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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)

Dog Training Programs:

Group Classes

Training Evaluations

Private Training

Lodge and Learn

Training Evaluations

You know that your dog would benefit from training but not sure where to start? Schedule an evaluation today!

Training evaluations take place at our facility,  After gathering some background information about your dog in an initial phone call and hearing your training goals and discussing fees, we will set up a date. You may be asked to complete a questionnaire as well.   In some cases, we will ask that you drop the dog off with us.  Other times, we'll want the owner(s) to be a part of the evaluation.  During the visit we get to know your dog and their behavior so we can let you know what training path is the right one for you!

Private Training

Our private sessions can take place at our facility, your home or out and about. We can help you with any training goals you have, from basic behaviors such as sit, stay, and a solid recall to advanced off-leash work, dog sports, and test prep for therapy work or Canine Good Citizen.

We also offer training for any problem behaviors you are experiencing with your dog. We can train great leash manners, treat aggression towards dogs or humans, show your dog how to greet people politely without jumping up and much more. Drop-off training is also available to boost your dog's training progress when you are short on time. You bring them to our facility and they get to spend some quality time with our trainers.

Lodge & Learn    NOTE:  Lodge & Learn is not available the weeks of Spring Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years

Our in-residence Lodge and Learn program is the ideal program to kick-start your new dog’s behavior to become a well- behaved family member with manners you can be proud of! It is also a great program to transform your dog's behavior from average to awesome!

The training curriculum focuses on basic behaviors such as sit, stay, come, but will also address any problem behaviors your dog is exhibiting such as jumping on guests or pulling on the leash. In our initial consult we talk in detail about your training goals and get to know you and your dog. The training program can be completely tailored to your dog and encompass any behaviors you wish.

Our Lodge and Learn program includes the following:

  • Initial consult by phone and via questionnaire assessing your dog’s behavior and your training goals
  • Lodging at our facility
  • Multiple training sessions each day
  • Socialization & Exercise
  • Play time either one-on-one with staff or in our day care group with other dogs
  • Follow up private session(s) with your family to teach you what your dog has learned during their stay and how to maintain the behavior at home

The length of our program is flexible and we can make recommendations depending on your training goals. We will usually recommend a stay of three weeks to train our full basic obedience curriculum which  includes behaviors such as sit, down, touch, targeting, go to bed, drop it, leave it, come, leash walking, find it, door and visitor manners.

It is our responsibility to improve your dog’s manners and train new behaviors, but it is important that pet parents understand their responsibility for maintaining good behavior at home by following our training guidelines and benevolent leadership techniques. This is why your education in canine behavior and training is so important to us.

Our Training Methods

Our training programs are all positive reinforcement based. Our training focuses on rewarding your dogs for good behavior, motivating them to want to cooperate with you and building a great relationship between you and your dog. There is no better way to create and strengthen a relationship with an animal than through training! Using rewards however does not mean that our dogs get to do whatever they want. They still need rules to live by and we teach you how to set boundaries and communicate these rules to your dog so you are respected as their benevolent leader.

Learn about our Group Dog Training Classes

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