About the Urban Pooch Training & Fitness Center Staff

Learn More About Our Training, and Management Teams!

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What makes us special? Our staff!

Our passionate Management Team & Staff is one of our greatest assets enabling Urban Pooch to provide your dog with the utmost love and care around the clock. Their dedication and commitment help to make Urban Pooch one of the most special places on Earth! 

Our team is a collection of the most amazing and talented people in Chicago. But what’s more; we have lots of them! This means better care and more attention for your little (or big) four-legged companions. 

You’ll never find us trying to “do more with fewer people.” Our approach is unique in the Chicago market. Our goal is to always dazzle pooches and their parents with our incredible service, love, and care!

Be sure to check out all of our excellent training staff, too.

Meet Our Team

Ed Kaczmarek

Ed is the co-founder of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center, and also Chief Marketing Officer. He’s a fun, creative kind of pooch. Ed is also Co-Founder of Brand Innovators Labs, a business designed to help major brands institutionalize the core competency of partnering with disruptive startups to build competitive advantages and ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship within the corporate environment. Most recently, Ed was Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology at Mondel?z International (formerly Kraft Foods Inc.) where he led innovation through a multitude of partnerships and exploration with startups in both mobile and digital. He was the architect and creator of the Mobile Futures incubator program. Through this program, he drove new levels of consumer engagement across 13 blue chip brands and ignited cultural transformation in marketing throughout the US and Brazil. Many of the programs that Ed led, contributed to Mondelez International being named 2013 Mobile Marketer of the Year. While at Kraft Foods, he led the development of its award-winning iPhone application, the iFood Assistant—enabling the food marketer to deepen consumer relationships and implement new revenue streams. iFood Assistant won an Edison Award for Innovation in 2010. Ed has more than 26 years of integrated marketing communications experience spanning branding, new product development, advertising, CRM and strategy. He has driven innovation both digitally and in traditional arenas during his tenure at Cadbury/Dr Pepper, VNU, DoubleClick and Draft Worldwide. Ed also published NYC Pet Project while at Good Books Publishing, a company he founded. In 2009, Fast Company magazine named Ed as “1 of the 10 Most Creative People in Food.” He also participated on the Intel Capital Advisory Board for three years. In December 2012, Ed was recognized as one of “25 Trendsetters to Watch” by Chief Marketer magazine.

Daniel Gaughan

Dan is the co-owner of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center and runs the day to day operations. A native Chicagoan, Dan grew up in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood. He is the son of the late and great Marty and Kitty Gaughan and the youngest of 6 children. Dan had an incredible 21 year career working behind the scenes in local television news here in Chicago as well as in Arizona and California. During his long career in broadcasting, Dan was in management roles overseeing staff and operations at many successful television news organizations. He began his broadcasting career at WLS-TV in 1989 here in Chicago and went on to play a key management role in launching CLTV. He went on to work for WGN-TV and eventually WBBM-TV following his return to Chicago from California in 2002. Dan won an Emmy Award for continuous coverage of The Chicago Bulls 3rd Championship. For many years Dan had a strong desire for a career change and to do something completely different and more fulfilling. Then in July of 2007 he adopted Berwyn, an 8 week old Welsh Terrier puppy, from an Amish Farm in Central Illinois. Dan’s intense love for Berwyn and the experience of raising this pup helped him realize opening a doggie daycare facility was the new direction he wanted to take his career and life and that would most importantly make him incredibly happy. This began the long journey of accomplishing his dream of owning and operating Urban Pooch Canine Life Center on the North Side of Chicago. Dan is very much looking forward to getting to know you and your pooch and seeing all of you every day!

Pamela Davis, CPDT-KA

Head Trainer
Pamela is a teacher and coach who specializes in helping people understand, communicate with, and train their pet dogs. Her training methodology is compassionate and science-based and focuses on rewarding desired behaviors. Pamela’s approach is also informed by her background in theatre and education. She prioritizes empathy, clear communication, and active participation from both human and canine learners. Always a keen student of motivation and behavior, Pamela studied electoral politics and acting at UC Berkeley before moving to Chicago to attend graduate school at DePaul and embark on a career as a theatre maker and educator. Although she always loved animals and was fascinated by the way they think, learn, and move, it wasn’t until she adopted her current dog, an intense pit mix named Bea Arfur, that she discovered her passion for “serious” dog training. After completing an apprenticeship with Lisa Collins and Karen Okura at Collins Canine, she opened her own dog training and enrichment business before joining the team at Urban Pooch Training and Fitness Center. At Urban Pooch, Pamela teaches Levels Obedience, a flexible, progressive training program that moves at the pace of each individual dog-human team. In addition to Obedience, Pamela also teaches Junior Dog for adolescents (4-8 months) and two behavioral specialty classes – Confidence Club, for fearful dogs who shut down when stressed, and Reactive Dog, for those who get “barky-lungy” on leash. Pamela has her CPDT-KA certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and is an evaluator for the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen, STAR Puppy, and Tricks programs. A strong believer in continuing education, she has studied with Michael Shikashio, Amy Cook, Nancy Tucker, Sarah Stremming, and Denise Fenzi, and strives to stay curious and current on all approaches to human and canine learning.

Grace Huffman

Obedience & Agility Trainer

For as long as she can remember, dogs have been apart of Grace's life; from getting her first dog at 5 years old, to religiously playing Nintendogs on her DS, and eventually to training her own Service Dog in college. At Urban Pooch, Grace teaches all levels of Agility and Disc as well as puppy and LEVELS classes. Grace has 3 personal dogs: Guster (Mini Schnauzer), Rafiki (Standard Poodle) and Kudos (Shetland Sheepdog). She trains and competes in Agility with her dogs and recently competed in Cynosports, making Steeplechase Finals with Guster. Grace loves watching dogs learn and progress, but even more so, loves watching the bond and relationship grow between humans and their four-legged friend through the training and playing they do together. She knows that life with a dog is one of the most rewarding things ever and wants to help all her clients reach their training and relationship goals with their pooch!

Ellie L., CPDT-KA

Obedience Trainer
Ellie has been working at Urban Pooch for 5 years, and has been professionally handling dogs for many more. Their love for training dogs started at Urban Pooch. Ellie now has 2 years of training experience teaching a variety of group classes including all levels of obedience training and puppy classes. Ellie's favorite part of the job is that they get to learn and grow alongside their clients. Getting to see the journey each pet parent and dog go on is so rewarding.


Agility, Disc, Fitness, Treibball & Obedience Trainer

Rebekah has been animal-crazy since the time she could hold a pencil and draw all of the animals that lived in her imaginary farm, but dogs have always had a special place in her heart. She started training her Nintendogs from a young age, but at 15, her family got their very first dog, and Rebekah was finally able to teach fun tricks, build PVC agility equipment, and play frisbee with a real dog. Rebekah now has four kiddos of her own: Remi (Golden Retriever), Newton (Ragdoll Cat), Murphy (Border Collie), and Oliver (Domestic Longhair cat with CH). Rebekah actively trains and competes in agility, but also participates in disc, FastCat, herding, nosework, and treibball. At Urban Pooch, she teaches agility, disc, fitness, treibball, and LEVELS classes. Rebekah loves helping clients achieve all of their training goals and develop their bond and relationship with their dog. She also enjoys being able to love on all of the cute puppers! Rebekah is an evaluator for the AKC's Canine Good Citizen, STAR Puppy, and Tricks programs and has her CPDT-KA certification. She is a dog training nerd and is always working on continuing education. She has a PNCC (Pet Nutrition Coach Certification) and is working towards her Canine Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCC) certification through NC State as well as her Canine Massage Certification through Canis Bodyworks. She is also taking classes for the Canine Fitness and Nutrition Diploma through E-Training for Dogs.

Robin Taylor

Certified Nose Work Trainer, Agility Instructor
Robin got started in dog training 10-years-ago when she adopted Dylan from the Anti-Cruelty Society. Because Dylan’s energy and drive needed an outlet, she got started in agility and nose work. Her second dog didn’t have the same drive for sports but loved people, which took them down the path of therapy dog work at grade school reading programs and in hospitals. Today Robin is continuing her agility and nose work competition with her newest rescue dog, Kaiden, and is just starting to compete in agility with her young dog Raze, a border collie. Robin believes that all dogs are individuals and need to be treated as such. Her objectives as a dog trainer are to teach her human students how to communicate clearly with their dog partners, be consistent in their communication, and enjoy the journey.


Bobby Brown started professionally training dogs in 2015. He earned his certification through CATCH and the Council of Professional Dog Trainers. Bobby has 2 personal dogs, Bella, a Bully Breed Mix, and Sugar, a Border Collie/Lab Mix. Together, they enjoy training and competing in Dock Diving, Flyball, Nose work, and their newest passion, Agility. In addition to dog training, Bobby has trained Cats, Horses, and Birds of Prey! No matter the animal he is working with, he loves to watch them learn through positive reinforcement training methods. At Urban Pooch, Bobby teaches all LEVELS of obedience, puppy classes, as well as works one-on-one with reactive dog and behavioral cases. Bobby is new to Chicago, but already loves his Urban Pooch family and cannot wait to meet you and your dog!


Berwyn loves being a pooch, and is living the dream as the CEO of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center! He totally changed his Daddies’ lives – so much so that they decided to dedicate their lives to establishing a new level of service for dogs and dog parents by bringing state-of-the-art daycare and boarding to Chicago. Berwyn is involved in each decision both big and small. He loves to be the center of attention and sometimes growls when his Daddies pay too much attention to other dogs. But don’t let that growl fool you because he’s a softie at heart!

Ashley Olszewski

Agility Trainer, CSCC

Ashley’s experience with animals goes back to before she can remember. Her family had three or four dogs (Goldens and Labs) at any given time, as well as horses. She spent her adolescence riding and showing her horses, and worked on general obedience with her dogs. She got her first dog of her own almost 2.5 years ago (Fig, a Silken Windhound). Fig proved to be a very busy pup, so Ashley started training and competing with her in agility as well as other sports like FIT DOG, CPE Speedway, lure coursing, and Treibball. She loves seeing dogs light up with the mental and physical enrichment sports can offer and gain a new kind of confidence and bond with their owners. Ashley actually started both sports and obedience training at Urban Pooch with Fig years ago and has had the pleasure of working with nearly all of UP’s awesome trainers in both of these areas! With a background in healthcare and orthopedics, and having had two family dogs with orthopedic issues, fitness and injury prevention in both humans and dogs is extremely important to her. She’s currently working to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach through NC State’s Veterinary Medicine program and looks forward to helping owners create a deeper bond with their dogs through sports and fitness!

J Murphy

Training Consultant

Despite being a lifelong cat enthusiast, J has been made a dog lover via his time spent working with man’s best friend. He joined the Urban Pooch team in November 2014. In his time working with dogs, J has learned there is simply no substitute for a canine’s admiration.

He has the proud owner of two dogs: Tessa (Louisiana Leopard Catahoula) and Warbler (Australian Cattle Dog).

Coco Johnson, ccs, iaabc-adt, sba

Coco grew up with a love and understanding of dogs from a young age. Family pets consisted of Golden Retrievers from her grandparents to German Shepards who were too goofy to become police dogs.Prior to working in a caregiver capacity with animals, Coco worked in the entertainment industry. From working as a Radio Engineer at Clear Channel to Promotional work at Victory Records and finally a Morning News Director at WGN.Animals have always held a special place in her life, but it wasn't until she became a kennel tech and then vet tech at PAWS that she saw the potential to help dogs who needed it most. Coco left Chicago and moved to Seattle to attend the Northwest School of Canine Studies where she became a certified dog trainer. Her passion to always assist those in rescue environments kept her busy! She ran an extensive training program for a Greyhound rehoming organization in the PNW for the last 4 years. In that time she also expanded her knowledge as an accredited member of the IAABC. Coco loves to take on the hard cases and found her speciality among fearful dogs. Her patience and attention to detail have helped numerous shelter dogs grow into loving and understood companions.She spends her time off with her husband Billy, rescue whippet Leon and four rambunctious cats. Her hobbies include camping, biking, sewing, playing ukulele and dominating in board games!

Sue Sentowski

Sue Sentowski
Sue is our Nose Work Instructor and brings her experience and great knowledge of the fun and exciting sport of Nose Work. She has trained her own dogs competing in a variety of dog sports – agility, rally, dock diving, and of course, Nose Work. Sue is a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) with the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) and competes with her dogs Splash and C.J., both of whom are currently at the NW3 level. Sue believes that a positive training program with your dog is the best way to achieve the goals you wish to accomplish with them all the while building the relationship between human and dog. In addition to teaching, Sue is the owner of Sue & Crew H2O, a dog swimming facility in Wood Dale, IL. Sue also does therapy work with her dog Bobber thru Pet Partners. Sue lives in Chicago with her family and their 4 dogs C.J., Stella, Bobber and Splash.

What Our Customers Say

We’re proud to provide the city’s largest team of differentiated, award-winning trainers, who can solve any behavior issue.