Andrew Preston

Andrew is from Congleton in Cheshire and works as an Assistance Dog Training Instructor, mainly  working in the Mental Health & Autism Sector.  He has been a KCAI Scheme member for nearly  eighteen months and is a Kennel Club Accredited  Instructor in Assistance Dogs.

We caught up with Andrew to find out a little more about his involvement in the canine world….

Having taught golf for many years Andrew decided to use his teaching skills to follow his real passion for working and training with dogs. He has been working as a dog trainer for over 15 years, delivering a wide range of instruction from one-to-one training to specialised socialization classes and canine behavioural work. Over the last eight years he has developed in to the role of an Assistance Dog Trainer.

Andrew says that “Asides my absolute joy of spending time with dogs, I find my work as a trainer absolutely extraordinary because no one hour is the same! I learn every day from my dogs and special needs clients. The emotional rewards I gain are knowing that I have helped to change the life and happiness of a disabled child or adult and their beloved Assistance Dog.” He said “There can be incredible empathy and understanding between a disabled person and a dog. When together they can grow stronger and more capable of achieving fulfilled independent lives. My role is to identify and enhance these benefits in a controlled and supportive way.” 

Speaking about the KCAI Scheme Andrew said “I have always perceived the Kennel Club as the pinnacle within the canine world, I respect their continual development and approach to canine welfare. Assistance Dog Training is an unregulated area and it is important to provide every client with the right assurances that the training will be approached in an ethical and expert manner. When I work with a client and their family, I take on the responsibility of meeting their expectations and maintaining their absolute trust. I believe being a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor is vital to the integrity of this sector.”

Amongst his biggest achievements Andrew describes being responsible for the successful training of multiple working Assistance Dog teams in the UK.  He is very proud of the work that he has achieved with all of the dogs and humans that he has have taught.  Andrew is most proud of seeing children able to speak, make friends for the first time, live independently, find work or get back into education or the workplace because he has given them hope and trust through their Assistance Dog and his instruction.

He says: “My work as an Assistance Dog Trainer has helped "Autism Dogs CIC" gain approvals and memberships from the ADI/ADEu, aaii, ABTC, SCAS and approval as a training school for Assistance Dogs by British Airways, Lufthansa, Ryanair and HARC.”

In addition to his work as a dog training instructor, Andrew is a qualified Microchip Implanter with Petlog and a Kennel Club Assured Breeder of 11 years of English Springers, Labradors, (formerly Vizslas, Weimaraners & Alaskan Malamutes). He is also regularly involved in dog rescue, fostering, re training and re-homing, and plays a big part in fund raising for the NWESSR charity each year. Andrew has also trained an Assistance Dog 'Ryder' that was featured on BBC 2's 10 Puppies & Us, and as Autism Dogs CIC, was invited to exhibit for the Supervet "Noel Fitzpatrick" at Dog Fest for the last two years.

Andrew currently has 18 Dogs of his own, 14 Labradors. Rex, Malone, Jax, Max, Chutney, Ella, Bella, Bonnie, Roxy, Lou Lou, Ash, Molly, Luna & Heidi, two Labrador Hybrids, Teddy Boy & Echo, and two Springers, Otis & Meg.  

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