Essex Dog Trainer Nominated For Prestigious Award

35 year-old Joe Nutkins from Ardleigh, Essex, has been nominated for a 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.

Joe 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.

Joe has worked as a dog trainer for the past 10 years and has made a tremendous difference to thousands of dogs and their families' lives. Aside from training, she also holds classes for children during the school holidays and often organises Doggie Fun Days to raise money for local dog charities.

Joe also runs courses to train people to become Dog Trainers and has worked with a local charity The Disability Trust, to help young people with autism overcome their fear of dogs. She also provides training classes for senior dogs so they can continue to develop in their later years. Joe owns three Norwich Terriers, Cassie, Taylor and Merlin.

Joe said: "Being able to see the progression of dogs in their training as well as the delight from owners and families as they work with their dog is so rewarding. I get so much joy when I achieve something with my own dogs, and to be able to help others in this way is amazing.

"Dog training gives dogs a chance to communicate their needs to their owners, helps families bond with their dogs and this hopefully means that fewer dogs will need to go into rescue and more people will feel comfortable with their dogs."

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 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.

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For more information on the KCAI scheme, please visit

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