30 Years Serving the Great Lakes Region


Janet Peppler

Janet Peppler
The Peppler Agency
20658 Harper Avenue
Harper Woods, Michigan

Miley was only 5 months old when her owner knew she needed to do something fast. Miley’s future included her being the office mascot, but her initial skittishness and fear of people was becoming intimidating as she progressed to barking, growling, and lunging at customers. Her boarded therapy program taught her to relax, raised her confidence, and gave her family complete off leash control in all situations. Today, she is back at work making new friends daily.

“Animal Learning Systems surpassed all hopes and expectations I had in using an outside source to train my 6 month old Labrador retriever. This program was my last resort when I just didn't know what to do with an uncontrollable dog. The dog that was returned to me connected and listened to me. She is a joy as a companion. I almost gave up hope and by using ALS, I have a best friend that listens and responds. I am so proud of what she has become thanks to Jim Lessenberry and staff. Feel free to stop in and meet her anytime!”


Mark Shatz

Mark Shatz
West Bloomfield, Michigan

Buster came to us at age 3 1⁄2 years. Initially the combination of high dominance and low confidence made him an unpredictable aggressor towards people of all ages and genders. To manage the situation Buster became a latchkey dog at a local doggie day-care until his behavior became unmanageable there as well. A friend recommended Animal Learning Systems and after an extensive evaluation the family elected to have Buster “go inpatient.” Later, spoiled by one easy-to- control dog, the family elected to have Ceibhfhionn complete an Off Leash Training Program. Both dogs travel about with their family and enjoy freedoms never before possible.

“I can’t say more than that your therapy program literally saved Buster’s life, without it we could not have kept him. It turned out to be such a pleasure having our Great Dane trained to respond off leash that we enrolled our Irish Wolfhound, Ceibhfhionn, for training even though she has no real problem behaviors. Now we can enjoy both big dogs without leashes.”


Amanda Sigouin

Amanda Sigouin
New York City

Amanda and her roommates wanted to share their 4th floor Manhattan walk-up with a rescue dog. Sasha seemed sweet and ready for a young family, but within days Sasha was diagnosed with severe pneumonia requiring a lengthy hospitalization. Happy to reclaim their now healthy dog, they quickly discovered that a healthy Sasha was a sometimes nasty Sasha. Complicating the situation was her profound deafness that made her nearly unmanageable. Now, more than a year after completing a behavior therapy program, Sasha is as well adjusted as any proud New Yorker.

“Animal Learning Systems has had a dramatic impact on our dog, Sasha. Sasha came to us from a rescue group as a 8 year old, profoundly deaf dog with aggressive tendencies. After successful completion of extensive training at ALS, we can now effectively communicate with her through a multitude of non-verbal commands. Even more remarkable, her personality has become much more agreeable and mellow, making her a more well behaved dog around both other dogs and people. We are so grateful for the positive difference her time at ALS has made in her and our lives!”


Paige Heenan

Paige Heenan
Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan

By 18 months old Retro was no longer allowed access to people beyond his immediate family. His early ambivalence for people had advanced to intimidation and aggressive behavior towards visitors. He didn’t like the children’s friends, the lawn guy, Grandpa, or the veterinarian and everyone knew it! Now, after completing a behavior therapy program he is a gentle giant loved by his family and the neighborhood.

“At my wits end, I asked my vet for a recommendation to help us with our 140 pound unruly Kuvasz, Retro. She suggested Jim Lessenberry at Animal Learning Systems. Retro spent six weeks training with Jim and his team. The transformation still stuns me. When I compare life with Retro before I met Jim to his behavior now, the metamorphosis from out of control beast (yes, I am calling my dog a beast) to the lovely dog who walks pleasantly at my side off the leash, is nothing short of astonishing. Jim has a rare way with both dogs and the humans who love them. Jim's kind and peaceful demeanor indicates to me that he genuinely cares about the animals and families he works with.”


Ashley Davis

Cathy G.
Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan

We met Kolbe after too many close calls. Adopted by his owner at 6 months old, by the age of 2 years he could not be trusted with strangers. In public he would lunge at passersby, bicycles, and joggers, from inside the home and car he would charge the windows. At the veterinarian’s office he required a muzzle. Our evaluation and testing revealed that Kolbe’s aberrant behavior was rooted in fear. No one ever did anything to make him this way, rather his brain misinterpreted nonthreatening people as dangerous. Extensive behavior therapy taught Kolbe how to behave in a more normal and pro-social way towards people, raising both his and his owner’s confidence!

“The staff at ALS is amazing! Jim gave me the joy of a controlled, relaxed, happy and obedient dog. I was at a point of having to give up my dog because of his behavioral problems. If I hadn’t discovered Jim, things would have been very different. I am thankful everyday for Jim and everyone at ALS. They treat Kolbe with respect and love just as they would their own. And, I continue to use the services of ALS for boarding – it’s the only place I will ever trust with my dog. Thank you ALS for giving me my dog back!”


Ashley Davis

Ashley Davis
Detroit, Michigan

Only two years old, Clark was beautiful, smart, and playful... but she was dangerous. Sweet one moment she could turn in a flash becoming an intimidating animal. She was aggressive to all dogs and it was well established that she was highly predatory to other animals. Clark’s unpredictable reaction to people forced Ashley to live alone, although her dream was to join an artist’s cooperative, where she would be living in a shared community of people and a number of house cats. Although it seemed that Ashley’s life was too complex for this dog to be a part, she was determined to save her relationship with Clark and after intense therapy and training Clark is now an integral part of the Trumbull Plex, an artist’s community, in Detroit.

“I found an emaciated dog tied to a fence in a park in Philly. I brought her home and fell in love, and when she was back up to health, I discovered that she was severely aggressive and hyperactive. Although she was the most loving dog I had ever seen, her aggression was endangering those around her and herself. She began attacking my family’s dog, became territorial over me and food, and turned her aggression on me when I tried to control and discipline her. There were times I had to pin her to the ground while she tried to get at my throat. I put her through numerous training programs that had no effect on her aggressive behavior. Any shelter I could have brought her to would have put her down and no one would have been willing to take her. There was no solution in sight until someone referred me to Jim Lessenberry. When she completed the program I couldn’t believe the change in her. She is the same dog that I love but is completely obedient. She responds to my commands the second I give them. She walks off leash at my side and we can walk right by another dog. I bring her with me everywhere I can, and she is the most loyal and loving dog I could ask for.”


Jennifer Bierkle

Jennifer Bierkle
Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan

Louie and Koko, both sweet and very cute, were the wedding gift that kept on giving... too bad it was in the form of peeing and barking! Even the 18 month old little girl covered her ears at one point during our initial evaluation of the situation. Jennifer was at her wits end, but an accurate assessment of the inappropriate behaviors in these dogs allowed for a complete turn-around in just 3 visits. Now the Bierkle home is peaceful and dry.

“I called Animal Learning Systems a few months back because I was fed up with my two Yorkie’s incessant barking and peeing all over my house. Louie and Koko are 6 years old and our problems with them had grown over the past four years. With two small children at home and a husband that wanted a new home for our dogs, I was desperate for some help. From the very moment Jim came into my home I was impressed by how he approached our situation. By asking me a series of question he precisely described my dogs’ different personalities. He had never met them before and didn't need to spend much time with us before he had figure out what dog was the “problem.” Since Jim's visit my household has been more calm and quiet and my Yorkies (and husband) are much more relaxed throughout the day. It is safe to say our family has benefited greatly from our training with Jim. I would highly recommend Animal Learning Systems to any family having troubles with a loved pet!”

Our Business Office

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Animal Learning Systems, Inc.
Business Office

18540 Mack Avenue
Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan 48236
phone: 313.882.6180
fax: 313.882.6151

Urban Dog Campus

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Animal Learning Systems, Inc.
Urban Dog Campus

210 Campbell Street, Suite D
Rochester, Michigan 48307
phone: 313.882.6180
fax: 313.882.6151

Birmingham Courses

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Birmingham Unitarian Church
Birmingham Courses

38651 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills MI 48304
phone: 313.882.6180
fax: 313.882.6151

Grosse Pointe Courses

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Grosse Pointe Academy
Grosse Pointe Courses

171 Lake Shore Road
Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan 48236
phone: 313.882.6180
fax: 313.882.6151

Plymouth Courses

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Happy Hounds Day Care
Plymouth Courses

673 S. Main Street
Plymouth, Michigan 48170
phone: 313.882.6180
fax: 313.882.6151