The Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme Annual Awards 2016 Nominees

The ROYAL CANIN® Outstanding Achievement Award, now in its third year, rewards an individual who has made an outstanding contribution and commitment to responsible dog ownership through the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme.  This could be through exceptional work on a project, dog training initiative or an individual dog.

The Kennel Club received nominations from a wide-range of entrants, including people who have dedicated time to rehabilitate dogs with behavioural issues, committed time to helping others in training classes and also those just working for the general benefit of dogs.

Here are the outstanding finalists - read their profiles below and vote for your favourite now to ensure that their hard work and commitment to dogs is recognised.

To vote for your favourite finalist for the 2016 ROYAL CANIN® Outstanding Achievement Award, click here.

Voting closes Wednesday 1st June 2016.


  • Joe has been nominated by Dana Stafford as a 'thank you' for all her help with her Old English Sheepdog, Piper, who passed her Bronze test last year and is now working towards her Silver.
  • Joe has helped with Piper since Piper was acquired nearly 18 months ago and said that Joe has encouraged Piper's training in so many ways and in areas she would never have been aware of, including the Good Citizen Scheme.  Dana was so excited when Piper passed her Bronze when she was still a puppy!
  • Joe is always very supportive in class and is always available at any time for advice and always responds quickly.  Being aware that all Joes' three dogs have a Gold Award gives Dana confidence that her aspirations of a Gold Award for Piper are all the more achievable.
  • Joe previously helped with Dana's last sheepdog, Riley, who passed her Bronze and Silver but sadly passed away before she could achieve her Gold Award.
  • Joe nominated Dana for the GCDS Award last year and Dana felt it was time to repay the compliment as a 'thank you' for all her help and hard work.
  • Hannah Slaney has also nominated Joe as she has really helped Hannah with her rehome dog, Inca.
  • It was Hannah's wish to start training Inca so she could get her up to Good Citizen level and pass the tests.  With Joe's help Inca has now passed Bronze, Silver and Gold and she is so proud, especially as they had to work through separation anxiety issues in and out of classes and training time to ensure Inca was comfortable enough during Gold's out-of-sight stay and relaxed isolation  She was very relaxed, thanks to Joe's help.
  • Being a co-trainer with Joe in classes, Hannah said she has seen how many dogs Joe has gotten through issues like separation anxiety and over-excitement
  • Hannah said that the Good Citizen tests have great goals to work towards and Joe's help and support really help the dogs to achieve their Awards.
  • Joe Nutkins has also been nominated by Elaine Syrett who says she met Joe 7 years ago as she needed help with boosting the confidence of her male Lancashire Heeler.  Since then she has brought all four of her dogs to training classes, agility and workshops with Joe.
  • Elaine says her dogs have achieved so many Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards but without Joe's encouragement she may not have continued with the GCDS tests or not even progressed with the training. Joe helps with all the test exercises in and out of the class and helps build confidence at the same time.   She arranges tests to suit owners rather than herself and from start to finish does everything she can to put everyone at ease and offers great support.
  • Elaine says that Joe struggles with M.E but has seen her strong determination in preparing everyone for the tests and helping them through.  In return the owners support her at all the events she organises such as fun days and dog shows.

To cast your vote for Joe, click here.


  • Wyn Leney has nominated Kathryn and her dog Milo because she says that "their achievement deserves recognition".
  • Kathryn first brought Milo to trainer, Wyn, when Milo was 18 months old. He had been with Kathryn for only five weeks.  He was a rescue dog who had been kept in a flat; the family had two young children and were struggling to manage. Milo had had little or no socialising and he literally freaked out at everything - noises, people, other dogs were just a few.  Milo pulled like a train whilst on the lead and could not concentrate.  He was quite traumatised and taking him to a training class seemed an impossible task.  So Kathryn took Milo to Wyn for one-to-one sessions.  Many times Kathryn considered taking him back to the Rescue Centre, and if she had his future wasn't looking positive. However, little by little Milo began to respond to his training and eventually progressed so far that he took his Bronze Award in 2014, with still some way to go. 
  • Kathryn has become a brilliant handler and Milo has been introduced to Agility, which he loves, and he is now able to cope with Class situations.
  • Kathryn and Milo have both grown in confidence and have become a partnership. 
  • Kathryn has had health issues which has made matters difficult at times, but despite this on 31stMarch 2016, Kathryn and Milo received their Silver and Gold GCDS Awards!
  • Milo's concentration was such that he never took his eyes off her during the tests and his behaviour was exemplary and faultless.
  • Wyn said she has seen many handlers and their dogs in her time as a Trainer, but the partnership of Kathryn and Milo is one that deserves special recognition.

To cast your vote for Kathryn, click here.


  • Bill has been nominated as he has successfully promoted the Good Citizen Dog Scheme at the Nuneaton Dog Training Club for around ten years.
  • He regularly holds Induction talks for the new members which includes club rules, class times and the structure of classes, positive training styles and raising awareness of the GCDS to all their members.
  • Bill ensures that the GCDS Scheme is achievable for most dog handlers.
  • Bill gives up many hours of his time to offer training opportunities to others and regularly facilitates Good Citizen training in preparation for tests, and he spends time and patience helping people achieve their Awards.
  • Bill facilitates all test dates with GCDS affiliated Examiner and he uses his own dogs as 'stooge' dogs during the GC testing on a regular basis.
  • Bill facilitates Trainer meetings and encourages new Instructors for the Club.

Bill co-ordinates his team of instructors to deliver classes which are informative and friendly, and ensures where possible that their Club adheres to the maximum class size of 6 dogs per class. 

  • Bill organises one-to-one sessions for members whose dogs may struggle with mainstream classes.
  • Bill is working towards his KCAI.
  • A member of the Nuneaton Dog Training Club stated "I think Bill should be nominated for the GCDS Dedication Award for his years of hard work and dedication in guiding others in order for them to achieve.  He has a very kind manner, very approachable and knowledgeable with regards to dog husbandry.  Bill puts a lot of time and effort to support us with our training for Bronze, Silver and Gold GCDS".

To cast your vote for Bill, click here.

Vote now for your favourite finalist to win the 2016 ROYAL CANIN® Outstanding Achievement Award

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