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Animal Care Center of Downers Grove

Small white dog running through grass with an orange chew toy in its mouth

Pet Obedience Training

At Animal Care Center of Downers Grove, we offer obedience training for both puppies and adult dogs in a safe, positive environment where owners can spend quality time with their pets.

You can contact us or email our instructor Eve Zurawski directly at [email protected].

Our Puppy Classes

Every puppy needs a healthy start. While their medical needs will always take priority, their social and behavioral needs are important too. Our puppy classes are geared towards helping puppies develop healthy social skills with other dogs and people. They also offer the opportunity for you to train your puppy in basic commands and reduce unruly behaviors.

Our puppy classes include:

  • A fun, safe, and informal environment for puppies to learn and socialize

  • Positive Reinforcement (+R) training using treats and praise

  • Introducing puppies to new things and exercises to build confidence

  • Puppy playtime and learning to help them interact appropriately with other pups

  • Lessons on the best ways to raise your puppy and setting up your home for success

  • Training tips for common problems such as nipping/biting, crate training, housebreaking, jumping, hyperactivity, chewing, barking, and more


We welcome puppies between 8 weeks and 6 months of age. Owners must bring proof that their puppies have at least received their first set of vaccinations and a negative fecal test before their first class.

Puppy I

Week 1

Obedience: Leave It, Sit-Stay 

Activities: Follow the Leader 

Topics: Pack Leader-No Free Lunch 

Pup-Tips: Jump/Dig/Chew

Week 2

Obedience: Sit-Wait, Down 

Activities: Puppy Playtime 

Topics: Grooming & Handling 

Pup-Tips: Biting/Nipping

Week 3

Obedience: Leash Walking 1 

Activities: Fun Games/Toys 

Topics: Exercise & Collars/Leashes 

Pup-Tips: Hyperactive Pup

Puppy II

Week 1

Obedience: Leave It, Sit-Stay 

Activities: Follow the Leader 

Topics: Pack Leader-No Free Lunch 

Pup-Tips: Jump/Dig/Chew

Week 2

Obedience: Leash Walking 2 

Activities: Reliable Recalls 

Topics: House Manners & More 

Pup-Tips: Leash Pulling

Week 3

Obedience: Down-Stay 

Activities: Obstacle Course 

Topics: An Ounce of Prevention 

Pup-Tips: Teenage Pups

Advanced Puppy Class (Puppy III)

Week 1

Obedience: Proofing the Sit, Leash Walking 

Topics: Dogzilla!, Keeping Your Teen Pup Under Control

Week 2

Obedience: Reliable Recalls, Leave It 

Topics: Outdoor Training, Those Pesky Squirrels!

Week 3

Obedience: Stay Means Stay, Heeling 

Topics: Dog Play & Dog Parks -- Reading Canine Body Language

Week 4

Obedience: Distractions: Sit, Stay, Come 

Topics: Introduction to Off-Leash Training & Using Hand Signals

Week 5

Obedience: Distractions: Leash Walking 

Topics: More House Manners & Behavior Issues

Week 6

Obedience: Putting it All Together! 

Topics: Graduation -- A Walk in the Park!

Obedience Training for Adult Dogs

Whether you need to improve certain behaviors or would like to teach your dog new commands, our classes provide the perfect opportunity.

These group classes include:

  • Treat/reward-based training that makes learning fun for your dog

  • Homework and informative handouts to help you stay on track

  • A casual training environment so you and your pet can have a comfortable, enjoyable experience

  • Small class sizes for optimal learning (4-5 dogs maximum)

  • A certified instructor, Eve Zurawski, who has 15+ years of experience

Beginner Obedience 1

Learn how to teach your dog the basic obedience cues using positive reinforcement and get solid and reliable behaviors. Plus, it's fun for both you and your dog!

Week 1

Obedience: Sit, Watch Me, Wait, Come  

Topics: How to train your dog to listen to you

Week 2

Obedience: Leash Walking 1, Leave It 

Topics: Why use treats to train your dog?

Week 3

Obedience: Leash Walking 2, Down 

Topics: Exercises Your Dog Can't Resist, Dog Socialization

Week 4

Obedience: Leash Walking 3, Stay 

Topics: Safety, Common Behavior Issues, Handling, Grooming

Week 5

Obedience: Reliable Recalls, Review of Skills 

Topics: Using Hand Signals and Body Language

Week 6

Obedience: A Walk in the Park! 

Topics: Graduation

IIIntermediate Obedience 2

Continue learning and keep your dog under control in all situations. Proof basic skills and teach your dog how to listen to you with distractions around and in different situations. Focus on house manners.

Week 1

Obedience: Proofing the Basics Skills 

Topics: How to Add Distractions to Your Training

Week 2

Obedience: Heeling 1, Moving Leave It  

Topics: Wean Off Treats: The Power of Intermittent +R

Week 3

Obedience: Heeling 2, Reliable Recalls 

Topics: Dog Play & Dog Parks - Canine Body Language

Week 4

Obedience: Sit/Stay, Down/Stay, Stop! 

Topics: Pack Leadership, Dog Bites, Emergencies

Week 5

Obedience: House Manners, Review Skills 

Topics: Obedience Skills in Everyday Situations

Week 6

Obedience: Introduction to Rally Obedience 

Topics: Graduation

Advanced Obedience 3

More distraction work. Off-leash training, reliable calls, long duration stays with distractions, working your dog in public places, teaching, and prep for therapy dogs, learning tricks and preparing for competition.

Week 1

Obedience: 15-30 Minute Stays

Week 2

Obedience: Outdoor Recalls

Week 3

Obedience:  Walk Anywhere

Week 4

Obedience: Show-off Tricks

Week 5

Obedience: Best Manners

Week 6

Obedience: Graduation

Crash-Course Obedience

If you are unable to commit to our regularly-scheduled 6-week classes, we offer a "Crash Course" in Obedience. You get everything we offer in our obedience classes but at the convenience of your schedule in 3 private lessons. You will work 1-on-1 with our professional trainer and learn or tune up the basic commands such as sit, down, come, stay, and leave it. We can also help you address common behavior problems.

Board & Train

Leave the training up to us! Drop your dog off for daycare, day or overnight boarding and let us know what you would like your dog to learn. Not limited to training! Can include exercising your pup, interactive play, massage or whatever you think your dog would enjoy. Dogs who get plenty of physical and mental stimulation do better when staying away from home. Treat your dog to a quality stay!

Private Lessons

Customized Training Plans for specific behavioral issues you are having with your dog. Work one-on-one privately with our trainer to resolve some of the more challenging problems such as separation anxiety, shyness, fear-aggression, resource guarding, hyperexcitability, growling, marking, etc. to help your dog become a better-adjusted member of your family and household. You will get a detailed management plan as well as step-by-step instructions and email follow-ups to ensure your success with resolving the issues.

Lesson 1

Obedience: Sit, Wait, Come 

Topics: How to Train Your Dog to Listen to You

Lesson 2

Obedience: Leave It, Down 

Topics: Be a Better Pack Leader, Canine Body Language

Lesson 3

Obedience: Leash-walk, Stay 

Topics: Exercises Dogs Love, Safety, Impulse Control