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

Co-Founder
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

Co-Founder
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.

GABIRLLE PLASCAK, CPDT-KA

Obedience Trainer and Behavior Consultant
Gabrielle started her training journey with hobby training for obedience and showmanship shows 20 years ago. In 2013, Gabrielle earned her first certifications, including her "Fear Free Trainer Certification". She was also a training coach mentor for CATCH canine trainer's academy. As a professional trainer she has collaborated with various shelters, groomers, boarding facilities, and veterinary clinics to offer training outlets. Gabrielle has extensive experience teaching obedience and speciality classes, as well as In-Home behavioral work. At Urban Pooch, she will also be working on behavior modification cases. One of her favorite clients to work with is those who struggle with separation anxiety. When Gabrielle is not working with pups, she is enjoying life with her husband, 2 daughters, and her Springer Spaniel, Bobo!

EDINA JACOX, ABCDT

Obedience Trainer
Edina's love for animals started at a very early age. Her desire to help animals in need and work in the animal care industry led her to Unity College in Maine. There, she was first introduced to animal training and became fascinated with how animals learns. She also began to see how positive reinforcement training could be applied to help save the lives of shelter animals. Edina graduated from Unity College with a bachelor's of Science in Captive Wildlife Care and Education: as well as a newfound desire to help dog's suffering from severe aggression issues who would otherwise be euthanized. A few years later, she enrolled in Animal Behavior College to complete her dog training certification. While at ABC, Edina completed and externship at Anything is Pawzible with Joanna Konca during which she gained experience teaching a variety of group classes. Edina is so excited to now be in her role as Urban Pooch. She teaches all LEVELS of obedience training, puppy classes and more. Edina loves every opportunity for continued learning and is working towards her goal of working with dogs with aggression issues. She is currently working toward becoming a certified canine behaviorist. Edina is passionate about using Positive Reinforcement training to improve the lives of animals, and their relationships with their human companions. She cannot wait to meet you and your pup!

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.

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.

KATY ROXBURY

Obedience Trainer
Katy comes to Urban Pooch with extensive experience working with animals of all types. Her interest in dog training stemmed from work she did at the SHEDD Aquarium, working with several species of Penguins and Sea Otters. She has been able to draw many similarities between both her work at Urban Pooch and the SHEDD Aquarium, both through marker systems, and animal's ability to thrive when learning with positive reinforcement. Katy and her Partner have a 2 year old human daughter named Keagan and Aussie Mix named Allie. Keagan is already starting to follow in her mom's footprints and loves to help with Allie's training. Katy is excited to trade raw fish for dog treats and begin working with the pet parents of Urban Pooch to strengthen their bond with their dog!

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, CPDT-KA

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!

Berywn

CEO
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!

Lyn Love

Daycare Manager

J Murphy

Training Consultant
Despite being a lifelong cat enthusiast, Joshua has been made a dog lover via his time spent working with man’s best friend. He joined the Urban Pooch team in November as a Handler and now works as Training Assistant. In his time working with dogs, Jay has learned there is simply no substitute for a canine’s admiration. Before he began working at Urban Pooch, he spent over a year cat sitting and dog walking in Evanston. He and his wife have two cats—Midna and Oscar—that take up most of their free time and have recently adopted an Australian Shepherd named Tesla.

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.