Jane Ardern from Manchester has won the prestigious KCAI Trainer of the Year award at a special prize giving ceremony at Crufts on Saturday 12th March 2016.
Jane began her dog training journey in the early nineties after rescuing a St Bernard/Rottweiler cross, and in 2004 decided to start training classes of her own. Six years later she opened her own training college called Wagga Wuffins Canine College in Bury, Manchester. Jane has been a member of the Kennel Club Accredited Instructors (KCAI) scheme for three years and is working towards her KCAI accreditation.
Jane was nominated by her clients for the KCAI Trainer of the Year award, which recognises inspirational trainers who have made a positive difference to the lives of dog owners and their dogs.
In addition to being a KCAI scheme member, Jane is a Dog AID trainer and has trained a German Shorthaired Pointer to reach full assistance dog status, as well as training dogs for TV, advertising and film.
The purpose of the KCAI scheme is to recognise and promote experienced and qualified dog training instructors who are committed to using dog training methods based on the principles of kindness, fairness and the welfare of dogs. It provides the UK's only nationally recognised and externally verified vocational qualification for dog training instructors, approved by City & Guilds NPTC, the leading body in the UK for vocational qualifications.
Five finalists were selected for the KCAI Trainer of the Year award for their outstanding work and the winner was decided by the public through an online voting system. Thousands of votes came in from dog owners for the finalists.
Speaking about her award, Jane said: "It is an honour to win and I am over the moon. I will definitely be celebrating with my customers this week - it is down to them that I won."
Speaking about this year's awards, Kennel Club Secretary, Caroline Kisko said: "Many congratulations to Jane winning this award. Her high number of public votes is a real testament to how grateful so many people are for her excellent contribution to the world of dogs. The Kennel Club is very thankful for her hard work and all she does for her students and their dogs.
"This year's KCAI Trainer of the Year award has been extremely successful, and we're proud of all the trainers who were nominated. With their specialist knowledge, KCAI members are making a remarkable effort to improve the quality of life of dogs and their owners. It's great to see that the members are getting the recognition they deserve."