ANY boarding facility. FYI- it is 103 miles round-trip for me to take my dogs here, and it is worth every minute/mile to do so. I will never take my dogs anywhere else. Customer for life.

-BJ K. 7/30/2013

"We've been taking our dogs to Shag Bark and they LOVE it!! We never have to worry about their care and the staff is incredibly nice! Our dogs come home happy (and exhausted).

- Annie G 3/29/2014

We have boarded our boxer, Roxie, at Shag Bark many times over the past few years. We love getting the detailed reports back on how she behaved while she stayed at the kennel. We also love the individual attention that Roxie gets during her stay. She is always happy to be dropped there and always happy, but exhausted, when we pick her up.

-Becky W. 3/2014

"My Chocolate Lab, Coach, has been going to Shag Bark for years. The staff greets him with excitement when he comes in and they always accommodate us when we need some last-minute spa services. Most importantly he gets super excited when we pull in to the parking lot and he can't wait to get inside. He always comes home tired and with a fun report card. If he loves it then so do I! I 'm a little concerned that he likes it more than being at home!

- Dave M 4/12/2014

"We regularly board our two dogs Maddie and Midnight at Shag Bark and the staff is absolutely wonderful. This is the best place we have found in Lake County to board our dogs."

-Paul D. 4/5/2014

"We have been with Shag Bark Pet Retreat for over 20 years! Our canines have goon through training, grooming and daycare. The entire staff are truly the most caring, wonderful, and fun people I have ever dealt with it shows in the happiness of our Boxer Boys, All we have to say is "you want to go to Shag Bark and play today", they are at the door jumping, wiggle butts, and ready to go. That just proves to me how well they are treated each and everyday they go. I would definitely recommend Shag Bark to any of my Dog Loving owners! Thank you to the entire Staff for sharing your love and compassion you give our boys, and our family."

Mariska M. 4/3/2014

"We have an eleven year old, chocolate lab, Timber who is our only "child". Unfortunately Timber is in the end stage of life and therefore has many health related issues the big ones being she is blind, diabetic, and arthritic. I was very apprehensive to take a week long vacation because of the amount of medications and times she needs to eat her food etc.. We searched high and low and found Shag Bark. We chose Shag Bark because the owners live on the property, Berenice runs the overnight and because of the care they give each doggie that comes through all the pictures. That was another huge plus, that they post pictures on Facebook so we could check on her while we were gone. Boarding Timber with Shag Bark was the best decision. The first night she was having problems eating, the owners came and checked on her and helped out. They gave her the time and attention necessary for a blind old lady. :)We come home relaxed nad happy to know they cared for her as if were their own child. We have continued to use Shag Bark for her boarding needs and if we were ever to have a puppy, I would for sure use them for their day care services too. Highly, highly recommend.

-Maureen B. 7/16/2013

"My seven pound dog is a nervous dog with a few behavioral issues- mostly stemming from fear and nervousness. She has gone to several doggy day cares in her day, so I can tell a good one from an okay one. Shag Bark Pet Retreat and Spa is certainly one of the best ones she has ever been to! On her first day, the day care staff (I wish I could remember her name- she was a saint!) greeted my dog and immediately sat on the floor and gave my dog a few treats to get my dog to come over to her. This was very different than the normal rushed-hand-your-dog-off and-leave routine I was used to. I called mid day to check up on my pup and they seemed pleased to take a few minutes out of their busy day to update me on how she transitioned to the daycare group (it went great-and there are pictures online to prove it!!) When I came to pick her up (they had no idea what time I was actually coming) one of the day care staff was carrying my dog around introducing her to new staff so she could meet them one on one. I couldn't have been happier to see the individual attention and the thoughtfulness the staff were displaying. There are lots of good day cares, but this one is great. The staff obviously communicated to each other that my dog is new and she prefers to meet new people slowly and quietly and followed through with making my dog comfortable even when I wasn't there! Thank you Shag Bark! I would highly recommend this place and I will be taking my dog back there frequently!

-Rachel B 9/11/2013

"My dog Wally has been attending daycare at Shag Bark since January 2013.  He comes home exhausted each and every time he visits. We love seeing the pictures of Wally on Facebook, as well as the activities hosted often.  Recently we boarded Wally for a long weekend.  He had a small hot spot on his leg.  As a result we taped his leg prior to his arrival.  During his stay, he was able to remove the tape.  Miss Heather noticed immediately and kindly re-taped his leg.  The love they show my dog at Shag Bark makes me feel like it is a second home for him.  My wife and I rest easy when he is under their care. I strongly recommend Shag Bark for all your pet needs."

-Robert Hafer 12/2013 (Wally-Dog)

"We take our dog Lola to Shagbark for obedience classes, daycare, grooming and lodging. We have been extremely satisfied with all aspects of the facility.  Lola loves going there and we literally have to drag her out at the end of her stay as she doesn't want to leave.  They are always doing fun activities for their pet guests and our dog is thoroughly exercised and tired when we pick her up.  We feel comfortable leaving her knowing she enjoys it and that the staff will tend to her as if she was their own.  WE also love how the staff posts pictures and updates on Facebook so while we are away we can still see what she is up to.  I highly recommend them!!!" 

-Sarah Mathias 8/2013 (Lola-Dog)

"Shag Bark has become our dog "Zoe's" second home.  We have gone there for 3(+) years, ever since she first came home to us (at age 6wks)! We trust and know they care and love Zoe as if she were their child.  We have had excellent care from all the staff and exceptional care at all times.  We can't ever say "Shag Bark" or "your favorite place!" without Zoe thinking she is going there right now, we have to use code, or she is at the door, tail wagging and ready to jump into the car.  I recommend them to any and everyone I talk to, this is a precious gem, and we are so lucky it is almost in our backyard:)"

-Suzie Teal 7/2013 (Zoe-Dog)

"We are boarding clients at Shag Bark.  Our Jamie LOVES it there! They are so wonderful with the add on's to make your pet feel at home and they take very good care of our girl. We appreciate the one on one time they give our girl and the report card we get whenever we pick up so we know she was a perfect lady! Finally their grooming is wonderful too! Nothing better than getting your dog the full spa treatment prior to bringing her home.  Thanks Shag Bark!  We'll be back and will always recommend your services!"

-Lesley Duffy 9/2013 (Jamie-Dog)

"I have been bringing my dog here for years.  What a wonderful group of people who work here.  My dog is happy to be at Shag Bark, and comes home a happy girl.  so glad I found a place I am comfortable leaving my dog at.  I certainly recommend it to any person looking for a place to board their pet."

-Amy Jerome 9/2013 (Issy-Dog)

"Shag Bark Pet Spa & Kennel has been a god-send to us. Louis, Einstein and Ozzie are 3 very spoiled dogs (walks in the park every day with other canine friends, premium food, beds on each floor of the house, and a large backyard to play in). So when the time comes for the rest of the household to travel, our boys head to Shag Bark, and they’re always excited to go. During their stays they’re part of the daycare program (and several of their dog park friends have come to visit them here); they eat their same food; and they all get to spend the day together, the same as they would at home. Brian, Shannon and the SBPS & K team always remember and respond to the quirks of each one and are quick to share their love and affection with them. We’re looking forward to the daycare video footage so we can check in on them while we’re away; but judging how tired they are when they get home and how anxious they are to return again, we’re already sure they are having a great time."

–The Newbys (Louis, Einstein and Ozzie — Dogs)

"I have a lifetime of experience with dogs in our family. Vacations, Holidays and socialization for our pets was a challenge. About two years ago, I found Shag Bark and my challenges have become opportunities! This is the only dog boarding facility I've come across that is spotless, well-managed by an attentive staff and positive from the moment you walk in. It is also the only facility where my dog comes home in same frame of mind as when I dropped him off, whether it be a day or a week. Everyone I run into, I highly recommend Shag Bark!"

–Angie Hebeda (Chip — Dog)

"It isn’t everyday that a service exceeds your expectations. I feel very strongly about recommending the services provided by Shag Bark Pet Spa and Kennel. Brian as an employer has managed to recruit and retain some of the most customer oriented individuals. The service they provide to both the pet and owner is incredible.

Dog Training
Brian is the most experienced trainer I have ever met. Under his guidance my pup and I have advanced from puppy class through intermediate. My pup enjoyed the dog training classes so much that I had a hard time breaking her from the routine. I was amazed the first time I came home and was greeted by a calm sitting puppy. She and I have bonded in such a special way. She is in her glory running the courses.

Shannon is magical. She takes care of each animal as if it were her own. My ladies came home smelling wonderful and relaxed. Even just getting their nails trimmed is a pleasant experience.

Doggie Daycare
Think what you may about this service. I was skeptical at first. What I can say is that my ladies are excited to go and come home exhausted. That is such a big help for me when I’m having one of those days at the office. If I know I will be running late because of meetings the ladies go to daycare and all three of us are happy in the evening.

This is the highest compliment I can give Shag Bark. I have NEVER boarded my dogs. I have always had a sitting service that came into the house. However, I knew they enjoyed daycare so much that I left them with Shag Bark while I went on vacation. One of my dogs required medication and they kept her on schedule. When I picked them up they weren’t pouting. They had fun and I did not worry.

I cannot say enough good things about Brian and his staff. Shag Bark is an exceptional place."

–Shawn Holt (Greta and Lacy — Dogs)

"Thanks so much for all of your helpful advice for Brody. We really appreciate you taking the time with us and with him. Special thanks to the crew at Shag Bark for making the dog grooming experience extra special. Brody still smells great and it's been a few weeks since our visit.

Thank you again for everything."

–Jay and Tina Strucel (Brody — Dog)

"Shag Bark made our dreams come true.

About seven years ago we saw a special on TV showing therapy dogs and fell in love with the spinone italiano dogs on the spot. We searched on line for a puppy and drove to Indiana to pick him up. We named him Mac (short for Macaroni) and took him proudly to puppy kindergarten. He passed his class but he remained a mystery to us. We signed up and took 4-6 classes after that with 3 other dog trainers. They were well intentioned but we could not begin to think how this exuberant puppy would ever provide comfort to ailing humans. We had given up hope of being able to achieve our dream of a therapy dog.

Then our neighbor suggested we take him to Shag Bark. From the moment we entered the building we could see that it was different. The friendly staff and immaculate environment put Mac right at ease. They showed us techniques that yielded positive results right from the first session. They helped us step by step begin to understand and communicate clearly and effectively with Mac so that he began to respond with good behavior. They were patient with us and helped us pass Mac’s qualification for therapy dog with flying colors. They even helped us find a volunteer position with Advocate Condell Hospice. Mac also volunteers at One Hope United where he has made friends with 7 of the boys aged 13-17. Mac has been volunteering for about 3 years.

When we have to leave town and can’t take Mac with us, we leave him with Shag Bark. When I drive into the driveway Mac lights up and wags so hard the car actually shakes. He is treated like a rock star there and especially enjoys doggie day care. He even gets a bath before he comes home. Once he gets home, he spends that first day catching up on the sleep he missed playing with the other dogs. Thanks to Shag Bark we have a healthy, happy therapy dog who provides so much joy to so many."

–Nancy Miller (Mac — Dog)

"Shag Bark Doggie Day Care is the perfect place for my three dogs. They are very excited to go there every morning and wonderfully worn out when I pick them up in the evening. Knowing they are being cared for by professional, caring people gives me peace of mind as well. Instead of lying around all day at home, they get to play and socialize with other dogs in a supervised setting and get plenty of fresh air and attention.

I have to trust the people who take care of my four-legged family members and at Shag Bark, I’ve found their home away from home!"

–Pat Gottman (Sulli, Bandit & Boo — Dogs)



Come experience exceptional pet care

We are conveniently located within 10 miles of the following North Eastern Illinois and South Eastern Wisconsin Cities.

  • Antioch
  • Lake Villa
  • Lindenhurst
  • Round Lake
  • Fox Lake
  • Spring Grove
  • Grayslake
  • Gurnee
  • Mundelein
  • Libertyville
  • Great Lakes
  • Zion
  • Waukegan
  • Bristol
  • Genoa City
  • Kenosha
  • Paddock Lake
  • Pleasant Prairie
  • Salem
  • Trevor
  • Twin Lakes