Four Dog Lovers Nominated For Outstanding Achievement Award

Four dog lovers who have shown an outstanding commitment to man's best friend have been nominated for the ROYAL CANIN® Outstanding Achievement Award, as part of the Kennel Club's Good Citizen Dog Scheme (GCDS) Awards 2015.

The award, now in its second year, rewards an individual who has made an outstanding contribution and commitment to responsible dog ownership through the Good Citizen Dog Scheme.  This could be through exceptional work on a project, a dog training initiative or an individual dog.

Those nominated are ordinary dog lovers who have made an extraordinary difference for dogs, and include people who have dedicated time to rehabilitate dogs with behavioural issues, committed time to helping others in training classes and also those simply working for the general benefit of dogs.

ROYAL CANIN® and the Kennel Club are now encouraging dog lovers across the country to vote for their favourite nominee by visiting, to ensure their hard work and commitment to dogs is recognised.  Each nominee has been invited to the Good Citizen Dog Scheme Awards ceremony on 12th June at the Kennel Club where the winner will be announced.

The nominees for this year's award are:

Dana Stafford from Felixstowe in Suffolk - Dana was dedicated to training her Old English Sheepdog, Riley at the Dog Training for Essex and Suffolk Club.  Despite lacking confidence when it came to boisterous Riley, Dana worked hard to help her achieve her Bronze and Silver Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme awards.  Riley was sadly diagnosed with chest cancer and Dana kept her happy and occupied through training towards the Gold award until she died in September 2014.  Dana is now training her six month old Old English Sheepdog, Piper and has even gained enough confidence to take part in a trick demo at a local All About Dogs show.

Joe Nutkins from Clacton on Sea, Essex - Joe gives up her time for extra practice sessions for dogs and their owners, to help them through the GCDS, and has spent additional time training to be an examiner which helps owners prepare better for their tests.  Joe's training club, the Dog Training for Essex and Suffolk Club, is open to all, including the elderly, those with disabilities and communication or social disorders.  They also welcome rescue dogs with more challenging issues to resolve and Joe is committed to doing everything she can to help dogs and owners achieve great progress in their lives through training.

Gillian Clow from Hatfield, Hertfordshire - Gillian has been a dedicated trainer at Hertfordshire South District (Hatfield) Dog Training Club for 38 years and helps dogs and their owners through her dedication, knowledge, patience and understanding.  She tailors training for each individual dog and owner and prepares them for life in the local area by making them aware of locations and events they can visit together.  Gillian spends lots of time and energy improving dogs' lives through training and is a popular dog trainer and a great ambassador for responsible dog ownership.

Sue Sears from Gillingham, Kent - Sue's dog Ratty was rescued by Sue when he was five months old and she was unable to take him out at first because he was aggressive towards other dogs.  He was nervous and it seemed as if he had never been on a lead before.  Sue began taking Ratty to a GCDS training class but was hesitant because previous training attempts had not been successful.  Sue began training hard with Ratty and slowly helped to change his behaviour.  He became more accepting of other dogs and people and together they have won their training club's award for the most improved dog and handler several times.  Through Sue's commitment, Ratty has gained his Bronze and Silver GCDS awards and is now working towards his Gold.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "This year's four nominees have dedicated so much time and energy to helping improve the lives of dogs and their owners and we want to recognise the fantastic work they have done to really make a difference. 

"Each of the nominees are truly deserving of the award, so we would encourage dog lovers to visit the Royal Canin website to take a look at each finalist's profile and then vote for their favourite."

Gary Gray, National Sales Manager for Cat & Dog Professionals at ROYAL CANIN®, said: "We are thrilled to be able to honour those who have done such great things for the world of dogs through their commitment to responsible dog ownership.

"We are proud to be working in partnership with the Kennel Club's Good Citizen Dog Scheme, and the Outstanding Achievement Award celebrates responsible dog ownership, which is at the heart of Royal Canin.

"The four nominees are great examples of people who go above and beyond for dogs and their owners and we are looking forward to announcing the winner at this year's Good Citizen Dog Scheme Awards."

Full profiles for each nominee can be viewed at

Voting closes on Tuesday 9th June 2015.


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