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08.11.2013

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As voted in by Sit Means Sit Chicago’s Facebook fans, Boudha with moms Sarah and Teresa Melzer – Hire, have won a Starbucks Gift Card, Treats, and this Spotlight! In 1998 I got a head start learning about animal behavior and training working horses and dogs at a rescue in Wisconsin. After moving away, I helped train at several shelters and continued with my personal dogs in the manners I was taught – food based and traditional leash training.
The real passion for dog training and behavior modification kicked in after I moved to Chicago and fostered a Dutch Shepherd rescue who had a bevy of difficult and less than desirable traits. Post graduation I became Owner and Head Trainer for Sit Means Sit Chicago and proudly serve Chicago and The Northern Suburbs. We look forward to being able to help you enhance the relationship you have with your dog through training.
Over the years Christa has grown her dog family with her “perfect” Doberman, “wonderful” Rottweiler, “loving yet simple” Schnauzer and “old and loyal” Chocolate Lab. In 2011 Christa moved to Chicago and worked at a prominent Chicago dog daycare, boarding and grooming facility as a well respected handler and groomer until joining Sit Means Sit Chicago in fall of 2014. Realizing how much fun and how much impact training could be to a dog and family, Christa sought out the knowledge of the many trainers and experts that came to use the facility space she worked at.
A long term client of Sit Means Sit Chicago referred Christa to us knowing that her passion and the SMS revolutionary approach would be a great match.
Having moved to Chicago about four years ago, Tony took a short reprieve from dogs to work in retail management. A few months later, and countless hours of studying and apprenticing, Tony left an established job to once again be living the life that he loves with dogs. Alex came to Sit Means Sit Chicago Dog Training when we moved into our Avondale Neighborhood location. Impressed by his visionary ideals and passionate love of dogs, we created a support position for Alex until we had a training position open.
You will find Alex ending each session with your dog with a game of fetch, or giving ample belly rubs. In January of 2012 Sarah, Teresa and Boudha have been successfully training with Sit Means Sit Chicago Dog Training.


I had lovely well-trained dogs, and helped to make great dogs out of some not so great dogs. We have been working with dogs of all ages, sizes and temperaments around Chicago and the world, and appreciate every day we do. Christa first learned about handling dogs as a young girl from her grandmother, a vet tech, and never wanted to stop learning! Over the years Christa has had hands on work with large groups of dogs of all sizes, breeds and behaviors.
Christa invested a lot of her “off” time working with the dogs, shadowing the trainers, and was always inspired at the payoff training had on the dogs’ life.
When he is not managing the fast paced Sit Means Sit Chicago office, Eric works as an artist out of his home studio in Garfield Park. Not being able to be without dogs for long, Tony brought home a Husky puppy, Thor, in early 2014.
A fun fact: Alex has a passion for retrievers and collies and has plans to have a dog over 20 pounds one day! Because we believe that “Talk Is Cheap”, we like to show our personal dogs obedience, tricks, and happy tails to clients interested in our training, at events, seminars, and for professional entertainment! Mullah had a very sad beginning to life – she was neglected, mistreated and abandoned at the day care Christa worked at before coming to SMS Chicago. By the time she got here Mullah was ready to move on! I left my successful job to attend Sit Means Sit’s Dog Training School where I was able to learn from Master Dog Trainers Fred Hassen, Alfredo Rivera, and Billy Salcido amongst many others.
Christa took the time to work one on one with each dog to teach them tricks, manners and help shape good decisions.
There is no doubt about it – Eric is a “dog person” and the proof is in how much all of the dogs love him!
Excited to train his pup in the distractions of Chicago life, Tony contacted Sit Means Sit off of a coworker’s referral. Since starting SMS training with my new puppy Thor we moved way beyond a simple connection to a true relationship of friendship and respect for one another. Our furry business partners also help us in consultations, lessons and at group class to demonstrate how to teach a skill, as distraction, and to help be the stable energy for a dog needing help.


Severe anxiety along with understandable mistrust of people and fear of the world that she couldn’t understand, Mullah responded with severe aggression to people, dogs, and pretty much anything new. Christa spent extra time from her regular work as a handler and groomer to educate the doggie parents on how to keep the tricks and obedience going at home!
Her lovely disposition, vast experience, and extraordinary results are apparent in each dog she works with. Eric has had personal shows throughout Indiana and Connecticut and is looking forward to showing in Chicago. When Booyaka finally came to us he had zero potty or obedience training, had never played with a toy, gone to the bathroom outside, or socialized. Although many American references point to the Keeshond as we know it originating in the Netherlands, the breed is cited as being part of the German Spitz family, originating in Germany along with the Pomeranian (toy or dwarf German Spitz) and American Eskimo dog (small or standard German Spitz) according to the FCI. When Alex came to us inquiring if we were in need of help, he eloquently shared his vision of founding a dog rescue and the ways his marketing abilities could assist in more dog’s being adopted.
We admired their honesty and for being realistic about what is a good fit for their lifestyle, which ended up being not to have a dog.
Full of love and life and extremely driven to please; it was a happy day for all when Booya started his new life! He is a perfect fit into Alexa’s dog family! Persistence paid off in so very many ways when Christa was awarded the adoption and Mullah’s new life started! Over months of patient, consistent, compassionate training Mullah is now working off leash in group classes, at parks, in lessons, and for consultations!
Riot is certified for AKC CGC, CGCU, CGCA, a certified Therapy Dog and a certified Crisis Dog! She has made many dog friends, people friends, and has become a very happy girl (especially if there is a Jolly Egg involved).



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