KCAI Blog #2 – Runcorn Regional Event (Part 1)

Welcome to Part 2 of my KCAI Blog!

Today I’ll be writing about the recent KCAI Regional Event that was held in Runcorn, Cheshire on the 2nd of November.

As a KCAI member I took the opportunity to go to Runcorn. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like initially so I grabbed my KCAI folder, a camera, notepad and pen and off I went!

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The event consisted of 3 seminars throughout the day. Here, I write what the seminars consisted of and my thoughts on them. *Spoilers* They were all brilliant!

Seminar 1 – Working Inside the Dogs’ Minds: Behaviour and Training in Action at a Large Dog Training Centre – Jane Ardern BSc (Hons), DipCAPBT, APDT,COAPE Tutor

I thought this was fascinating, since I’ve previously run a boarding kennels I could certainly empathise with her in many areas.

Jane took voluntary redundancy with British Gas to venture into her own dog business. She ended up opening her own dog training centre in Manchester and explains the ups and downs of the process. Giving us tips and advice, she often reflected back to suggest what she could of done differently.

I clearly got the impression that she really felt passionate in this, she goes through voluntary redundancy in what I would assume to be a decent paid job to follow her aspirations of becoming a business owner. These days establishing any sort of animal business in a town or city is no walk in the park (excuse the pun…) so it’s really useful to know the finer details from finance, planning permission, location, attracting your potential customers and many more.

Seminar 2 – Canine Nutrition – Esther Rawlinson BVMS MRCVS, Purina PRO PLAN

Seminar 2 was a nutritional seminar presented by Lucy Lowe who is a vet nurse and nutrition speaking on behalf of Purina PRO PLAN.

When I first read this I was rather suspicious. A lot of these sponsored seminars are usually some sort of selling pitch. I couldn’t of been more wrong and actually, I was surprised how very little the talk went back to any of Purina PRO PLANS products.

It was quite a basic yet informational nutrition seminar. As a trainer or professional you are most likely going to be asked nutritional questions, ‘What do you suggest I should feed my dog on?’ and it’s important to take many factors into consideration such as the overall health of animal and the stage of development.

Throughout the seminar they gave us empty bags of everyday dog food from all sorts of brands and helped us identify how to read them properly so you know as a dog owner or professional exactly how much your dog is getting back. Whether that’s protein, carbohydrates or additional supplements. It was quite an eye opener for me.

I’m be the first to admit that the dog food industry is a jungle out there with very little regulation so this seminar did certainly shed some light into the industry and gave me some very useful information to pass on in the future.

Seminar 3 – The Confident Dog Instructor: How to Increase Your Confidence and Credibility – Kim Lyddon MBA, Director – Dog Business Academy

Certainly one of the highlights of the event. It was presented by Kim Lyddon who shared some fascinating insight into her previous careers and how she ended up founding the Dog Business Academy.

Kim really highlighted how important communicating with your customers is which I think is vital. Establishing a confident impression with your customers is essential, especially when they are trusting you with their dog whether you are a dog trainer, groomer, kennel manager or vet.

She went on the finer details in communications that are incredibly important that we might of perhaps missed or thought weren’t as important such as;

  • Tone of voice
  • Body language
  • Credibility

I think within every dog trainer or professional there is a much more confident and assertive instructor and Kim help finds a way to unlock those qualities.

Halfway through the talk she asked the whole audience to group into 4 complete strangers and each of those spoke about themselves for about 30 seconds and we must write 2 good features about that particular person based on the first impressions. I got an insight into my 4 strangers and in those 30 seconds which was very captivating. It certainly broke the ice within the audience and I spoke to some really interesting people.

What did I get, you say?


I’m happy to announce that Part 2 will have Kim Lyddons full statement and her thoughts on the event and how dog instructors could benefit from the Dog Business Academy. You can find her blog here.

Each one of them were incredibly educational and entertaining. They all related to the modules I’m currently doing which was great as well, at the end you are given a certificate of attendance which also contributes towards your portfolio.

Throughout the seminars there were KCAI mentors willing to help out on any problems and give advice on your progress. I spoke to them briefly and they were incredibly helpful, they gave me some really useful tips I’ll share on my next blog.

Getting some great advice from the KCAI mentors!
Getting some great advice from the KCAI mentors!

Lastly I’d like to thank the organisers and everyone who came that made the event and I look forward to the next KCAI Regional Event!



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