East Sussex Dog Trainer Nominated For Prestigious Award

51 year-old Linda Dewey from Portslade, East Sussex, has been nominated for the prestigious Kennel Club Accredited Instructors (KCAI) Trainer of The Year Award in partnership with PRO PLAN at Crufts 2015. The KCAI is the first and only scheme in the UK for instructors in dog training and behaviour to be approved by City & Guilds NPTC.

Linda was nominated by her dog owner clients for the KCAI Trainer of The Year Award which aims to reward inspirational trainers who have made a tremendous difference for dog owners and their dogs.

Linda inherited her love of dogs from her grandmother who used to feed and look after stray dogs. Linda's mother however had a phobia of dogs and although Linda had a dog briefly when she was a child, it wasn't a successful experience. She was also very fond of horses and, prior to dog training, she competed and trained horses.

Following an accident which ended her career working with horses, she purchased her first dog, determined to train it to the highest standard and avoid the problems she had with her childhood dog, and soon after became a dog trainer. She now runs the Dog Obedience Group in Porstlade near Brighton, and is the proud owner of two black Labradors, Astra, aged 15, and Tiggy, 4½.

Linda said: "I absolutely love being a dog trainer. To be a good trainer, it is not enough to just be good with animals, you must also understand dog owners too. If you cannot help the owners you cannot help the dogs and it is something that I strive hard to achieve. The highlight for me is a happy owner with a happy, socially acceptable dog and a relationship for both that will last a lifetime."

Aside from training, and offering behaviour counselling to her own clients, Linda supports local vets with advice on behaviour and training problems, and also helps running their puppy groups. She supports local rescues, particularly the Sussex Pet Rescue, and helps rehabilitate and settle the dogs that pass through their care.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: "The trainers that have made the final of the KCAI Trainer of The Year Awards competition are all truly inspirational. The KCAI scheme is a badge of quality ensuring that dog owners are getting a safe, knowledgeable and professional experience. With their specialist knowledge and skills, KCAI members make a tremendous difference for dogs and their owners and it is only fair that they get the recognition they deserve.

"We would encourage all dog owners working with KCAI members to go to the Kennel Club website and vote for their favourite, and we are very much looking forward to the winner being announced at Crufts 2015."

Four finalists have been selected for the KCAI Trainer of the Year Award for their outstanding work, and the Kennel Club, together with PRO PLAN, is encouraging the public to visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kcaiawards to vote for the trainer they feel is most deserving.

Votes will open on Monday 12th January until Monday 9th February, and the winner will be announced at Crufts on Saturday 7th March 2015.  Aside from the four finalists, an International Commendation will also be awarded at Crufts.

If you are a dog trainer and would like to join the KCAI scheme, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kcai.

For more information on the KCAI scheme, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/.

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