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Need a Chicago dog trainer who understands the unique challenges presented to dogs who live in an urban environment?

Have a herding breed who struggles on walks? Maybe you have a trembly Chihuahua or an enthusiastic Doodle. Or a dog that came from a quiet, rural area or southern shelter and isn't quite sure about this loud city living. You may even have the perfect puppy and want to set them up for success by building a solid foundation. We are here to help you and your dog, no matter what breed they may be. And we've got some modern, fresh takes on dog training, learning and enrichment we know you'll enjoy.


My name is Cynthia (she/they) and I'm Radical Rover's founder and trainer. I'm happy you're taking this first step in looking for a positive reinforcement dog trainer so let me tell you a little bit about myself.


I’ve been a herding dog magnet my entire life and a clicker training enthusiast for over two decades. In early 2022 I decided to retire from my librarian position and turn my passion for dog training into a career. I enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA), a professional animal training program dedicated to the tenants of positive reinforcement, and graduated with distinction as a KPA CTP (Certified Training Partner). I'm dedicated to continuing my education by attending workshops, seminars, and conferences. I've taken courses on puppy training and socialization, working with reactive dogs, cooperative care, shy dogs, fearful and impulsive dogs, and separation anxiety. In the fall of 2023, I entered into a mentorship program with Pet Harmony to bring you the joys of enrichment.

I've shared my adult life with several dogs and cats. Most recently, there was Blaze, a fearful, noise-sensitive, resource-guarding cattle dog (whom you'll see in photos and videos). In March 2023 we added an 8-week-old herding mix to the family. I've volunteered at the Anti-Cruelty Society where I interacted with a wide variety of dogs, and served as a trainer for new volunteers and their In-Kennel Clicker Program.


We designed our services to offer you fresh strategies to engage with your dog. Our methods rest on a solid foundation built by pioneers in animal training and behavior, positive reinforcement, and enrichment. We passionately interact with, support, and learn from like-minded colleagues daily. We promote equity, social justice, and agency. We give you and your dog the space you need to be the best versions of yourselves! One of our goals is to make our methods easily accessible to those who need them.


Our solutions may even appear radically different than what you might expect. We'll focus on the good things; the things you want your dog to do; while simultaneously making sure all your dog's needs are met. We do not use physical or verbal corrections. We will not recommend prong, choke or electronic/shock collars. We do not put pressure or yank on a leash. Those methods are outdated and thankfully, there are more modern ways to train animals. We'll bring relief while helping you figure things out. You and your dog are our priority.

We routinely ask clients what their goals are so let us tell you ours: to set you up for success by introducing you to the joys of positive reinforcement dog training and enrichment. THE FUTURE OF DOG TRAINING IS NOW!



Because dog training is an unregulated industry, anyone can promise you anything. "Years of experience" is great and "best dog trainer in Chicago" is vague. Neither implies a commitment to ethical or safe training methods. Someone may have walked thousands of dogs, yet may also not have the necessary training to work on a dog's behavior. Others might tell you they can "fix" your dog. But your dog isn't broken.


Before you choose a trainer or behaviorist, we urge you to check out the philosophies of their certifying body. Our KPA CTP certification and continuing education keep us up to date on the latest research and positive training methods. We offer you a radical way to engage with the dog sitting (or standing or chewing or barking) right in front of you.

A dog who has all of their needs met is a pleasure to live and walk with, and also to train. And because we offer private or small class learning opportunities, you and your dog have our undivided attention! Depending on the program selected, sessions can be in your home, in a public area, or virtual if you prefer. The whole family can be on board. Our flexible and convenient scheduling is perfect for busy professionals and families. 

Before you hire a dog trainer you should ask yourself one simple question: will this program and training method make my dog happy? With us, the answer is yes, so we hope you’re ready to think about dog training and behavior in a radically different way. Most of all we want you and your dog to succeed and be happy...together!

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