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Meet the Authors
Brother Christopher

Brother Christopher Savage - New Skete Prior, Hieromonk (priest-monk) director of dog training

Brother Christopher grew up near Chicago, Illinois.

Before entering monastic life, he attended the University of Southern California, Georgetown University, and St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, where he earned his degree in philosophy. After graduation, he entered monastic life at New Melleray Abbey, near Dubuque, Iowa. After four years at the Trappist monastery, his deep attraction for the Christian East, led him to leave and join New Skete, an Eastern Orthodox monastery in Cambridge, NY. In 1983, he made his life profession.

Although it is a far cry from his formal studies, Brother Christopher was asked to head the dog training program at New Skete. He had been assisting the previous program director since his arrival at the monastery and had an aptitude for training dogs. Reading everything he could get his hands on about dogs and training, he strived to stay a step ahead of the clients he was trying to help, and over the years he became a mature, world-renowned dog trainer. Brother Christopher believes that his experience with dogs has revealed much about the scope of God’s mysterious presence in the world and helped him to think about spirituality in an inclusive rather than exclusive sense. Principal writer for the Monks of New Skete of their books In the Spirit of Happiness (1999), Rise Up with a Listening Heart (2005), I & Dog (2003), Dogs and Devotion (2009), The Art of Raising a Puppy (1991 and 2011), and the revised edition of How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend (2002), Bless the Dogs (2013) Brother Christopher has seen them published in many languages and distributed throughout the world.

In 1995, Brother Christopher was asked by the monastery to serve as a priest and was ordained in October of that year. For many years he has been involved in the formation of novices, and has more recently been active in spiritual direction of guests and pilgrims who visit the monastery.  In January 2014, Brother Christopher was elected Prior of New Skete. In this role he leads in the governing of the monastery.


Marc Goldberg

Marc Goldberg - owner/trainer

 What does it take to offer the best dog training in Chicago? Sensitivity to both dogs and people. Education and credentials. The ability to motivate and gently improve your dog's behavior. Execellent communication skills. The ability to deliver. And most important of all, an abiding love for all dogs.


Marc Goldberg, CDT is a certified dog trainer, and past president of the International Association of Canine Professionals. To learn more about the IACP, an organization of over 1,200 members worldwide, please visit  Marc's story began in 1969 when his first dog, Gus, came in to his life. Gus ran out into the street one day and was hit by a car. Fortunately, he survived. When he was healed up, Marc's mother shipped both boy and dog off to dog training school. Mentored by some of the finest dog trainers in the nation, Marc's career in dog training began at the age of 12.  He hasn't looked back since! 


 Marc isn't your typical dog trainer. Typically, dog trainers try to sell you specific dog training behaviors such as heel, sit, down, stay and come. Oh, you want your dog to come when off leash? You'd like your dog to stop lunging and growling at other dogs? You need your dog to stop using your home for a bathroom? You could be looking at week after week of lessons, lots of corrections or tons of food bribery.


I'm not the average dog trainer. I don't sell dog training behaviors. I want to deliver you the dream...the dream of a profound and loving relationship with your dog. When dog and human are in a deep relationship, each meets the needs of the other. 


Fulfilled dogs do not lunge, bark incessantly, chew your belongings, ignore you. Happy dogs get to run off leash at every opportunity at one of Chicago's beaches, dog parks, on in their Chicagoland yards. Contented dogs come when you call them, walk nicely on the leash, and never need corrections or yelling. 


 That's why I train with my signature ForceFree Method™. We simply harness the power of Pack Drive...your dog's natural instinct to follow the Leader. That Leader can be you. 

The Collaberation

In the early 2000’s Brother Christopher was head trainer for the Monks of New Skete. Today he retains that role as well as Prior of the monastery. Back then the monks trained dogs as they always had, using effective methods they popularized in their best-selling book How To Be Your Dog’s Best Friend.


The monks were inducted in the International Association of Canine Professionals’ (IACP) Hall of Fame for their contributions to people and dogs. At the induction, Brother Christopher met Marc Goldberg, then President of the IACP and a friendship was born. Some time later, at the recommendation of Wendy Volhard, a renowned dog trainer and author in her own right, Brother Christopher attended an e-collar workshop taught by Marc and his friend Martin Deeley.


Brother Christopher remembers, “I was astounded by the gentle approach Marc had pioneered. These two consummate professionals were helping dogs learn gently but also far more quickly than had been possible before this new technology. I felt a moral obligation to bring these techniques to New Skete so that I could help even more dogs and their owners.”


Over the years, Marc made frequent visits to New Skete and formed friendships with monastic community and staff alike. Marc says, “New Skete and its people became like a second home to me, and more importantly, a second family. And that’s how we began to write together…because the monks and I sparked ideas and creativity in one another.” 


Let Dogs Be Dogs was the first book that stemmed from this creative collaboration. The book conveys what the authors describe as “the art of living with a dog” to achieve better behavior in an organic and optimal way. A new book launches in October 2020.The Art of Training Your Dog gives a detailed six-week lesson plan so that owners can train their dogs all the way from unruly to well trained on, and critically, of fthe leash. This book also helps owners quickly fix over 40 common dog behavior problems. More books are in the planning stage as the authors find inspiration with the dogs and from their discussions about their mutual work.


Today you would be hard pressed to discover a difference in the way the Monks of New Skete and Marc Goldberg train dogs. They share a philosophy which the monks initiated: that training is not merely for the sake of obedience, but is meant to serve the relationship. Together the Monks of New Skete and Marc also teach popular dog training workshops for owners and other trainers who wish to master their techniques.

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