Dog Training

AGILITY - WAG (Wi-iL Agility Group) - Spring Grove, IL

WAG is an agility training club which offers classes from introductory/puppy to advanced competition in their indoor facility. Classes are available to the public.  I was a member, instructor and on the WAG Board for many years and highly recommend them.

HERDING - Shannon Wolfe introduced me to herding and is a very dear and long-time friend.  I worked on her herding farm for several years and was really happy to be able to learn to do stock-handling at the trials with the help of my border collies.  Shannon is an excellent herding instructor and has well more than 20 years of experience with not only training all breeds of herding dogs, but also in working with and teaching all types of herding dog owners.  She is a wonderfully accomplished trainer, competitor and teacher and can definitely help you discover the joys of herding for yourself.  Shannon offers herding lessons year-round at her farm in Genoa City, WI for every level from beginner to advanced competition and also hosts several herding trials there every year.  In addition, Shannon conducts herding instinct tests and sheepherding demos all over the Midwest.  She also conducts herding seminars and judges herding trials across the country.

More Dog Training

OBEDIENCE - Northwest Obedience Club

As of July 2019, NOCI relocated to brand new facilities in Crystal Lake, IL.

NOCI offers a very diversified program in many dog sports and all levels of obedience training classes.  They hold classes at their indoor facility and also host events around the area. You do not have to be a member to enroll in a class.  Obedience training is essential for any dog you plan to share your life with.  The time you spend in classes and practice early-on will benefit you and your dog for life.  I recommend classes for everyone who gets a puppy.  EVERYONE.  --  And a special note to new puppy owners: Start training right away!!!!  Get your pup into a puppy class (as early as 8-weeks of age) and follow that up with at least two sessions of beginner & novice obedience training.  The time you invest in early training will reap benefits throughout your puppy's entire life.

The BEST BOOK EVER for New-Puppy Owners

Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog by Kevin Martin & Debbie Martin.  (Sunshine Books, 2nd Edition, Dec 2011)  This is available at Amazon in all formats.

I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE.  Even for very experienced dog owners, it's a terrific review for all the things you need to remember to do with your new puppy.  They grow up fast -- raise this one without the mistakes you made last time.  :)

Dog Behavior - Is it Aggression?


This is an excellent article by internationally recognized dog trainer and behaviorist Suzanne Clothier.  It explains how your dog responds to rudeness from other dogs.  Is his reaction aggressive?  Or is it appropriate?

He Just Wants to Say "Hi!"

Premium Dog Food Sales - Local

Our area has a fantastic store offering a wide variety of healthy all-natural foods, treats, supplements and more.  You can count on a knowledgeable staff who can help you make more informed decisions on choosing the right food for your dog’s needs. 

Pages Healthy Paws owned by Jody Page in Lake Zurich, IL. Jody’s location on Rt. 12 (next to Costco) has a huge inventory of quality products for health-conscious dog & cat owners, lots of room, and an entire section of freezers for a wide variety of frozen raw foods.  If you need it, she’s got it.  Page's also hosts special events, seminars, and regular nail-trim dates.

Nutrition & Health

(Also see my special page devoted to Diet & Nutrition.)

B-Naturals is a great online source for holistic products for dogs.  One of the owners is Lew Olson, a PhD in Natural Nutrition.  I’ve been to several of Lew’s seminars and have sought her advice since 1995. I’ve long felt I could trust not only her word but also the integrity of her products and website information.  The B-Naturals website is a rich source for your holistic education.  

Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs - a book by Dr. Lew Olson.  If you’re interested in learning how to feed raw or make your own home-cooked dog food, or even to start adding something better to the kibble you’re feeding, this book is the place to start.

Book Link:  Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs 

Also be aware that there are excellent commerical raw foods available nowadays.  If you want an easy and  convenient way to feed raw, contact PAGES HEALTHY PAWS in Lake Zurich.  See more details on Pages above.

Dog Food Ratings - find out how to read and understand the ingredients label on dog food packages to see how the food you’re buying stacks up.

Link: How to read labels


More Resources

Whole Dog Journal - This monthly publication and website offers any dog owner a huge variety of excellent information and recommendations.  It's like "Consumer Reports for Dogs" -- they accept no advertising and give honest advice on everything you can think of that's dog-related.  They publish annual dog food ratings doing indepth research on all types and brands of dog food.  WDJ is an invaluable resource.  A subscription to WDJ is worth its weight in gold.

Midwest Grooming Supply - owned by Chuck Palm in Lake Barrington, IL. Here’s a local place to get professional quality grooming supplies. They’ve got a great selection.  You can also get blades and scissors sharpened here.   

Reference Articles

Be sure to see the next page which has a number of great educational articles posted for reference in a PDF format for easy downloading.

Special Friends

PHOTOGRAPHER – Dick Bruner is not only an extraordinary photographer but also a good friend.  You’ll find Dick and his custom bus set up at many agility trials and herding trials across the country. Check out Dick’s fine work at his website.

DOG SCOUT CAMP - Are you looking for somewhere to go on vacation WITH your dog?  Try Dog Scouts of America!  They have an awesome camp in Michigan where you and your best friend can go and have fun together. I’ve been there 3 times!  

Dog Scouts of America    

Website Design & Maintenance

I created this website myself from scratch using the absolutely awesome and free website builder offered and hosted at  It was incredibly easy to use and the perfect cloud-software for a beginner at web design.

Photo Credits

Dick Bruner took several of the best photos in the “About Us” page and the “Ginny’s Dogs” album.  In particular, I’m very grateful for the shot of me and my border collies on the left footer of every page and the close-up shot of a muddy Brooke working stock, her eyes riveted on the sheep ahead of her.

Joanne Weber took the right side footer photo of me and my shelties when we were at Dog Scout Camp in Michigan along with my treasured portrait of Peaches in the “Ginny’s Dogs” album.

Hannah Kirkpatrick worked hard to get the photo of me and my dogs in front of the main gate at the top of the “About Us” page and several of the Christmas photos on the "Ginny's Dogs" page.

All the other photos on this site were taken by me on the fly with my tiny little Canon pocket camera.  (It’s a Canon PowerShot ELPH 100 HS if you want to know.)  I try hard to capture lots of candid photos of dogs-just-being-dogs while they’re staying here.

In 2014 I got myself a Nikon D3100 with the expectation of being able to start taking some even better pictures.  I wasn't disappointed -- it's an awesome camera!

And in 2018 -- after more than 65,000 pix on the D3100 -- I upgraded to a Nikon D3500.  Wow!  Faster, better, lighter... I love it!

Since the iPhone camera has become so awesome, I now take ALL the indoor pix with my iPhone since it's terrific in low light levels without a flash.  The outdoor photos are primarily taken with my D3500 since it takes better action shots.

I strive to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.