Impact Working Dog Conference

I don’t do early mornings, so for me to be pulling up outside of my friend’s house at 7am in the dark to head off for a dog training conference I must either be ill or expecting something brilliant. And I wasn’t disappointed!

I found out about Impact K9 through a friend of a friend and at £79 for two days full of talks, lunch provided and just over an hour away it was worth a go. The traffic was pretty easy at that time of the morning so before long we were pulling into a police station and heading inside for our complimentary (and much needed) cup of tea.


The first day began with an inspiring talk by Victoria Stilwell following by some brilliant talks by Chirag Patel, Guy Williams, John Burns, Cliverton Insurance and Ilkka Hormilla. The second day was a similar line up with the addition of Helen Zulch and Dr David Adebimpe instead of John Burns & Cliverton Insurance.

The conference was geared as a “working dog” conference and therefore some of the talks were themed around scent and bite work, however there was information for everyone to take home, especially the emphasis on positive training and not using aversion or stress in training.

I was especially blown away by Chirag Patel… what a guy! I can’t recommend his talks highly enough. Please please please if you are involved in training try to get to one of his sessions or at least look at his resources online. Helen Zulch also provided a fascinating and thought-provoking talk on “drive” and whether it has any relevance as a term in dog training.


The dates have been announced for Impact K9 2017 and I imagine it will only get better from here so it’s worth looking out for. However even if I don’t make it next year I’ll definitely be looking out for more opportunities to learn from Chirag Patel, as well as Helen Zulch and her colleagues from the University of Lincoln.

A big well done to Dave & Paul the organisers, what a fantastic event.

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