A Sound Beginning Dog Training with Julie Classes
at Wheeling Animal Clinic and Pet Resort

ORANGE Class Focus - On Your MARK, Let's GO

THIS IS THE CLASS THAT MUST BE TAKEN FIRST and it is without your dog. Let's get started with the first steps on the Path to Success by:

  • Using SOUND and SCENT to help provide a calm environment for your dog
  • Learning how dogs communicate and how your own body language is interpreted by them
  • Using marker based training for a totally positive approach to a healthy learning environment for both you and your dog
  • Avoiding conflict - Safely prevent guarding of resources by learning how to handle food, toys, and objects of value
  • Using a Safe Place to help your dog comfortably fit in to his new home
  • Teaching acceptance of handling and grooming
  • Increase good behavior by learning how to capture and reinforce
  • Name Recognition (Attention)
  • Sit (Say Please!)
  • Touch (Management)


The Path to Success classes that we offer thru the A Sound Beginning Program were designed for the newly adopted dog to create a bond and build a trusting relationship.

These classes also meet the needs of anyone that has a dog who is struggling with a behavior or training issue. It's a great opportunity for dogs that may be fearful, or overly excitable, or for people who have never trained a dog before and don't know what to expect.

Since the environment is carefully monitored and distractions are greatly reduced, it allows the handler the ability to recognize and learn how to modify their dog's behavior - setting them up for success at both ends of the leash!!!

Class Dates:

November 5th @ 1pm

November 19th @ 1pm

December 10th @ 1pm

January 7th @ 1pm

January 21st @ 1pm


GREEN Class Focus - The Thinking Dog

A dog that runs up and SITS to greet you instead of jumping is a Thinking Dog!

A dog that can cope and not react when there are sudden changes in the environment is a Thinking Dog!

When dogs are taught a skill called "shaping" they become better problem solvers and will begin to think about how to earn rewards. Shaping behavior is simply a very easy and incredibly effective way to teach - it allows you to help your dog learn without having to use force or corrections.

This class will focus on the foundation of how to shape a behavior. Whether a dog is pushy or shy, bold or fearful, shaping will help them learn how to handle life's stimulating or worrisome times and become more confident.

Class Dates:


November 12th @ 2:30pm

December 10th @ 2:30pm

January 14th @ 2:30pm


BLUE Class Focus - Don't Correct ... Re-direct!

Instead of correcting a dog that does something we don't like, but we don't want them to continue doing, we use a training protocol called the "Substitution Routine" to prevent and/or eliminate that behavior. Whether it's barking at the cat, or jumping on guests, he needs to learn what it is he SHOULD be doing.

When he has the opportunity to learn what you want from him, you'll begin to see him offer more appropriate responses. By "substituting" an undesirable behavior such as barking, with something you want to see repeated such as sitting quietly, you'll be more effective at training while continuing to strengthen your relationship.

Following this program and eliminating the use of corrections will give you the results you are looking for. For the life and well-being of your dog.

Class Dates:

November 5th @ 2:30pm

December 3rd @2:30pm

January 7th @ 2:30pm

YELLOW Class Focus - You've Got a Friend

If you called your dog and he happily came running to you but you immediately brought him into the house to clean his ears, he probably would not come so quickly the next time you called. What the dog learned is not to trust you because he associated being near you and hearing you call his name with something unpleasant.

By using only positive interactions each time you greet or call your dog, you'll be gaining his trust. And building a better bond through trust is the most reliable way to get your dog to respond. When your dog learns that approaching people and greeting them politely makes good things happen, and nothing bad ever occurs, this is the foundation for a sound and safe future.

When you call his name, he'll come running! You've got a friend!

Class Dates:

November 19th @ 2:30pm

December 17th @ 2:30pm

January 21st @ 2:30pm


To sign up for a class, call 847-520-PETS(7387)


Julie Benson- Dog Trainer

A Sound Beginning Program - Julie Benson
Julie Benson
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to working with animals. Although initially my career path took me in a different direction, I still managed to find myself involved with pets in some capacity. I volunteered at an animal shelter, rescued and fostered animals, and even worked at a doggy daycare. Then a few years ago, while reading Karen Pryor's Reaching the Animal Mind, I was introduced to a new, positive way of thinking, training, and teaching, and my world was forever changed. I left behind my career as an art educator, enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy, and became a certified training partner. Since then, I have found a network of the kindest, most knowledgeable trainers I could ever have the good fortune to call colleagues.
While a student at KPA, my husband and I adopted a four-month-old Australian shepherd rescue named Scout. I quickly learned that Scout was not your typical, happy-go-lucky puppy, and he had some special needs. Although he absolutely adored his new mom, dad, and doggy brother, Scout became incredibly fearful of other people and dogs and was eventually diagnosed with fear aggression and generalized anxiety. Like many owners in this situation, I was overwhelmed and overcome with frustration. With the help of a wonderful veterinary behaviorist and my KPA instructor, I saw firsthand the power of positive reinforcement and clicker training as Scout grew into a happier and more confident dog. He has given me new insight into how emotions, especially fear and anxiety, can affect training and daily life with a dog. Scout's progress continues to inspire me every day, and I draw on my experiences with him to help others communicate successfully and bond with their pets.
What I really love about the A Sound Beginning Program is its focus on building a relationship with your dog through trust, communication, and empathy. Dogs and humans may not speak the same language, but with A Sound Beginning, you are connected to a community of like-minded individuals who are truly dedicated to helping you understand your dog’s canine communication, their own special “doggy language” that will give you insight into their emotional state of mind. From the perspective of both a shelter employee and a rescue mom, I cannot stress enough how wonderful it is to have a program that helps the newly adopted dog adapt to life in their new home with an approach that is completely positive and proactive.
My greatest joy as a trainer is seeing each dog-owner pair grow together as a team, and helping each team find their own individual level of success. Since receiving a second chance to fulfill my childhood dream, it's no wonder I am drawn to dogs looking for their second (or third, or even fourth) chance at their own happily ever after.

*Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training
*Trainer at Animal Behavior Training Concepts
*Trainer at A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter in
Naperville, IL
*Member of Association of Professional
Dog Trainers
*Member of Doggone Safe

Requirements at Wheeling Animal Hospital and Pet Resort for our
dog training

All pets need to have a Rabies and Distemper vaccination within the past year, a Bordatella (kennel cough) vaccination and negative fecal sample within the past 6 months and a flea and tick prevention application.
We would need proof of these before the class. We would be happy to call the facility where these were given, if not given here. If any of the above vaccinations/tests are needed, we would be happy to offer these to you on the day of the class or before.