About SARA

A highly experienced dog trainer, helping you to live in harmony with your dog.

Sara with two of her dogs Edie and Rupert

Passionate about dogs

Sara and her two dogs

I’m Sara Bridgeman and I’ve been passionate about dogs since childhood.  I walked all the local dogs for free and I even had my own toy dogs which I played with endlessly.  When set up my own home, I was able to have a dog of my own for the first time.  Over the years, I’ve had many different types of dogs including some with very challenging characters and “quirks”!

Bertie was the dog that turned my world around.  He was awful.  Pulled on the lead, had no manners and no recall.  I found that I needed help and worked with a behavioural and training group with him.  It was through my love of working with him (and the other dogs that I owned) that I decided to become a dog trainer.  I did a year long course with The Walkabout Group, attended seminars, read everything I could and worked with other world renowned trainers. Each one had their own approach and different types of dog training and methods. It was during this time that I recognised that I wanted to do something different, something that focused on the owners not just the dogs.

My philosophy to dog training is very simple. Having a dog should be a happy and fun experience that enriches your life and that of your dog. It shouldn’t be full of “dos and don’ts” and it certainly shouldn’t be complicated. Most importantly, I recognise that each dog is an individual and so is each owner.

I work with puppies, adult dogs, senior dogs, dogs who are nervous, reactive or anxious and rescue dogs to develop a relaxed and calm way of training that suits your lifestyle  By offering this personal approach – whether working in groups or individually – I can help you gain valuable skills to deal with any issues in a relaxed atmosphere AND in the place where you need help the most whether that’s at home or in the park.

Above all, I want to bring some FUN back into dog ownership for both human and canine clients! All my classes and sessions use positive and reward based techniques (which doesn’t mean stuffing them with treats) which encourage good behaviour from your dog.  Whatever age, breed, size or shape I can help you and your pet build a lifelong happy and fulfilling relationship.

I look forward to working with you in the future!

Sara Bridgeman, KCAI (Cd)

 

Edie the dog

Edie

Edie came to us from Bedlington Terrier Rescue and from day one fitted in so well at home and in the classes. She has been socialised since we got her and often helps out in class!  We’ve been to Crufts to do a display and Discover Dogs twice to help out on the BTR stand.  She’s even featured in a book (Dogs in Jumpers) and has her own knitting pattern!

Each dog is an individual but I can honestly say she is probably the best dog I’ve ever owned as she is very chilled and relaxed.  And I’m delighted that she finally passed her Bronze Award in July 2017.

Rupert at Crufts

Rupert

Rupert is the baby of the family despite being now three years old.  He’s started his show career well with two firsts (including a Best Puppy and Best of Breed) and some seconds and thirds.  In 2018 he qualified for Crufts 2019 by gaining his first Championship Certificate at The National Terrier Show and has continued to pick up certificates during the year, including a first at the Midland Bedlington Terrier Club Open show in February 2019.  Amazingly, he then went on to gain a first in his Post Graduate class at Crufts 2019 which qualifies him for Crufts 2020.   He and Edie are playmates and best friends and even though she can find him a little annoying, she loves him very much.  Rupert will be working on passing his KCGCDS Bronze course in 2020.

The following two dogs taught me more about dog training than any book or course.  Sadly missed, Bertie and Bella were my inspiration for becoming a trainer.

Bertie the dog

Bertie

Coming from Battersea Dogs Home as a very boisterous stray, it was through Bertie that I gained my qualifications to be a trainer and the experience of working with him gave me lots of new skills.

He continued to surprise and delight me when he learnt something new or visited a new place. He was proof that you really can teach an old dog new tricks. Bertie was qualified to Kennel Club Good Citizen Silver level.  Sadly he passed away in April 2017 at the grand old age of 15 years old and is very much missed.

Bella the dog

Bella

Bella came to us at 18 months old, an ex-breeding bitch from a puppy farm.  She had been bred from at least once and still showed the trauma of losing her pups and the environment that she was brought up in.  Always a loving dog, it took her at least six months to settle in and even then she was never truly house trained.  At that stage in my training I knew that I had to accept her for the dog she was and work with her.  She had some funny quirks but she also could be a wonderful companion to those she loved.  It was because of her barking and unsocial behaviour that I started up the Small Dog Social Club.  We would walk with a group of other small, anxious dogs and owners and just let them get to know each other.  Bella was amazing with the pups and I can’t remember how many of them she accompanied on their first off lead experience!  She and Bertie were devoted to each other and when she passed away in 2013 he was totally lost without her as we all were.

Qualifications & Training

Kennel Club Accreditation Scheme
Canine Body Language Instructor
Pet Professional Network
  • Kennel Club Accredited Instructor (Companion Dog training) accredited March 2019
  • Dog Training Instructor course with The Walkabout Group
  • Jan Fennell Foundation Course in Canine Communication
  • St John Ambulance First Aid in the Workplace certificate
  • ProTraining Europe Canine First Aid certificate
  • Dorwest Herbs Product Knowledge Training Scheme
  • Dog Nutrition Course from Nutrience Dog Good
  • Kennel Club Good Citizen Certificates
  • Grisha Stewart three day workshop learning the theory and skills of BAT 2.0
  • Compass Learning Foundation in Canine Behaviour Management (currently working towards diploma)
  • Dog Training College – Canine Body Language instructor
  • Sheila Harper seminar on Calming the Stressful Dog
  • Carolyn Menteith lecture “Puppy Parties – What you need to know”
  • Dr Roger Mugford lecture on dog behaviour
  • Dean Hart of The Canine Studies College lecture “An exploration into the symptoms and treatment of Canine Anxiety, Fear and Phobia”
  • Robert Alleyne day seminar
  • Angela White lecture “Training the Handler – a look at instructing, communication skills and your role as an instructor and advisor”
  • Stephen Jenkinson lecture “Commercial Dog Walkers – adding value and reducing conflict”
  • Angela White demonstration “Clicker train your problems away”
  • The Dog Bite Provention Conference with Speakers – Victoria Stilwell, Sarah Fisher, Grisha Stewart, Kendall Sheppard, Chirag Patel and others
  • Amber Batson – Aggression in Dogs course (3 weekend modules)
  • The Puppy Conference 2018
  • IMDT 2 Day Career as a Dog Trainer course
  • Worry Free Walks with Dom Hodgson
  • Grow your Pet Business Fast Seminar with Dom Hodgson
  • IMDT The Exercises one day seminar

What sort of a relationship do you want with your dog?

Rewards Dog Training can help you right through from those early days with your pup and beyond so that you can have the best start possible to build the relationship you want. 

But it’s not all about pups, sometimes owners need help with those ‘teenage’ and ‘senior’ years too! Ask how we can help you to live in harmony with your dog.