Good Citizen Dog Scheme Annual Awards Honour Those Dedicated To Dogs

Dog-related good deeds of the past twelve months have been celebrated in London, as the Kennel Club hosted a prize-giving ceremony to honour the winners of the annual Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme (GCDS) Awards.

Now in their 19th year, the GCDS awards recognise the efforts of canine organisations and local authorities nationwide which have invested their time and energy into helping to train dogs and educate their owners on the importance of responsible dog ownership.

The awards were judged by members of the Good Citizen Dog Scheme Working Party and senior Kennel Club representatives, who were impressed by both the quality of entries and dedication of the dog training clubs and local authorities.

The Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme was set up in 1992 to promote socially acceptable dogs by way of creating responsible dog owners. It provides a quality standard of training for dog and owner and incorporates many domestic obedience exercises.

Now the largest dog training scheme in the UK, it has issued over 525,000 certificates of achievement to owners and their dogs who have successfully passed the scheme's tests since its inception. There are currently around 1,800 dog training clubs and other organisations around the country which actively run the scheme.

Supporters of the GCDS, Royal Canin, also presented an award for outstanding achievement. This was presented to Dana Stafford whose heartfelt story of determination through adversity has seen her overcome many barriers in confidence and self-belief. Dana was initially nominated by her local dog training club and won through an online vote.

A special award was also presented to John McNeil who was a member of the GCDS Working Party from 1999-2007, set up the first GCDS Listed Status club and who helped to implement many of the scheme's initiatives.

Speaking at the ceremony, Kennel Club GCDS Working Party Chairman, Maurice Cooke said: "These awards are an opportunity for us to credit the actions taken by training groups, local authorities, groups and individuals. We really do feel that these and many others have all done fantastic work in promoting responsible dog ownership in local communities and all deserve a huge vote of thanks. 

"Their enthusiasm and dedication help organisations like the Kennel Club to promote responsible dog ownership and canine welfare, and we extend our appreciation for helping us make a positive difference for dogs and their owners."

The categories for the GCDS awards and winners are as follows:

KC Registered Training Club

1st Leven and District Training Club - Leven, Scotland

2nd Whittlesey Dog Training Society - Cambridgeshire

3rd Aylesford & District Dog Training Society - Kent

KC Listed Status Clubs

1stThe K9 Academy - Tyne & Wear

2ndLittle Orchard Dog Training Academy - Somerset

3rdHappy Dogs Training School Enfield - Middlesex /London

KC Registered Breed Club & KC Registered Ringcraft Club

1stSouthern Finnish Lapphund Society - National

2ndTrent Bridge Ringcraft Club - Nottinghamshire

Local Council Category - Most Effective Campaign

1st  Aberdeenshire Council - Aberdeen, Scotland

2ndEast Riding of Yorkshire Council - East Yorkshire

Overall Winner

The K9 Academy - Tyne & Wear

Royal Canin Special Award

Winner - Dana Stafford

Runners up - Joe Nutkins, Gillian Clow, Sue Sears

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