Epsom Woman Strikes Gold For Third Time With Troubled Rescue Dogs

A woman from Epsom, Surrey, who turned the lives of three troubled rescue dogs around is celebrating as her third dog has achieved the highest award in UK pet dog training, the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme Gold Award.

Maureen Edwards, who lives in Langley Vale, has three crossbreed rescue dogs, Lola, Tommy and Mervi, all between six and eight years old.  When Maureen rescued them, all three dogs had behavioural issues that needed addressing.  Lola and Tommy, who were brought to the UK from a dog pound in Italy by a rescue charity, had problems as a result of being mistreated and abandoned, having never had a proper stable home, and Mervi, a local dog, needed a new home after his owners found they did not have the time to give him the attention he deserved.

When Maureen fell in love with each of the dogs and decided to give them a home, she set about giving them the best chance in life through training. With the help of Jane Wood Dog Training, a long-established Good Citizen Dog Training Club in Epsom, Maureen started regular reward-based training sessions with the three dogs. Jane is a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor who is used to working with dogs of all temperaments and abilities, and she put into place techniques that would suit each individual dog and allow them to learn steadily and consistently.

The Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme is the largest dog training programme in the UK, and dogs and their owners work through four stages: Puppy Foundation, Bronze Award, Silver Award and Gold Award.  Tommy and Lola were awarded their Gold Awards in 2012 and Mervi has recently joined them in receiving the accolade.

Maureen said: "It has not been easy to get to this point with these dogs, as each of them had a number of behavioural issues stemming from when they were puppies.  Tommy in particular was in a terrible state and very much a nervous wreck when we rescued him, and was terribly frightened of men so must have had a bad experience at some stage.  Mervi, who has just achieved the Gold Award, is a wonderful dog, very hectic and headstrong but determined.  I really could not be prouder of him.

"Working through the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme awards really gave us something to focus on, and with the help of Jane Wood Dog Training we managed to work through the dogs' issues and turn their behaviour around.  Jane really is a marvellous teacher and gives such an insight into a dog's mind, which really helped to make the dogs feel more secure, which resulted in them learning new positive behaviours and becoming the perfect examples of 'Good Citizens'."

Jane Wood said: "The way Maureen has turned these dogs' lives around is impressive.  Her dedication and passion for training her three dogs is inspirational and her efforts have really paid off, with Mervi being the latest of her four-legged friends to pass the Gold Award.  Mervi was very difficult to control when Maureen began her training with him, and she has done brilliantly.  She should be very proud of herself and her dogs."

Now in its 22nd year, the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme's aim is to promote socially acceptable dogs by way of creating responsible dog owners. Since it was founded in 1992, around 480,000 pass certificates have been issued to dogs and their owners.

To find a Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme class near you, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/findadogclub. For more information about the GCDS, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/dogtraining.

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