We Train Puppies, Dogs, and Their People.
We train both you and your dog using positive techniques that make learning exciting, fun, and motivating for everyone. Our family-friendly classes are lively and interactive so you understand exactly how your dog learns best.
Play and Learn Together.
Our deep belief is that play is essential for happiness, no matter what species you are. We’ll show you how to engage your dog in learning by turning most anything into a game for him. Then training is no longer a chore–it’s a total delight.
Love Your Dream Dog for Life.
BravoPup’s mission is to build fulfilling and lasting relationships between humans and their four-legged family members. We love dogs, and we love helping people discover ways to understand, communicate with, and appreciate their dogs for a lifetime.
Our entertaining classes have consistently earned us praise, including the Bay Area A-List for Best Pet Training in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, and Bay Woof 2009.
Sandi Thompson, ctc, CPDT-ka
Sandi Thompson is the founder and owner of Bravo!Pup LLC, which she launched in 2008 to bring state-of-the-art dog training and socialization activities to East Bay dog lovers. BravoPup’s mission is to engage dog owners in positive reinforcement training through group classes that are entertaining, effective, and taught by the most qualified team of instructors in the area.
With over 25 years of training education and experience, Sandi is personally recommended by both veterinarians and leaders in the field of canine behavior. Her dynamic teaching style and easy-to-understand lessons have produced multiple generations of positively trained dogs as well as happy owners.
Sandi started her animal training career as a 12-year-old volunteer at the Oakland Zoo where she cared for a variety of exotic animals and taught sign language to the chimpanzees. After graduating from college, Sandi began training dogs and puppies professionally for Sirius® Puppy Training where she taught classes for two decades and became their lead trainer.
She is an honors graduate of the San Francisco SPCA’s prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers as well as one of the first trainers in the US to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT). She is a charter member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and has coached numerous trainers in the art and science of dog training. In recognition of these and other accomplishments, Sandi was named the APDT National Trainer of the Year in 2006.
Sandi’s media appearances include Animal Planet, CNN, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Amazing Animals in Japan, and Fine Living Network (HGTV). She is also the co-inventor of KongTime, an award winning product designed to reducing anxiety in home-alone dogs.
Sandi resides in the Berkeley hills with her dogs Siam Sam and Turtle. She enjoys hiking, climbing, and adventure travel. Her travels have taken her throughout Southeast Asia to observe wildlife and spend time with tribal people. She has also visited Rwanda, Uganda and Borneo where she fulfilled her childhood dream of trekking with mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans in the wild. In recent years, Sandi completed an internship at the Oakland Zoo and continues to volunteer time, including raising and training the zoo’s ‘ambassador dog’, a Golden Retriever named Lily.
Alyx Banyan is BravoPup’s Administrator. Whenever you contact us, it is Alyx who responds to your message and facilitates answers to your questions. With over 30 years of management and customer service experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, she provides the all-important “glue” that keeps BravoPup functioning smoothly.
A lifelong animal lover, Alyx has worked as a professional pet sitter and as a human caregiver. She recently completed Sonoma State University’s program in patient navigation for human health care systems.
Anna Carlson, CTC (in progress)
Anna caught the “training bug” at the age of seven, when she discovered Sandi Thompson’s puppy training classes. She attended Sandi’s classes religiously twice a week (without a dog!) from age seven through eleven and continues under Sandi’s mentorship. During that time she also began volunteering at local animal shelters and started a neighborhood dog walking business. Shelter dogs hold a special place in Anna’s heart and she has volunteered at several shelters/rescues including SFSPCA, Berkeley Humane, and BACS. Prior to joining the BravoPup team, Anna worked in the training department at Guide Dogs for the Blind. She has devoured books about dogs and training ever since she was able to read and continues her education as a member of the internationally-renowned Academy for Dog Trainers.
Anna also has a background educating people. She spent five years teaching English as a Foreign Language in Madrid, Spain, and six years as a naturalist/wilderness guide in Alaska. Anna is fascinated by the interspecies relationship held between dogs and humans and our ability to communicate with one another. She loves that pet dog training allows her to work with both dogs AND people- and to be a part of teaching people how to better understand dog behavior and learning. Her teaching philosophy is that learning should be a fun and revelatory process for both humans and dogs, and emphasizes positive, science based methods.
Anna shares her life with her “foster failure” Eeva (a German Shepherd mix), her partner Simmons who is a fly fishing guide, and their newborn daughter Emilia. She enjoys mountain biking, trail running, backpacking, camping, learning languages, and travel. In addition to two years living in Germany and five years living in Spain, Anna has spent extended periods of time traveling, including 8 months living on a farm in Brazil, and visits to Antarctica, India, Turkey, several countries in South America, and multiple cross country road trips in the US. If you are in one of her classes and speak to her in Spanish or Portuguese you will make her day!
Katy Becker, CTC
Katy Becker teaches a range of puppy and adult dog classes for Bravo Pup as well as providing private consults. She loves to help her human students gain the skills and confidence to get the behaviors they want from their dogs while also enjoying the unique bond they share with their canine companions.
Katy is a veteran class instructor with over seven years teaching experience at Sirius Puppy and Dog Training. She also spent nine years as a handler and supervisor at Citizen Canine, the East Bay’s premier doggie daycare and boarding facility where she gained experience with dogs of all different shapes, sizes and breeds. She has an extensive knowledge of dog body language, dog-dog interactions, and dog play skills which give her critical insights with her private cases.
In 2005, Katy earned a Certificate in Training and Counseling from the Academy for Dog Trainers at the San Francisco SPCA and knew she had found her life’s passion in dog training. After graduation, she completed an internship in the SPCA’s behavior and training department, where she received continuing education on behavior modification, class teaching, and dog-dog interactions under the tutelage of SPCA trainers Kim Moeller and Gina Phairas.
Katy lives in Oakland with Bodie, a Husky mix and Stuart, a Chihuahua mix.
Maureen Coyle, CTC
Maureen Coyle has been training and handling dogs for over 15 years as a professional trainer, dog walker, and groomer. She specializes in private training for a wide range of obedience skills and behavioral issues including Fear, Anxiety, and Aggression.
Currently, Maureen works one-on-one with BravoPup clients to help them build happy and effective relationships with their dogs. You can see her in action every Thursday night at Bravo’s puppy socials where she supervises the “pre-rowdy” area and helps all the new, small, and/or shy pups have a safe introduction to puppy play.
Maureen is a 2005 honors graduate of the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers with a Certificate in Training & Counseling (CTC), as well as an internship program participant. She has worked as a class instructor for the City of Concord and is a substitute class instructor for BravoPup. She is a professional level member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, a certified professional groomer and she holds a certificate in pet CPR.
By day Maureen is a dog behavior professional; by night she plays the accordion. A self-identified “poodle person”, Maureen shares her life with a curly-coated girl named Gracie and her musician husband, Will.
Mena Kamel, CPDT
Mena Kamel is a group class instructor for BravoPup at our Oakland-Lake Merritt location. He can also be found assisting and co-teaching in many other Bravo classes as well. As an independently certified professional dog trainer, Mena enjoys exploring the human-dog dynamic with students and dogs from every kind of background.
He volunteers with several local animal rescue/educational organizations including Berkeley Humane Society, Contra Costa Animal Services, East Bay SPCA, and Native Bird Connections. Mena’s journey into the world of dog behavior began after working closely with his own dog’s separation anxiety. Now he works both privately and in classes with puppies, high-energy adolescents, dogs that are anxious, fearful or aggressive, and pups in their golden years.
A graduate of Trish King’s Academy of Dog Behavior as well as a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Mena is also an instructor at Dodger’s Paws in Pleasanton and at Mighty Mutts Dog Training in Martinez. He earned his CPDT credential from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2015 and ran a successful east bay dog walking service for many years before moving over to training full time. Mena holds dual degrees in studio art and poetry, which informs his approach to teaching with a focus on individuality, creativity, and fun. He lives in Oakland with his big hound named Turkey and his toy poodle named Fifi.
Specializing in puppy training since 2002, Tammy Mehmed provides specialty class instruction for Bravo!Pup including Canine Good Citizen preparation and Brav-O-bility. Based in San Francisco, she specializes in group classes and private training consultations from pre-puppy selection assistance and puppy in-home setup to household manners and basic through advanced obedience training.
Tammy is passionate about working with young puppies training them through conditioning and positive reinforcement, while coaching owners on how best to handle difficult situations. Most importantly, she has a keen understanding that dog training isn’t just about the dog, and is able to communicate with and coach the human family, from adults to children, so they can better manage and train their dog as a household friend and companion.
Tammy began teaching classes in 2006 with Sirius Puppy Training and currently teaches classes for SmartyPup! in San Francisco and Bravo!Pup in Oakland. In addition, she volunteered for more than five years in public training classes at the SFSPCA.
She is a member of The Pet Professional Guild, an Approved AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator as part of her conviction in teaching responsible pet ownership and encouraging active pet care and training. She continues to advance her animal training knowledge and skills and has studied hands-on with world-renowned animal trainers such as Bob Bailey, Terry Ryan, Kathy Sdao, Susan Garrett, and Ian Dunbar.
Jester, her ten year old Cocker Spaniel, is a Canine Good Citizen and has an Excellent title in AKC Rally, Championship level titles in World Cynosport Rally, and continues to compete at the Masters level in AKC Agility. Most recently, Jester received his Advanced Trick Dog title and the AKC recognized him with their Achiever Dog Award, for titling in three or more sports.
Jane Orr, MS, CTBC
Jane is a group class instructor for Bravo!Pup at our Alameda location as well as providing private consults. She also works as a trainer for East Bay SPCA.
She is a graduate of the Dog Training Internship Academy’s Certificate of Training and Behavior Consultation program, which is run by Janis Bradley, former Director for the prestigious SF SPCA Dog Training Academy.
Jane’s passion for animals started at an early age. She grew up around rescue dogs (plus cats, rats, rabbits, and hamsters) and as a teenager she volunteered at animal shelters eventually getting a job with the RSPCA.
Since moving to the SF Bay Area she has volunteered with the SF SPCA, Muttville, Hopalong Animal Rescue and Nor-Cal Family Dog Rescue. She currently lives in Oakland with her rescue Chihuahua mix Thomas.
Her aim through training is to reduce stress in the lives of dogs and their parents. Through the use of positive and motivational training techniques she achieves sustainable results and strong canine-human bonds.