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Pam Barnett understands of dogs and their behavior, as well as insight into the relationship between canines and their owners. She has been training dogs for 30 years and will continue her work at the recently opened Pack Leader Academy in Palos Heights, Ill.

The more you speak with Pam, the more realize that her role at the new Pack Leader Academy in Palos Heights is as much about educating people as it is training dogs.

“The things I hear now are not, ‘I can’t get my dog to sit,’ it’s, ‘I can’t even sit on my own couch because the dog jumps all over me,’” she said.

Barnett’s new facility in Palos Heights will be a dog psychology center and her role, odd as it may sound, is not teaching dogs to be “good,” but teaching them to be dogs. Something many have forgotten in the days of puppy strollers, doggy salons and designer dog carriers. She cites pampering as a core source of behavioral problems.

“Pampering is the biggest problem,” Barnett said. “People say, ‘Oh, my dog thinks it’s a human,’ no – you think it’s a human.”

Barnett is a dog lover and knows owning a dog is fun, but it is also a commitment that comes with responsibility and Barnett – with “two hands and 1,600 square feet” – is ready to make sure Palos residents and their pups have the co-existence that most dog owners really want.

“I know I can’t save the world, but I can help some people and this is exciting and something I always wanted to do,” she said.

While grooming over the last three years, Barnett said she noticed that dogs were more and more aggressive and decided that she wanted to be a part of the re-education of dogs and people.

To get the community started, Barnett will hold a three-hour seminar and training session, “How to Create a Calm Dog,” for $45.

She will also offer doggy daycare, numerous other classes and grooming services. Her husband, Vic, also a dog lover, will be offer training courses for bird dogs and hunting companions.

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