Bridget Taber lives with her husband on a 31-acre farm in Loudoun County VA where she has 9 horses, 5 pups aka German shepherd dogs, 3 barn cats, and 3 house cats.
Bridget started retraining retired and/or broke down racehorses at 21 years old and was very successful at that. Along the way, she learned about “natural horsemanship” which was a kinder and gentler way to “train” horses and not “break” horses. During this time she got a GSD named Nico who she trained in schutzhund. Nico was her best friend and the day she had to jerk up one time on the prong collar she had on him he yelped so loudly it upset her greatly! From that day forward she knew she could not do that again and never did and then saw a horrible “correction” of a dog being choked by the trainer she was training under and decided this was not for her and her wonderful companion Nico whom she loved like child!
Nico pasted away of old age at 11 ½ years old but semen had been frozen and stored many years earlier. Along came a precious litter of pups from Nico’s frozen semen. She ended up keeping two males from the litter and was warned over and over not to keep littermates that they feed off of each other and will fight a lot and wouldn’t bond with her, but would bond with each other. She was very diligent to make sure this did not happen and was for the first time confronted with not knowing what to do with her two new puppies that were so difficult to get to listen to her when they were together, so she heard about a “positive re-enforcement” trainer named Cari Messick. From there she learned a fun, rewarding and positive way to train with no choke collars, no prong collars and/or shock collars. She had never used a shock collar but had seen them in the training with other dogs with Nico at training and this was not an option she would ever entertain with Nico under any circumstances for him…after all he was her companion, best friend and little boy in a fur coat whom she loved dearly.
After the horse market and real estate market went south with the economy, Bridget decided to pursue a career in dog training and was very lucky to have a world renowned dog trainer practically in her back yard, so she took a 60 hour college equivalent course in dog training based on science and positive re-enforcement methods. She has spent many, many years training her own pups and mentoring under other dog trainers. Bridget will continue her education in dog training with continued education widely available through many programs in the United States.
Bridget currently trains her own dogs in Nose Work and has titled 3 out of 3 of her GSD in NW1 on the first attempt, 2 of 2 that have trialed at NW2, one doing it on the first attempt. She is continuing to train her third dog and hopes to title him soon in NW2 as well. She only recently got him as a rescue, so his training is behind the other two. The other two are currently training for their nose work 3 titles.
Bridget A Taber, CPDT-KA of Purcellville, VA has earned certification through the Certified Council for Professional Dog Trainers CCPDT. She joins over 2,000 Certificants Worldwide!
Until the creation of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2001, there was no true certification process for canine professionals. Many schools teach dog trainers and offer certifications for their specific programs. These certificates, therefore, reflect the teachings and quality of a specific school. Other organizations offer take-home tests for "certifications". These canine professionals are not monitored to ensure they are completing the test without any assistance or collaboration nor is the testing process standardized.
This unprecedented process was originally implemented by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest association of dog trainers in the world, founded by noted veterinarian, behaviorist and author Dr. Ian Dunbar. A task force of approximately 20 internationally known dog training professionals and behaviorist worked for three years to research and develop the first comprehensive examination. Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) was hired to ensure the process met professional testing standards. APDT then created a separate, independent council - The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers - to manage the accreditation and pursue future development.
Candidates who pass the exam earn the title Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed and may use the designation "CPDT-KA" after their names. All certified trainers must earn continuing education credits to maintain their designations or take the examination again in three years.
Bridget A Taber CPDT-KA
Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed