top of page


Loretta (Lori) is a calm, clear, and inspiring teacher of both people and animals. She has a knack for helping students enjoy learning, and helping them reach their full potential.
Jey Flick, Rockford, IL

Loretta trained both of us as handlers and our Border Collie. As a result we have done things with our dog we never thought would be possible. She has earned well over 40 titles in Nose Work, Rally, Obedience, Trick Dog and Therapy Dog work. Thanks to Loretta's dedication she is one of only three Border Collies in the AKC to have earned their highest Therapy Dog title (THDD).We know she will continue to do well and earn more titles and awards under Loretta's guidance and training.
Arles Hendershott Love and Joe Love, Rockford, IL

For over four years my two Labrador Retrievers and I have taken several classes taught by Loretta Swanson. Those classes include Rally Obedience, Puppy Kindergarten, Therapy Dog, Trick Dog, Dock Diving and Nose Work.  Not many trainers can successfully teach all of these diverse classes. But that is just what Loretta does. She keeps abreast of the changing rules of each dog sport and is a certified Nose Work trainer and Therapy Dog evaluator. Loretta also understands dogs and their behavior better than any instructor I have ever trained under. Using a positive approach to training dogs, she has guided and supported me, enabling my labs to be all they can be.  I have learned so much from her and look forward to every class.
Pat Nordenberg, Machesney Park, IL

My dog, Scout and I have enjoyed and benefited from Loretta’s dog training instruction. She showed me that the best path to help Scout become a calmer dog was through positive reinforcement methods.  Following her guidance, Scout and I have become and continue to be more confident in public. Our experience with Loretta also includes Nose Work training and trials. Her knowledge and background are extensive. She modifies her instruction to each individual dog and handler. Her support and encouragement is invaluable. Plus the classes are a lot of Fun!
Claudia Aschbrenner, Rockford, IL

My dogs and I have been taking classes from Loretta for over the last 2 years. Loretta is an exceptional trainer, encouraging, knowledgeable and compassionate, using science based, positive reinforcement training.  In little time we have been able to earn our Rally Intermediate titles. Loretta adapts her instruction to each student and their goals; whether you are looking to compete in dog sports or want to have fun with your dog, Loretta will make sure you and your dog get the most out of class.
Robyn Dilling Rafalzik, Chicago, IL

We have taken many classes and have had private sessions with Loretta and our rescued, reactive German Shepherd. We came to her after trying many other trainers with no luck in changing our dog’s behavior. She knows all things dogs and was able to assess our needs and help us help him. She used a positive-based system and encouraged us to get rid of all negative training techniques that we learned with other trainers. She taught us how our dog’s mind works and even sent us research on positive training techniques with reactive dogs. We saw a change in behavior very quickly. Over the last year, we have been learning Nose Work with Loretta. She has helped us learn the techniques to compete at various trials. I can say without Loretta and her positive training techniques, our dog would not be the calm playful dog he is today.
Kim Suedbeck, Machesney Park, IL

I met Loretta by chance when I decided to try a Dock Diving class. It ended up being the start of a great relationship! I then progressed to certifying one dog to be a Therapy Dog and began taking Rally Obedience with another. So far we have earned two titles in Rally! Then I decided to try nose work with both my dogs and we are excited to start trialing in that soon. Loretta's compassionate way with all dogs is what sealed this relationship for me! I am looking forward to continuing my dog education with her and with Adrienne Kelence.
Renate Skinner, Harvard, IL

I have valued Loretta as a trainer over the years.  She has been instrumental in helping me develop a positive bond and partnership with my dogs. She takes a very positive approach in her teaching approaches and seeks to help owners build their dog’s confidence and joy in training.  I have taken several classes with her (obedience, nose work, tricks, and preparation for therapy dog certification).  One of my dogs is a rescue dog (American Fox Hound) she helped me find some of his natural talents and build his confidence and acclimate to our home.

Ann Petty, Rockford, IL

My dogs and I have taken many classes with Loretta and have loved every one of them! No matter which class Loretta is teaching she always uses scientifically based positive reinforcement methods. After doing some compulsion based training and not enjoying it, that appealed to me so we enrolled in Loretta’s Nosework class. Training was fun for both of us and we were quickly hooked. We enjoyed it so much we went on to become the 35th dog in the world to earn a UKC Elite Nosework title, all thanks to Loretta’s instruction. Since then, my dogs have all earned their Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog certifications with Loretta and we’re still doing Nosework and loving it!
Whether your goal is to teach your dog basic manners, to compete in dog sports, or anything in between, I highly recommend Loretta’s classes.  She’ll give you the tools and help you develop the skills you need to get where you want to be. And, you and your dog will have fun doing it!

Sylvia Gorman, Winnebago, IL

Loretta Swanson gets FIVE 💥💥💥💥💥 stars as a canine training instructor, I have been with her for at least 4 different dogs participating in everything from basic obedience to dock diving to nose work.  We especially liked the nose work, it kept the pups busy and really tuckered them out.  I would recommend Loretta highly if you want to have fun and have your dogs learning every session.  

PS.  Millie and Louie want you to know that she has the best smelling treats too.  

Teri Patrick Anderson, Rockford, IL

My retirement dream was to have a therapy dog. It also had to be a bulldog. My husband and I were very fortunate to have Loretta as our therapy dog trainer. She was always positive and encouraging to us and our dog during training. I appreciated learning in an actual senior living facility. She suggested we use a stroller for our bulldog, Joe. It made it easier for the residents to see and pet Joe. Joe loved his stroller and enjoyed seeing the people's faces instead of their knees! Because we trained in an actual facility, it gave us and Joe the confidence to visit facilities in our own community. Prior to Covid, Joe visited senior facilities, the school I retired from, my hometown library and was planning on doing visits at a Men's Homeless Shelter. Now he is doing virtual visits all over the United States! He has over 100 visits! We really appreciate Loretta! She keeps in touch through her Facebook group, offering more opportunities for us and our therapy dogs. Thank you, Loretta, for fulfilling my retirement dream more than you will ever know. 

Nancy Drake, Beloit, WI

bottom of page