Not All Heros Wear Capes, Some Wear Collars! Submissions Now Open for The Golden Paw Hero Dog Awards 2023!

Following the huge success of their 2022 awards, The Irish Kennel Club are delighted to announce the launch of The Golden Paw Hero Dog Awards 2023 kindly sponsored by Agria Petinsure. The awards aim to find, recognise and reward Ireland’s most courageous, brave and life changing canines, with several categories to choose from including life-changing dogs, rescue dogs and companion dogs to name a few. An exciting panel of judges, yet to be announced, will shortlist winners in each category with overall prizes awarded at a glittering ceremony on the 18th of November in the Clayton Dublin Airport Hotel attended by the finalists and their humans. Last year’s awards garnered national attention, with the finalist’s appearing on The Late Late Show and Virgin Media News amongst other coverage.


So, do you know a canine hero who deserves a round of a-paws? Nominate them today!


Entry Categories

- Life Changing Dogs

- Therapy/Guide Dogs

- Bravery Dogs

- Search & Rescue Dogs

- Rescue Dogs

- Companion Dogs

- Law Enforcement Dogs


Enter your nomination at


Closing Date for Entries: 31st October 2023


Kindly sponsored by Agria Petinsure, one of Europe’s leading pet insurance companies with a mission to provide best care for pets and peace of mind for pet owners by providing insurance solutions.

Last Year’s Overall Winner - Marcel the Golden Retriever

Marcel’s handler, Anne is a Volunteer Puppy Raiser with Irish Guide Dogs for Blind (IGDB) and trained Marcel from 8 weeks until 14 months. During his training to become a Guide Dog, Marcel developed Body Sensitivity which meant he couldn’t tolerate a harness on his back. This meant that Marcel was assigned as Kerry’s First Ambassador dog. As an Ambassador Dog, Marcel visits nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and many fund-raising events.  Marcel continues to assist in many one-on-one Therapy Sessions. These include visits to specific patients in University Hospital Kerry, at the request of their doctor, to comfort parents and children. Marcel is also included in therapy sessions with vulnerable children and adults, where Marcel will encourage and calm the patient.

Judges for the 2022 awards, including PJ Gallagher and Jim Mc Cabe from The Morning Glory Show on Nova and journalist and dog-lover Andrea Smith, were impressed with Marcel’s caring temperament and all the invaluable work he does in the community. All finalists were presented with beautiful Golden Paw trophies commissioned by the IKC along with lots of other goodies from sponsors Agri Petinsure and GAIN. They also enjoyed an adorable appearance on The Late Late Show where Marcel and the other finalists got to meet lots of celebrities including Jane Seymour!

Past Honorary Award Winner, Patron

In May 2022, The Irish Kennel Club was delighted to bestow an Honorary Golden Paw Hero Dog Award to Patron, a Ukrainian Jack Russell terrier who detects landmines. First Secretary, Mr. Dmytro Shchedrin, accepted the award at the IKC Festival of Dogs in Leopardstown Racecourse on behalf of the heroic pooch. This was not Patron’s first accolade, having previously been awarded the Medal of Courage from President Zelensky. Since the war in Ukraine began in February, 2 year old Patron had sniffed out over 200 undetonated explosive devices and has now won the hearts of many in the country with over 350,000 followers on Instagram.


*Press Note:

Spokesperson available for interviews!


Diary Date for The Golden Paw Hero Dog Awards – Press Welcome!


Where: Clayton Dublin Airport Hotel

When: 18th November 2023 @ 1pm




Issued by Aileen Eglington & Rosie O’Toole, AE Consulting on behalf of The Irish Kennel Club.


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T:            01 2948080