What an honour it was to be asked to co-judge the Susan Wilkins Achievement Award for APDT along with one other behaviour veterinarian. The award aims to acknowledge APDT members making significant contribution to pet dog welfare and the betterment of dogs’ lives.
Reading through the applications is quite a process. The dog trainers who have been nominated for the award have provided evidence of a huge amount of hard work. It is wonderful to see the dedication of these people. Most are volunteers or do some level of volunteer work to help their local community, rescue dogs, the wider training network of positive reinforcement trainers, or have developed local dog clubs or welfare based groups. Many run educational programmes to help people understand the importance of training using techniques that do not involve punishment.
It is humbling to see how much some people have done and I feel honoured to be asked to be one of the two veterinarians working in behaviour medicine who will try to figure out which of these very hard-working individuals is most deserving of the award!