Kennel Club Accredited Instructor of the Year winner announced at Crufts

Kennel Club Accredited Instructor of the Year winner announced at Crufts 2024. Crufts Kennel Club Accredited Instructor of the Year Credit Robert Simpson | The Kennel Club
Crufts Kennel Club Accredited Instructor of the Year Credit Robert Simpson | The Kennel Club

Wendy Schilling from Kings Heath, Birmingham, has been awarded The Kennel Club Accredited Instructor of the Year award as part of an awards ceremony which took place at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, on Saturday 9 March.
The Accredited Instructor Awards recognise inspirational dog training instructors who have made a positive difference to the lives of owners and their dogs. Wendy was nominated by family, friends and clients, in recognition of her work with supporting owners throughout their training. Wendy provides both encouragement and expertise to make a difference for dogs and people, something which extends to before owners have even welcomed their dog into their home, to ensure they are as prepared as possible. Wendy’s sessions cater for all clients, including those with physical, mental and mobility impairments, and she is a strong advocate for the use of positive training methods to promote responsible dog ownership in her community.
Wendy currently owns two Long Haired Miniature Dachshunds, Audrey and Stanley, but has been involved with dogs from a young age, having run training classes in Birmingham in the 1980s before starting her own business, Rapport DTC & Behaviour Consultation in 2011.
Outside of her work as a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor, Wendy has carried out a wealth of fundraising for various dog charities, including PDSA, The Cinnamon Trust and Medical Detection Dogs. She also regularly visits care homes with Stanley.
In addition to the award, Wendy was also presented with a £200 donation from The Kennel Club Educational Trust in order to further her involvement with dogs.
Speaking of her win, Wendy said: “I am absolutely amazed to have won the award, I certainly had no idea that I had even been nominated! To think so many people took the time and trouble to nominate me is very humbling.
“I worked very hard to achieve accreditation and I have been a passionate supporter of the scheme and I’m always proud to wear my badge
“I have a fantastic team of trainers and clients at my club who all gave me a huge amount of support when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 and they all kept me going throughout my two and a half years of treatment.”
The purpose of The Kennel Club Accredited Instructor scheme is to recognise and promote experienced and competent dog training instructors who are committed to using dog training methods which are based on the principles of kindness, fairness and the good welfare of dogs. The scheme offers its members the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised vocational accreditation award, based on standards set by The Kennel Club. It is the first and only scheme for dog training instructors and canine behaviourists that has achieved programme accreditation from City & Guilds, a globally-recognised benchmark of quality.
This year’s judging panel included Angela White, Accredited Instructors scheme Vice Chair, Janine Beacher, representative from City and Guilds and Helen Kerfoot, Crufts Show Manager.
Andy Moss, Chief Customer Officer at City & Guilds, said: “We are delighted and honoured to continue our support this year for the Kennel Club’s Accredited Instructors’ Scheme.
“As we are a nation of dog lovers, sustaining high standards of professionalism in the canine industry is both vital for animal welfare and maintaining skills and employment within the sector.
“City & Guilds is pleased to have this opportunity to acknowledge the instructors’ achievement with the recognition they deserve for their hard work and dedication to the profession.”
Helen Kerfoot, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Many congratulations to Wendy for such a well-deserved win. She received so many positive nominations, which demonstrated how much of an impact she has had on dogs and their owners, and she really exemplifies the standards of The Kennel Club Accredited Instructor scheme, and how much of an impact she has had”.
“The Kennel Club would like to congratulate all those members who received nominations this year. They should all be incredibly proud of their ongoing work and for the difference they make to the lives of their clients.”
For further information on The Kennel Club Accredited Instructor scheme, please visit our website.

For more information and results from the show, visit Crufts website.