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It was great to meet you and the dogs. I could see the joy they brought to the residents of Friend Center. My mother had always loved dogs and the dogs brought a smile to her face that I rarely see anymore. Keep up the great work.


Therapy Dog Client

Tisa and Blue
Barb, Ernie, and Hallie

Working with Stu has been AWESOME!
We have only had 3-4 lessons and I can see a change in my dog.

He’s more responsive, easier to correct, more and more comfortable around Stu’s dog Maura every time - (his over excitement around dogs was a big thing we wanted to work on) - and I feel like we are learning real relative skills.

Not only do we work on general/basic commands, but he works with us bringing our dog into retail stores, going up and down steps - a lot of things I didn’t even think of would be a possibility before we started working with Stu. I’ve become more confident as a female dog owner, and have grown a lot myself in learning how to handle my dog correctly (it’s not just about the dog learning, it’s about you too and I really like that!).

Stu is an old school, sweet, but straight to the point guy, and I absolutely feel our lessons have been more than worth it. He does a great job at being able to ‘read the room’ and redirect when needed.

During our second lesson I was becoming frustrated, and a little defeated, unable to get my dog to do what I was asking of him efficiently - (if you’re a dog owner looking for training lessons, I’m sure you’ve felt that at some point!). Stu didn’t verbalize it, but I know he could tell, and immediately redirected us into a different exercise. It helped refocus me, my dog, and minutes later we were back on track and in the onward groove.

My dog and I have bonded even more throughout the experience, which of course is wonderful. I also love how he doesn’t ONLY focus on food-reinforcement. He is all about positive reinforcement, but I really like that he trains you/your dog to execute without relying on treats as well.

We looked at many trainers in the area, and I was drawn to Stu’s services based of his extensive positive reviews. I was happy to write one myself, and really couldn’t be more satisfied with the one on one training we’ve had so far.

Thank you Stu!!

Tisa Olson

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If you are looking for a trainer to work with you and your dog I highly recommend Stu Unger at Bonding with Buddies:


After just one session my 2 year old German Shepherd Hallie is heeling correctly and I no longer need to use a head halter or gentle leader. She had been apprehensive of strangers and now is more confident and obedient.


Squirrels had been one of her triggers and today during a session she stayed in a down position in the park ignoring distractions including the squirrels! Hallie also heeled without a leash during what is only our 5th session with Stu.

I'm encouraged by the improvement Hallie continues to make and we plan to take the Canine Good Citizen test soon. My goal is to have her certified as a therapy dog so we can make visits together and now I know she will succeed!

Barb and Ernie Brandt

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Melissa and Spike

My husband and I rescued Spike (80% German Shepherd, 20% Border Collie) at 6-weeks old. We quickly realized we had very little control over our dog and needed training. We went through a handful of trainers and spent a boatload of money with little to no progress - Spike was not responding to today’s newer training methodologies. Then we found Stu (Bonding with Buddies) and in a matter of one class we saw results.


Before Stu, it was a constant battle of dog versus dog owner, pulling on the leash, reactivity to other dogs, anxiety around kids at play, etc. Stu helped us build a meaningful, productive, and rewarding relationship with our dog; one in which the owner is in full control, the dog is happy to be accomplishing his job, and both parties trust one another.


Stu would take us into real-world situations and practice training our dog to behave appropriately amongst his biggest triggers. Using the right tools, proper commands, and repetition, Spike quickly learned he could not reactively respond to the things he once used to.


Over time, Spike completed his service dog and therapy dog training with Stu’s help. Everywhere we take him, people are impressed at Spike’s behavior and ask how we trained him.


I recommend Stu to everyone. The biggest test was when our first son was born. While I had gained so much trust in Spike, I was weary and protective of my baby. Turns out, the hard work we put in with Stu had really paid off. Spike is the most gentle companion to my son and thinks of my son as a superior in addition to myself and my husband.


Finally, when our family leaves town for a family vacation, we can trust Stu to board our dog, Spike. We know that in addition to safe boarding, Spike will also be trained.


Stu gets five stars from us and we hope others will make the decision to utilize his expertise.

Melissa Meyer


Stu Unger has integrated a proactive method of training to the relationship between handler and canine, not just with German Shepherd Dogs, but with all breeds.  Stu has been able to meld problem-solving by the canine with handling techniques that allow the handler to better understand the actions of the canine.  Performing these exercises creates trust between handler and canine coupled with positive reinforcement to enhance results.


A variety of challenges are introduced in exercises that are enjoyable for the canine and handler alike.  Socialization with other canines in the class during simultaneous interactions has proven to be successful.  Several handlers participating in the class have made the effort to express their appreciation and satisfaction with the methodology employed by Stu.  The expressed consensus has been that both handlers and canines are much better individually and collectively within their environment, home or out and about in the public.  Handlers are extremely pleased by participating in a class of action with no pontificating by the instructor.


Stu Unger has made the training program of Lincolnwood Training Club multifaceted to the betterment of the canine-human companionship.

Bobby Stevens
President, LTC
Lincolnwood Training Club
For German Shepherd Dogs Inc.

I've known Stu Unger ever since he got his first dog, Maverick from my Father in 1960.  My Dad who loved the German Shepherd Dog and trained All-breeds saw in Stu a young man of twelve years old someone who would do right by his puppy, and bring Maverick up with love and "right training."  Stu has done "right training" and loves all dogs to this day.  His All-breed training program, "Bonding with Buddies" I soundly endorse.  Any "Dog Lover" who desires a dog that will be an asset to the family and the community would do very well indeed to enter in bonding with and training their dog through an association with Stu Unger.

Mike Lichtwalt

Retired Animal Control Officer

City of Highland Park, Illinois

Past President and Training Director

The Northern Illinois Schutzhund Club

I met Stu at the Lincolnwood Training Club where he became a trainer for the obedience / distractions class. I joined Stu's class with one of my rescue dogs in preparation for the Canine Good Citizen test. My girl passed with flying colors thanks to Stu. We continue to work with Stu and she is well on her way to receiving her Therapy Dog title. My dog went from an untrained dog living on a roof in a different country, to be an outstanding dog in under a year with Stu's help. Without his help, we would not have been able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time.


I have done a number of other training classes with multiple dogs and I really enjoy Stu's training style. During training Stu sometimes may come off stern, but he really wants what is best for not only the trainers but the dogs too. I have seen what Stu can accomplish, and I would recommend him to anyone I know.


Sylvia, Client


Stu jest trenerem w klasie posłuszeństwa którego poznałam w Linconlnwood Training Club. Dołączyłam do jego klasy z jednym z moich psów którego przygarnełam ze schroniska aby prygotować go na test Canine Good Citizen. Mój pies zdał ten test dzięki pomocy Stu. Obecnie, przygotowujemy mojego psa do otrzymanie tytułu Therapy Dog. Bez pomocy Stu nie bylibyśmy w stanie osiągnąć tak wiele w tak krótkim czasie.

Sylvia, Client

Stu Unger and his German Shepard's have visited our community at the Friend Center many times.  His animals have provided the opportunity for several of our residents to be able to express themselves in a spiritual and loving manner.  We recommend Stu and his dogs wholeheartedly to any institute. 

Jaclyn Abramson

Friend Center Manager

CLICK HERE to read recommendation in its entirety.

We give Stu a high recommendation.  Stu is friendly,professional,knowledgeable,relaxed and made whole experience fun. Totally helped us with our new puppy Bella and still have our training wonderful experience. If you’re shopping for the trainer you found your guy!


Wesley, Client



My dajemy Stu wysokie rekomendacje.Stu jest przyjazny,profesjonalny, kompetentny i całe doświadczenie w trenowaniu  naszego puppi jest przyjemnością. Bardzo pomógł nam z naszym psem Bella I lekcje trenowania są przyjemnością. Jeżeli potrzebujesz odpowiedzialnego i odpowiedniego trenera dla swojego psa to właśnie znalazłeś!

Wesley, Client

In January of 2018 we took our 4 month old Golden Retriever puppy to training for puppies at Lincolnwood Training Club for German shepherd dogs. (we did not have to disguise her as a shepherd they allow all dogs).  Stu was the instructor for this bunch of crazed youngsters he did a great job of getting them all in line. There were many different issues with the dogs some like mine just out of their minds, others not so friendly. But they all figured it out with help from Stu.

We continued on and took the advanced puppy class also with Stu as did most of the students from puppy class, largely I think due to Stu. During this class Stu also spent his own time with students going on field trips to have the dogs work on their training in the real world. His class is very good at doing just that. All in all we enjoyed working with stu and he gets results.

Paul and Bridget, Clients

I don’t often take the time to write reviews but I really feel compelled to do so.  Not only was I very pleased to leave my baby “Louie” an 8-month old German Shepherd with Stu Unger but more importantly Louie loved it. 

I felt comfortable knowing Louie was in a home environment and not trapped in a cage.  He also had so many other dogs to play and socialize with.

I highly recommend Stu Unger if you want to have your dogs in a “Home Environment” no matter the breed, do not hesitate as I have witnessed dogs of various breeds here all playing together.

Grateful for true animal lovers like Stu Unger. 

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Lynn Musillami

Mr. Stu Unger;

I wanted to thank you for keeping my pup so I could travel both personally and professionally.  It is always stressful to worry about your pet when you need to be away.

Leaving my dog with you gives me such a sense of peace knowing he is loved and treated like one of your own pups.

Additionally, it was great that you offered training along with home environment boarding.  The training you did was amazing and I can’t thank you enough.

I look forward to our next visit where my pet can feel loved like being at home.  He loved playing with the other dogs too.  I appreciate your devotion to making my pets’ s stay so great, he no longer has issues when I have to travel. 


Thomas J Layden

When I first got Roma (German Shepherd), she was only three months old. Always running around and rarely obeying commands, Roma had a hard time listening to me. Soon afterwards, however, I contacted Stu, who then offered to train Roma for he himself had so much experience with German Shepherds. After one month of training, Roma came back an entirely different dog. Stu instilled an amazing sense of self-control in Roma. When I command Roma to heel, she does so without any resistance or pulling. When I tell her to sit or lie down then stay, she remains in position until I tell her to do otherwise. When I put her food out, she doesn’t eat until I tell her to eat. Stu really did miracles with Roma. With all of Stu’s hard work, Roma is not only a companion dog, but she is also a certified therapy dog and service dog with countless awards, including an obedience award, German Shepherd dog club of America, and AKC good citizen. Even now, as I age and my walking becomes less and less stable, I am comforted by Roma’s presence. Not long ago, I fell in my yard while gardening. Immediately, Roma rushed over to me, and the concern that she expresses for others is so special. Roma is not just an amazing dog. She is my best friend for life, and I can’t thank Stu enough for all the time and effort he has put into Roma.


Elvyra, Client




Kada pirmą kartą aš parsivedžiau į namus Vokiečių Aviganį, vardu Roma, jai buvo tik trys mėnesiai. Visur lakstydavo ir visiškai neklausė mano komandų. Aš kontaktavau Stu ir jis pasakė kad gale ištreniruoti Romą, nes jis pats turi du Vokiečių Aviganius ir yra labai patyręs. Aš palikau Romą su juo. Po vieno mėnesio trunkančio mokymosi, Roma sugrįžo visiškai kitas šuo. Stu išmokė ją klausyti komandų. Kada mes einam pasivaikščioti ir sakau jai heel (eik gražiai), ji eina be jokio pasipriešinimo, labai ramiai netempdama manęs. Kada aš pasakau jai atsisėsti (sit) ar atsigulti (lie down) ir  nejudėti (stay), ji labai atidžiai klauso ir vykdo mano komandas. Kai ateina laikas valgyti, aš pasakau sėdėk (sit), ir ji sėdi kol aš duodu komandą valgyti (eat), nes be mano leidimo ji nepuola prie valgio. Stu be abejo padare stebuklus su Roma ir įdėjo labai daug darbo. Roma yra ne tik draugas šuo (companion dog), bet ir sertifikuotas terapijos šuo (therapy dog) ir aptarnavimo šuo (service dog), turintis daugybę apdovanojimų, Amerikos vokiečių aviganių klubo ir AKC gero piliečio. Net ir dabar, kai aš senstu ir mano vaikščiojimas tampa vis mažiau stabilus, Roma man labai daug padeda. Neperseniausiai, kai dirbau darže, pargriuvau, tai Roma nedelsiant pribėgo prie manęs ir nesitraukė, kol šiaip ne taip atsistojau. Jos susirūpinimas manimi buvo labai ypatingas. Roma yra ne tik nuostabus šuo, ji yra mano pats geriausias draugas visam gyvenimui. Ir aš negaliu pakankamai atsidėkoti Stu už visą laiką, pastangas, ir kantrybę, kurią jis įdėjo į Romą.

Elvyra, Client


I really enjoy watching Stu Unger’s obedience, distraction class. He has a way of combining training and socialization all at the same time.  Stu can easily recognize the qualities of a dog and handler team and is a valuable asset to the Lincolnwood Training Clubs training program. 

Stu owns three German Shepherds with Canine Good Citizen titles and a Companion Dog title. His dog Phin, has a Companion Dog Excellent title. Stu and Phin are working towards a Utility title.

All three dogs have received their temperament test certification and herding instinct certification. They are certified and registered therapy dogs with Therapy Dogs International.

Cathy Stein

Director of Training

Lincolnwood Training Club

For German Shepherd Dogs, Inc.

I started taking my dog Zoe to training classes because she was not social with people, she barked a lot and I could not control her, I took her with two different trainers before taking her to Stu Unger’s Class, those two coaches did not convince me much, I did not see any progress in the behavior and obedience of my dog.

One day I saw Stu Unger teaching and I liked the way he trained the dogs, that is why I took my dog to Stu’s Class,  in a very short time I saw the difference, after two months my dog was ready to take the test and acquire the title of Canine Good Citizen.

I highly recommend Stu Unger for his professionalism, dedication and passion he put into his work, he is a very reliable trainer and he likes to help people and their dogs;  just as I did, you will not regret taking that dear member of your family to Stu Unger’s class.

Socorro, Client


Empecé a llevar a mi perra Zoe a clases de entrenamiento porque no era sociable, ladraba mucho y no la podía controlar,  la llevé con dos diferentes entrenadores antes de llevarla con Stu Unger, dichos entrenadores no me convencieron mucho, no noté progreso alguno en el comportamiento y obediencia de mi perra.

Un día ví a Stu Unger dando clases y me gustó la forma en la que entrena a los perros, así que empecé a llevar a mi perra con él, en poco tiempo ví la diferencia, después de dos meses mi perra ya estaba lista para tomar el examen y adquirir el título de un Buen Perro Obediente (Canine Good Citizen).

Recomiendo mucho a Stu Unger por su profesionalismo, dedicación y pasión que ponen en su trabajo, es un entrenador muy confiable y le gusta ayudar a la gente y sus perros; al igual que yo no se van a arrepentir de llevar a ese miembro tan querido de la familia a las clases de Stu.

Socorro, Client

When our family decided to get a German Shepard this year, I felt like I was a deer caught in headlights. I had never owned a puppy before and I knew right away I needed help. Our family and our dog Heidi have been working with Stu Unger for the past 8 months and he is an amazing trainer and friend. He has not only taught our dog to be obedient but also to be a fantastic companion and a good canine citizen. She is a confident, well-adjusted dog who can interact well with other people, other dogs and behaves well in public situations. Stu's technique is assertive but loving and positive. He has created a bond with Heidi and treats her as if she is his own dog.


His expertise and compassion for dogs is apparent from the first time you meet him. I call him anytime with questions, he is flexible with meeting times and he is 100% committed to helping our family raise a puppy who is an obedient, trusting and friendly companion. 


Jennifer, Markus, Monika and Tessa


Als unsere Familie in diesem Jahr beschloss, einen Deutschen Schäferhund zu bekommen, fühlte ich mich ufe ein Reh, das in Scheinwerfern gefangen ist. Ich hatte noch nie einen Welpen besessen und wusste sofort, dass ich Hilfe brauchte. Unsere Familie und unser Hund Heidi arbeiten seit 8 Monaten mit Stu Unger zusammen und er ist ein großartiger Trainer und Freund. Er hat unserem Hund nicht nur beigebracht, gehorsam zu sein, sondern auch ein fantastischer Begleiter und ein guter Hundebürger zu sein. Sie ist eine selbstbewusste, ausgeglichene Hündin, die gut mit anderen Menschen und anderen Hunden umgehen kann und sich in öffentlichen Situationen gut benimmt. Stus Technik ist durchsetzungsfähig, aber trotzdem liebevoll und positiv. Er hat eine Beziehung zu Heidi aufgebaut und behandelt sie, ais wäre sie seine eigene Hündin. 

Seine Sachkenntnis für Hunde zeigen sich, wenn Sie ihn zum ersten Mal treffen. Ich rufe ihn bei Fragen jederzeit an, er ist flexibel bei den Trainingszeiten und engagiert sich zu 100% dafür, dass unsere Familie einen Welpen aufzieht, der eingehorsamer, vertrauensvoller und freundlicher Wegbegleiter ist. 



Jennifer, Markus, Monika and Tessa

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