Success for dogs, handlers and trainers from Staffordshire, Middlesex, Northamptonshire and West Yorkshire
winners of the annual Good Citizen Dog Scheme (GCDS) awards were
announced at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, on Sunday 8th March.
Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme is the largest dog training
programme in the United Kingdom, with over 680,000 dogs and their owners
graduating through the scheme’s Bronze award. The GCDS awards were
created in recognition of the hard work, efforts and contribution made
by dedicated canine clubs and enthusiasts.
individuals, dogs, clubs and organisations were vying for the top prize
across four categories: Best Kennel Club GCDS Listed Status Dog
Training Club Award, Best Kennel Club Registered Club Award, Royal Canin
Dedicated Person Award and Royal Canin Most Inspiring Dog Award. The
nominees were all put forward to a public vote, with the winners
announced at the GCDS awards ceremony, which took place at Crufts.
The winners for each award were:
Royal Canin Dedicated Person Award – Gwynneth Williams from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
48-year service to the Danesford Obedience Dog Training Club in
Congleton, Cheshire, saw her pick up the Royal Canin Dedicated Person
Award. She has been based with the club for nearly half a century, after
starting as one of the founding members. Teaching the Bronze and Pre
Beginner classes, through the GCDS, Gwynneth and her team have managed
to get many dogs through to the semi-finals and the finals of GCDS Pre
of the club had travelled to Birmingham to watch her pick up the award
and afterwards surprised her with a special collage showing photographs
of her with her first dog, a collie, and training dogs over the years.
about winning her award, Gwyneth said: “I still do nine hours a week
dog training at the club and what drives me is seeing the relationships
people get to have with their dogs and because it’s still enjoyable.”
Best Kennel Club GCDS Listed Status Dog Training Club Award – Best Paw Forward, based in Hayes, Middlesex
chance meeting at the vets between Lyn Bowers and Lyn Church led to the
pair setting up dog training club Best Paw Forward four years ago, and
they haven’t looked back since.
two Lyns work together to offer a motivational approach to training,
for dogs and puppies of all breeds and ages, with both group classes and
one-to-one training. The club offers all levels of the GCDS, as well as
agility, heelwork to music, ringcraft, rally, hoopers and scentwork.
The club achieved a runners up finish in 2019 at the GCDS awards, but
returned this year to claim the top spot.
about their win, Lyn Church said: “It’s a wonderful recognition of the
fact that we started the club from nothing and have grown to the point
where we have now had more than 1,000 dogs go through training at the
hesitate to even use the word club because we are a family really. We
train together, we socialise together, and we all love our dogs. This is
Bowers continued: “I am absolutely elated. I have been training dogs
for 30 years and it is lovely to have this kind of recognition. Our
lovely club members organised a party for us at Crufts and we will have a
club meal soon.”
Best Kennel Club Registered Club Award – Wakefield Dog Training Club
Dog Training Club was set up 62 years ago to make dog training
affordable to all members of the public. The club has more than 21
trainers who work there as unpaid volunteers, running at least one class
a week each for the 300+ membership.
well as promoting the GCDS, consisting of puppy courses, Bronze, Silver
and Gold, the club also holds junior handler classes and platinum
classes for those handlers and dogs who want to go a little further.
club has also been trying to raise funds for a new building. The
projected cost is £130,000 and over the last 15 years the club has
raised more than £100,000.
about the award, Catherine Chadwick, chair of the club said, “It isn’t
something you expect to win, because there are so many dedicated clubs,
so we are especially pleased.
we are hoping the publicity from it might get us the final push to
raise the money to preserve the club and what it does for many years to
Canin Most Inspiring Dog Award – Rupert, a Working Cocker Spaniel,
owned by Antonia Mellor, from Brackley, Northamptonshire
Mellor and her seven-year-old Working Cocker Spaniel, Rupert, were
presented with the Royal Canin Most Inspiring Dog Award.
went blind suddenly last year and was initially too afraid to leave the
family home. Antonia decided to take him along to training classes
alongside one of her other dogs, where he started with some basic Bronze
exercises. His confidence grew and he has since achieved both Bronze
and Silver GCDS awards, now working towards Gold.
about the award, Antonia said: “I know he is amazing, but to have other
people recognise him in this way is just wonderful.
have had him as a puppy and it was an enormous shock to everyone when
he went blind. Now when I tell people they say you wouldn’t know it. He
is such a courageous dog.”
McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, commented: “Congratulations to all of
this year’s winners of the Good Citizen Dog Scheme awards. We’re so
proud of all the work that both our clubs and organisations carry out,
as well as the remarkable results that are achieved as a result from the
dogs and handlers that attend.
great to see that GCDS clubs and enthusiasts are getting the
recognition they deserve and we are very thankful for the valuable work
our clubs, organisations, trainers and volunteers do.”
For further information on the Good Citizen Dog Scheme and to find a local club, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/good-citizen-dog-training-scheme/.