Born and raised in Lincoln, England, Bridget Davies has worked with animals all her life.
As a young woman in England, she hoped to become a police officer working in the K9 unit. Unfortunately, she failed to qualify for the force due to height restrictions (good things come in small packages). It was the Lincolnshire Police Department’s loss.
Instead, Bridget turned her passion for dogs into a lifetime commitment to improve the relationship between dogs and their owners.
In 1991, Bridget’s husband Nigel was transferred to the United States. Bridget, Nigel and their young son James landed in Peoria, IL – it was to be the first of many work related moves.
“Our initial green card was for a short-term stay in the United States, said Davies. “If you’re bringing dogs and cats into the states, the UK government requires a mandatory six-month quarantine. We didn’t think we’d be here much longer than that so we left our two dogs and cat in capable hands back in England.”
Nigel’s work in the states was extended and Bridget’s longing for her dogs increased.
Rather than dwell on her beloved pets, Bridget got active in her local animal shelter specializing in animal assisted therapy.
In the early 90’s, Nigel’s work took Bridget, James and their new son Paul to Wisconsin (Brookfield and Greendale). It was in Wisconsin where Bridget regularly began providing foster care for a myriad of dogs, eventually adopting Ben, a ten-year-old Cairn Terrier, Kelley a seven-year-old Beagle and Meg, a toy poodle.
In the mid-nineties, work moved the family westward to the Seattle area. And once again, Bridget sought out the local animal shelter and went to work.
Volunteering for the Lynnwood Animal Shelter, Bridget began formal dog training, developing the curriculum for a 4th grade animal welfare class (teaching the class as well).
She continued to foster dogs and eventually adopted Oscar, a large, German Shepherd-Poodle mix. “Oscar was a challenge, Davies said. He basically forced me to develop my training skills.”
By the late 90’s, the Davies family found themselves in Naperville, IL. Bridget went to work with A.D.O.P.T., a private no-kill shelter that works to provide forever homes for dogs and cats. Oscar, now very well-trained, became a regular blood donor.
In 2003, the family moved back to Wisconsin landing in Menominee Falls. The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) had just opened their new, state-of-the-art facility in Milwaukee. With green card in hand, Bridget was in the door practically before her feet hit Wisconsin soil, employed by the Wisconsin Humane Society.
“The WHS was dedicated to providing their staff with the latest training techniques and methods, Bridget said. It was there I began to intimately study animal behavior.”
Working in the Adoption and Animal Behavior Department, Bridget studied the likes of Dr. Patricia McConnell, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Victoria Stilwell (both fellow Brits). “Studying McConnell and Stilwell is how I’ve adopted my style of dog training, Positive Reinforcement,” Bridget said.
During her time in Menominee Falls, Bridget also studied animal husbandry and canine behavior (specifically why dogs misbehave).
Additionally, Bridget was an advisor for Fluffy Dog Rescue, training and fostering dogs for the organization. And true to form Bridget adopted Dougal, a young labradoodle.
There was yet another move to come – this time back west to Ashland, Oregon.
It was in Ashland where Bridget began working toward becoming a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a certification that requires a minimum of 300 hours of dog training and a rigorous exam. She received the certification CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed). The designation signifies Bridget has not only knowledge of theory but effective application of that theory. She has the ability to verify to veterinarians, clients, and the public that she has attained a significant achievement in both the knowledge and skills areas of professional dog training.
“It’s my last move,” Bridget said as she loaded a moving van and headed back to Wisconsin. In July 0f 2014, Bridget and her husband Nigel, Steve the Cat, and dogs Dougal and Lucy moved to Janesville, WI and that is where they now reside and plan to stay. (Sons James and Paul still live in Ashland where Paul is attending college. James will soon move to Japan where he will teach English.)
“We love it here,” Bridget said commenting on Janesville. “The local dog community is wonderful and the dog parks are truly amazing,” she added. Bridget is the only Certified Professional Dog Trainer in the local community.
Bridget Davies Accreditations
Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)
AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Certified
AKC Advanced CGC Certified
AKC Star Puppy Certified
Mentor Animal Behavior College (ABC)