dog hiking guide

Professional Dog Training Services

in the Stamford, CT area

Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)

Sarah Jean Bonomo has achieve a three (3) year certification by way of having earned the appropriate number and type of continuing education credits and passing the CPDT-KA examination. Information about this distinguished credential can be found at

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!

Behavioral Modification

Leash reactivity, destructive behaviors, fearfulness

Basic Cues

Sit, down, wait, stay, leave it, drop it, place

Lose the Leash

Off leash training so that you and your dog can enjoy freedom!

Frequently Asked Training Questions

  • Will Sarah train my dog for me?

    Long term results are only possible when the pet parent is committed to the training and management plans. I will guide you through the process, however it’s up to the pet parents to practice daily.

  • Does Sarah offer a “quick fix” for my dog’s behavior challenges?

    No. Force free, rewards based training is proven to be the most effective way to teach all animals. This training requires time, patience, and an understanding of your dog’s individual needs.

  • 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.

Force free training focuses on reinforcing desirable behaviors and providing alternates for unwanted behaviors. Force free trainers also work on strict management plans while we work to change your pup’s emotional response to triggers.

Sarah has experience working with breeds of all shapes and sizes. However, bully breed rescues hold a special place in her heart. She is a firm believer that no breed needs a heavy hand.

Sarah has a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from SUNY Oswego, and she earned her dog training certification through CATCH Canine Trainers Academy. Additionally, Sarah is Fear Free Certified, and also holds the CCPDT-KA title.

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

Add a card on file to the Time to Pet portal.

fear free training certificate

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!

Testimonials from The Pack

“I have known and used many dog trainers over the past 14 years, many with a lot of years of experience that are published and highly acclaimed but Sarah stands out as the best for many reasons. She clearly has the training, knowledge and credentials. She beautifully balances training the dogs and the owners without putting pressure on either. Sarah is also a very quick thinker and quick on her feet. She is creative and has ideas and solutions for every situation and every issue. She is incredibly kind and has a gentle strength that enables her to handle and understand dogs (and humans) of all types and personalities. My dogs love her and I highly recommend her to anyone needing a dog trainer.”


We’ve loved working with Sarah to help Benny appropriately greet guests, develop his leash skills, and recall. It’s so clear that Sarah is knowledgeable and experienced. Her love for Benny and all dogs shines through in her work. We did a 5-session package and a follow up a year later to keep up on Benny’s skills. Benny responded so well to her and her training. We’ve also benefited from the activities to work on in between sessions. We highly recommend Sarah!


Sarah was born to be a dog trainer. She helped us learn the fundamentals with our Belgian Malinois puppy. She has a very calm and effective approach, with a ton of tips. Each session we learned something new that we utilize with our puppy every day. Her training has helped us tremendously!

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