Who are the The Dog Academy experts? Meet the canine specialists on Channel 4's new show

They certainly know their stuff!

a medium shot of The Dog Academy expert Victoria Stillwell posing with a red labrador, next to a Land Rover jeep
(Image credit: Future/Channel4)

Those tuning into the all new Channel 4 show are curious to know about The Dog Academy's expert dog trainers, in addition to details of where The Dog Academy is filmed.

Furry, friendly and known for being 'man's best friend' - dogs are often top of the list when it comes to choosing a pet. But whilst we all have dreams of canine cuddles and country walks with a well-behaved pooch, sometimes the reality is very different.

The Dog Academy documents this exact predicament, with some of Britain's naughtiest dogs being enrolled by exhausted owners in a last ditch attempt to improve their bad behaviour. Helping to transform the relationship are a team of qualified and experienced dog trainers who have all the tools to change these pups for the better. We've shared details of The Dog Academy experts, their qualifications, dog devoted businesses and where you might have seen them before.

Who are the experts on The Dog Academy?

The Dog Academy expert team is made up of six experts: Victoria Stillwell, Kamal Fernandez, Adam Daines, Nanci Creedon, Jo Pay and Sean Brown. The canine specialists all hail from different parts of the UK and are qualified in different areas of dog training and therapy.

Rita Daniels, Commissioning Editor for Channel 4, hopes that audiences will benefits from some of the dog expert teachings on the show. "As well as helping the dogs and owners who come to the Academy, we hope our series will help viewers at home pick up loads of valuable tips and tricks too," she said.

Meet The Dog Academy experts:

1. Kamal Fernandez

Kamal Fernandez describes himself as a "world-renowned reinforcement-based dog sports coach". During his 27 years in the industry, Fernandez has been a Crufts competitor, judge and steward. He's also worked as a trainer on Sky TV’s Dogs Might Fly and often works to provide animals to TV. Fernandez is passionate about helping owners with dog aggression and rehabilitation.

2. Victoria Stillwell

Some viewers may recognise Victoria Stillwell from TV series It's Me or the Dog. The world renowned dog expert has published five books, presents the podcast Positively Podcasts and is the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training (VSPDT).

Victoria teased the arrival of aggressive cockapoo Bear, who appears in Episode one of The Dog Academy alongside exhausted owners Louise and Paul. She told WhattoWatch: "He has intense behavioural problems, from resource guarding - being protective of his toys and Paul - to barking, mouthing and not trusting Louise. I’ve worked with lots of couples in distress but this was the most intense. Louise said it was make or break. I was really worried for their relationship and for Bear."  

3. Jo Payne

Jo Payne joins Victoria Stillwell on the show. Based in the North West of England, she boast 25 years in the business and runs the European units of  Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training and the Victoria Stilwell Academy. She appeared on Crufts back in 2016 and 2017.

4. Nanci Creedon

Nanci Creedon is a Northern-Ireland based canine specialist who has been running Creedons Doggie Daycare since 2010. She has a degree in Zoology and a master’s degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. Nanci often appears on the RTE Today Show giving expert advice and tips on all things dogs.

5. Sean Brown

Sean Brown, is the founder of Petsercise, based in the North East of England. A former rugby star who played for Newcastle Falcons and England, Sean retrained and was named dog trainer of the year at the Corporate Livewire Prestige Awards in 2020. 

Brown is passionate about dog training and rehabilitation, with his business offering dog training, walking and agility classes, in addition to luxury dog grooming, day care and boarding centres in Blaydon and Tantobie and County Durham.

The Petsercise website confirmed Sean was taking part in the show, teasing what viewers can expect. "The series will have you laughing, crying, and reaching for your note book and treat pouch!," read a statement. "Get behind our very own Geordie Dog Trainer, we can't wait for you to see it!"

6. Adam Daines

Adam Daines is a fully qualified dog trainer and dog behaviourist based in Bath, UK. He runs Avon Dog Services and specialises in dog-to-dog reactivity, individual and group dog training. Adam boasts a number of professional qualifications including a National Diploma in Animal Management & Behaviour, a Foundation Degree in Animal Behaviour and a BSc Degree in Applied Animal Behaviour & Training.

When is The Dog Academy next on?

The Dog Academy airs every Thursday night at 8pm on Channel 4. You can also catch up on episodes after they've aired on All4. The show has eight episodes in total and will broadcast throughout March and April 2023.

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.