Bridget has been passionate about animals since childhood. She earned a bachelor of science degree in animal science from the University of Massachusetts in 1997, and began training dogs professionally in 2001. In 2007, she tested for and earned her certification as a professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA). As part of her ongoing commitment to develop professionally, Bridget enrolled in Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA) and graduated with distinction in January of 2010. She is now recognized as a KPA Certified Training Partner (CTP).
In the fall of 2008, Bridget co-founded Family Dog Training (FDT) in partnership with Paul Emerson (CPDT-KA), an instructor with more than 25 years of professional training experience. The core mission of FDT is imparting skills to people and their canine companions to ensure that they all live together successfully and happily. FDT attempts to bridge the communication gap and culture clash between people and dogs by employing and teaching clicker training. FDT offers a range of services that cover the entirety of a dog's lifetime with its family—starting with puppy socialization/owner education (Puppy Social Hour), basic manners (Good Dog 101/201), and preparation for dog sports (Introduction to Agility and Disc Dog Classes). In addition, FDT offers Canine Good Citizen classes and behavioral consults.
As an instructor, Bridget has a diverse training background. She has participated in training agility, fly-ball, competition obedience, canine disc sport (Frisbee), and drive-ball. Since 2002, Bridget has performed at local events as a member of the Blue Dog Group Extreme Canine Disc Frisbee Team along with her border collies, Zydeco and Gromit. In a professional capacity, Bridget is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen evaluator. In addition, she is a member of Truly Dog Friendly, a national organization promoting non-violent, dog-friendly training methods.
Bridget continues to hone her handling and training skills both locally and regionally. These opportunities include regular attendance at continuing education and professional development seminars and conferences, such as ClickerExpo. “I am truly passionate about people and their dogs. I get tremendous satisfaction from helping families have a wonderful dog ownership experience. The key to success is understanding that the critical relationship between people and their dogs can only be fostered with patience and trust, not by intimidation or violence.”