Professional Dog Training Services

in the Stamford, CT area

Behavioral Training

Leash reactivity, destructive behaviors, separation anxiety, over-excitability, counter surfing.

Basic Commands

Hand targeting, look at me, go to place, stay with duration and distraction, and different impulse control exercises.

Lose the Leash

When you’re able to trust your dog off leash, both of you will have more fun!

Yes! You and your dog can enjoy life together.

“Fear Free” training revolves around building a healthy relationship with your dog.
Learn new commands, build trust, improve behavior, and lose that leash forever!

Meet Our Trainer – Sarah Bonomo

Sarah has been passionate about animals, especially dogs, her entire life. Her family adopted their first puppy, Diesel, when she was nine, and from then on she’s been fascinated with dog behavior. She worked hard trying to understand Diesels “problem” behaviors, such as dog reactivity and resource guarding, and made strides in helping him overcome these obstacles.

She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Zoology at SUNY Oswego, in May 2018 and graduated with honors. She minored in Psychology, and completed a thesis in which she analyzed the stress levels of rescue dogs. After graduation, Sarah spent the year completing her Dog Training Certification through CATCH Canine Trainers Academy. She shadowed two mentor trainers, passed multiple exams that tested her knowledge of dog training, and trained a “student dog” to perform a variety of behaviors.

Throughout the years, Sarah has gained valuable experience in training. She volunteers at a local rescue and works with the dogs on basic obedience and impulse control behaviors, which makes them more adoptable. She has worked with dogs and their families after adoption to help ensure a smooth transition, and has worked with families on ensuring their pup is well socialized.

Sarah’s training methods are that of patience, understanding, and positive reinforcement. She uses positive reinforcement-based techniques for basic obedience training, as well as the use of classical counter-conditioning and desensitization for overcoming behavioral problems. She is especially passionate about proper socialization for puppies, and ensuring that all pups are set up for success from day one.

Sarah focuses on finding the root cause of behavioral problems, which in most cases is the lack of appropriate, mentally and physically stimulating exercise. Off-leash reliability is crucial for your dog to succeed at Active Dog Hikes, and is something that all dogs, young and old, can have great success with!

Frequently Asked Training Questions

  • Where do we meet for private sessions?

    Private sessions are typically done in the clients home. This is because dogs learn best in environments that they are comfortable in (at first!). It is also important for me to observe your dog in their own environment so that I’m able to see the “big picture”. Once we do a few preliminary visits, we can meet in public places such as pet stores and parks.

  • Who should be present during private sessions?

    The dogs primary caretakers should certainly be present, and ideally anyone else in the home that interacts with the dog on a regular basis. This way, everyone is able to be on the same page, and learning can accelerate!

  • Do I have to work with my dog outside of our sessions?

    Yes. The sessions are designed so that I am teaching you how to teach your dog. Dogs learn by repetition and consistency, therefore its vital that you practice with your dog every single day.

The key to training a dog using positive reinforcement is rewarding our dogs when they are doing appropriate behaviors, and either ignoring or asking for alternate behaviors when they are doing inappropriate behaviors.

I earned my dog training certification through CATCH Canine Trainers Academy, where I am now a mentor trainer. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology, where I learned the fundamentals of animal biology and behavior. I have experience working with dogs in rescue, helping them transition from shelter to home life, as well as with working with puppies and dogs of all ages and breeds. Learn More About Sarah

While using physical or verbal corrections on our dogs may appear to give us the results we are looking for (by inhibiting behavior), there is a huge risk of fallout. Dogs may start showing defensive aggression, and may become fearful and “shut down”.

The use of the word “dominance” in dog training is long outdated. Dominance Theory is based on a study done in the 1930’s/1940’s, wherein unrelated wolves were placed in captivity. This study found that these unrelated, captive wolves engaged in violent fights in order to gain dominance over the other wolves. However, this is not normal wolf behavior- natural wolf packs consist of a male and female wolf that mate for life, and their offspring (it is a family unit). Dominance Theory doesn’t apply to wolves, and certainly cannot apply to our domesticated dogs. Read more about this here: Debunking the “Alpha Dog” Theory – Whole Dog Journal

Payment can be made via check to:

Active Dog LLC
PO Box 1243
Weston, CT 06883

fear free training certificate

“We did the 5 week training with Sarah and are very happy with the result. She is so attentive and patient. She taught us to be better humans for Kuki, so he can become better. We learned that patience and high-energy/happy voice goes a long way.

We will continue to use what we’ve learned, thanks so much Sarah! She is highly recommended.”

“I just completed my 5 session training pack with Sarah. I recommend her highly to anyone looking for dog training. She is patient and kind, and her training methods are clear and effective. My dog loved the sessions, and his challenging behaviors are dramatically improved. Most importantly, I learned the skills to continue to encourage his good behaviors. I’m so glad I did the training with Sarah!”

“I just completed my 5 session training pack with Sarah. I recommend her highly to anyone looking for dog training. She is patient and kind, and her training methods are clear and effective. My dog loved the sessions, and his challenging behaviors are dramatically improved. Most importantly, I learned the skills to continue to encourage his good behaviors. I’m so glad I did the training with Sarah!”

Dog Training Programs and Pricing

Note: We offer discounted training for recently rescued dogs or puppies that will cover training some basic behaviors, the fundamentals of dog training, and decompression. Inquire for details.

  • The "Chihuahua" Training Program

    A great option for dogs who need to brush up on one specific/basic skill, and for dog parents that need a refresher on the basics. Topics that can be covered in one training session include (but are not limited to) potty training, puppy nipping, inappropriate chewing, jumping, and counter surfing.

  • The "Labrador" Training Program

    The perfect fit for dogs who may have behavioral challenges, and for puppies and newly adopted dogs that need to learn basic obedience and impulse control. Behavioral issues that can be addressed within 5 training sessions include (but are not limited to) leash reactivity, leash walking, recall, fear based behaviors toward people/other animals, destructive behaviors, and mild separation anxiety. Basic obedience and impulse control exercises that will be covered for puppies/newly adopted dogs include sit, look, down, stay, wait, leave it, place, loose leash walking, and recall.

  • The "Great Dane" Training Program

    For dog families that need extra support, this is the plan for you! All behavioral issues and basic obedience/impulse control exercises covered in the Labrador package can be addressed, but with more hands on work from the trainer and a more customizable plan. Dogs have the opportunity to work one-on-one with the trainer in a variety of settings, such as their own home, parks, and pet stores. This will allow your dog to gain valuable real world experience, even if you are unable to be there! Positive Reinforcement based training is the most reliable method of dog training, and it requires a large time commitment in order to see the best results. This plan allows the option for the trainer to take care of the repetitions and consistency in order to ensure your dog’s success!

  • The Chihuahua

  • Single Session$200
  • 15 – 30 min phone consultation
  • Resources pertaining to your dog’s needs
  • Single training session
  • Training clicker and whistle *
  • Dog owner presence optional
  • Discount for newly rescued dogs
  • The Labrador

  • Training Series$800
  • 15 – 30 min initial phone consultation
  • Resources pertaining to your dog’s needs
  • 5 training sessions
  • Training clicker and whistle *
  • Dog owner presence optional
  • Discount for newly rescued dogs
  • The Great Dane

  • Complete Training$2,750
  • 15 – 30 min initial phone consultation
  • Resources pertaining to your dog’s needs
  • 20 training sessions
  • Training clicker and whistle *
  • Dog owner presence optional
  • Discount for newly rescued dogs

* If applicable

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