Photo by:  Bonnie Benton


Pat Rattray

Training Director

My dream has been to save rescue dogs and give them the life they deserve. I have been doing boxer rescue for 25 years. For people that do rescue we are always looking for things that will work, and our program has done that. As co-author of "Adopting a Dog? Start off right with ... A Sound Beginning", we have given people an easy to follow, step by step guide so those first few critical weeks after adoption would be successful.

My training career began when I got my first boxer and quickly began looking for positive ways to work with my dog. I discovered that the methods used by many facilities at that time were based on punishment and I knew this was unfair for the dog. I knew the best way to train would be to establish trust and have a consistent approach so my dog knew what was expected of him. Force-free training is the key to success. Since 1991 I have been helping people find positive solutions for training problems that promote A Sound Beginning.

The Path to Success training program is now taking our book one step further by being able to provide adoptive pet parents immediate help at any given time for the life of their dog.

  • On staff since 2002 with Dr. John Ciribassi, a board certified veterinary behaviorist, at Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants, helping clients understand how to implement the treatment plan created for them.
  • Certified by Purdue University in the Principles and Techniques of Dog Behavior Modification under the direction of Dr Andrew Luescher, a board certified veterinary behaviorist.
  • Member APDT: Association of Professional Dog Trainers
  • Behavioral advisor and consultant for Hightails Hideaway Dog Day Care and Training, West Chicago, Il.



Friendly Support

We're here to help. Our experienced trainers guide you through every step of the process as you learn how to build a lifetime relationship with your dog based on trust and understanding. 

Quick Start Package

Would you like to know more about your dog? Would you like to prevent mistakes and create a positive training plan? Check out our Intro to Training (Virtual) class for free.

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In-Home Training

For those who prefer personalized training in the comfort of your home, we offer several options with one of our experienced behavioral trainers using only humane, science-based methods.

Modular Classes

Our classes are modular so that you can choose a location (throughout Chicagoloand) and time that best suits your schedule each week. View our calendar for upcoming sessions.