Paw Law Dog Training
Sports Academy

1053 E. Lake, Hanover Park, IL 60133  847-888-4725 / 630-893-5789



About Jan Hicks, founder of Paw Law Dog Training

Jan Hicks has trained her own dogs for most of her life.  In 1995, she adopted a dog, Harley Girl, who turned out to be very dog aggressive.  Jan went from trainer to trainer hoping to find a “cure” for Harley’s aggression.  Nothing seemed to work, in fact many of the solutions offered by “traditional” trainers, only made Harley’s problem worse.  In other words, the more aggressive the solution, the more aggressive Harley became. 

 Just when she was about to give up on Harley, Jan met a wonderful trainer named Lori Waters of Bayside K9 Learning Kennel.  Lori showed Jan that there was a better way to train a dog than the correction-based methods being used by the “traditional dog trainers”.  In finding the “better way” to train a dog, Jan discovered that the principles of learning behavior that she was taught at the University of Illinois when receiving her degree in Psychology, applied to dogs as well as rats and people.  Go figure, it took an aggressive dog to get Jan to use the skills she had for years.

Jan found that positive reinforcement training – teaching your dog to learn using little or no physical compulsion or corrections – worked for Harley.  Instead of always focusing on what Harley did wrong, Jan started focusing on what Harley did right.  Sounds almost too simple, but it works.  Instead for yanking dogs around, giving some praise and hoping the dog will make the connection, dogs are taught the training bargain, you do what I want and I will give you what you want. 

 Why Paw Law?  Jan was a lawyer when she discovered the “law of the paw” – dog training from the dog’s point of view.  She was so amazed at the transformation in her own dogs, that she thought every dog owner should give it a try.  She began by volunteering at local shelters, hoping to help the dogs that had been given up.  However, Jan realized that instead of waiting for the dog to “go bad” and end up being given up, she should try to get to the dogs and their owners BEFORE the problems start.  She began by teaching other pet owners about the benefits of positive reinforcement training on a part-time basis in 1996, and in 1998 Jan “retired” from law to spread the word about positive reinforcement/clicker training.

 Today, Paw Law Dog Training hold group classes, individual behavior consultations, and works with various animal shelters and breed rescue groups in the Chicago area, trying to save one dog at a time.

 To read Jan Hicks article “How a Dog Changed My Life” click here.