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About

Phyllis Zboril

Educated at the world-renowned Academy for Dog Trainers, Phyllis has been serving dogs and their families for more than 13 years in the western suburbs of Chicago and beyond.

Drawing from her background in social work, she is a highly skilled listener; capable of addressing behavioral issues without judgement.  Zboril’s teaching style and experience creates space for true and enjoyable learning.

Her love of dogs has brought over a dozen dogs into her heart and home within the last 40 years; including a furry companion she fostered from a pit bull rescue. Phyllis trained each of them in either obedience, agility, nosework, tracking and more.

In addition to operating Go Dog! Training, Phyllis served as an Animal Enrichment and Behavior Manager at Anderson Animal Shelter.

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Training Philosophy

I stand firmly in the evidence-based practice of positive reinforcement training. Not only does research support its effectiveness, but it’s been proven to build stronger canine-human bonds by increasing a dog’s willingness to work and reducing stress on the owner and the dog. It’s simply more fun for both the dog and their human counterpart. That’s why we insist on enjoyable solutions for positive results!

Why I'm a Trainer

I’ve always loved dogs and had a knack for training. But until I met Lucky, my incorrigible, canine sociopath, I never fully understood why my training methods worked. Because before Lucky, all of my dogs were very well behaved. Most could walk off leash and respond to multiple cues.

 

Lucky was very different. At an early age of 8 wks, he bit aggressively, often drawing blood and wanting to fight with every dog he encountered. He constantly tore into things and made messes in my home only to attack my vacuum when I tried cleaning up after him.

My solutions?

 

  • I crated him while I vacuumed. He’d lift his leg and pee on the floor in response.

  • I put him in the fenced-in yard while I cleaned. He would find a way to escape.

  • I locked him in my bedroom. He’d destroy my comforter and pee on the floor.

  • I gave him more exercise on walks. He attacked people.

  • I tried playing fetch. Lucky wanted to eat every ball and had no interest in interacting with us.

  • I gave him more affection. He’d bite us in response.

After months and months of trying everything I could think of, I realized I couldn’t do it myself so I signed up for a dog training class. That’s when I discovered positive reinforcement training.

 

Through this new learning process, Lucky taught me that he needed more than discipline and exercise. He wanted to work and have fun while doing it. Once we discovered this together, he was actually easy to train!

 

It was the most exhilarating and satisfying time of my life seeing Lucky blossom into my enjoyable companion. I knew I wanted more of this. That’s when I made the choice to become a dog trainer and there was no turning back.

 

Thank you, Lucky. You’ve made my life, and now my career, so rewarding!

 

My Canine Companions

Lucky

I'm a pretty intense terrier as you may have already heard in my mom’s story  of WHY she became a dog trainer. I showed her that as long as I receive consistent, positive reinforcement training, lots of exercise and massages, I'm an amazing dog to live with. Sometimes I get together with other Jack Russell Terriers to race them and look for rats in tunnels. Mom says it's important for me to do the work I was born to do because it ultimately makes us both happy.

Boris

I'm a purebred German shepherd with working bloodlines from the former East Germany. I was born to work and I love learning new things. I love rally obedience class and will play fetch all day. Even though I'm considered a pretty intense dog, I've been trained using only positive reinforcement… And it’s been awesome for me and my mom!

Rufus

Like my brother, Lucky, I've got a strong personality. My mom met me at Anderson Animal Shelter, where she served as the behavior manager. After 4 months, the staff wondered if I was safe to place in a home because I had bitten several staff and visitors during my stay. My mom took me home as a foster dog to try to help me be a better-behaved boy. I worked my charm on her and now I'm a safe and permanent member of the family.

Iggy

I'm a purebred German shepherd who was relinquished to an animal shelter just a few weeks after my original owner bought me at a pet shop. I was just a baby, and there were no fosters immediately available, so my mom brought me home for the "weekend" - you can probably guess the rest of this tail-wagging ending.   

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