About Us

Canine Partnership for Personal Development (CPPD) Academy

Welcome to our website and from the start, we are going to be totally honest. We’re not business experts, we’re not here to give you instructions on how to set up and run a business. We’re here to share our experiences of running businesses involving dogs and attempting, in our own ways, to offer a means of learning and personal development for humans. We will take you on a journey, through our book, our workshops and our coaching and mentoring, inviting you to consider lots of different aspects around starting your business.

CPPD Academy

We use the term Canine Partnership for Personal Development (CPPD) to describe what we do. This works for us and we hope it works for you too. We use the term CPPD ‘business’ with pride and it’s something that might raise an eyebrow or two. Whether you’re planning to work in a not-for-profit sector, social enterprise, social business, as a sole trader or limited company, you will only survive by becoming sustainable. The more income you can generate, the more people you can work with.

We’re two people who have taken our ideas and a huge leap of faith, and made it happen. We’ve made mistakes and there are things we would have done differently, but they have helped shape where we are now. If we had a pound for every time someone said ‘I’d love to do what you do’, we’d be millionaires. If you would like to do what we (and many others) do, we’re excited for you and hope that we can help you as you embark upon or continue along your journey.


The CPPD Academy team is made up of Chris Kent and Marie Yates.


Chris Kent

Canine Partnership for Personal Development

Chris Kent – CPPD Academy

Chris started her working life on adventure playgrounds in the East End of London before training to become a Social Worker. Once qualified she began working in the criminal justice sector with adults and young people experiencing a number of challenges. Throughout her career, Chris has worked in local authorities, charities and not-for-profit organisations, as well as in the private sector.

In 1998, Chris established a successful project development and training consultancy.  She worked across local authorities, non-government organisations, and private businesses. In 2008 she combined her extensive experience with her passion for dogs and set up the K9 Project; a canine assisted learning and personal development intervention, working with people of all ages.

The common theme throughout Chris’ work initiatives is her passion, motivation, and creativity. With a career that spans four decades she has consistently written, designed and delivered innovative programmes. These programmes encompass a wide variety of expertise, including working with young people to address anger issues, parenting programmes, work based learning for practitioners and professionals, training workshops, and team building events.

Chris has written a book about her journey with the K9 Project. Hounds Who Heal is an awe-inspiring story where her creativity, as well as her passion for working with people and her love of animals, all come together.

The K9 Project has supported thousands of people, has won multiple awards and, with Chris at the helm, has blazed a trail for other canine assisted programmes around the world.

Chris is delighted to be the co-founder of the CPPD Academy to help other people set up creative, insightful projects with dogs as co facilitators.


Marie Yates

Canine Partnership for Personal Development

Marie Yates – CPPD Academy

Marie’s career started after her graduation from University, where she found her way into working in sports development. She climbed the ranks until she was leading the development of the Paralympic Programme for UK Athletics.

Alongside her work, Marie continued studying and completed a Master’s degree, diplomas in personal performance coaching, and decided to follow her passion for writing.

Taking a new role in the Department for Education enabled Marie to develop her project management skills and enhanced her the desire to move into self-employment! Marie had been working privately with survivors of sexual violence as coach and mentor, and with her first book being published in 2014, she took the leap.

Marie is the author of The Dani Moore Trilogy, a story following the journey of a teenage survivor and her rescue dog. The first book, Reggie & Me, reached the final of The People’s Book Prize and the books have been endorsed by professionals working in this area.

The trilogy has been the catalyst for establishing Canine Perspective CIC, a social enterprise dedicated to inspiring positive change using the power of the human-canine bond. Marie has gone on to study dog training and behaviour, which has created the synergy within this business. The social projects undertaken include the flagship programme, Canine Hope, which is designed for survivors and incorporates the journey of a canine co-facilitator.

Marie is one of the many people who has been inspired by Chris Kent to follow their dream of working with dogs to create social change. She is excited to be working with Chris on the CPPD Academy, and can’t wait to see the new, innovative projects that will be designed to make a positive change.


Working Together

We decided to set up the CPPD Academy together as we have taken completely different approaches to running our CPPD businesses. We have different legal structures, there have been structural changes, and our motivation is different. We work with different client groups, and we work in different ways. We know that there isn’t one answer, and we believe that this collaborative approach will offer you a wider range of questions to help you as you embark upon this journey. In our book, we have called upon other people who are running businesses, working with dogs and humans, so you can enjoy words of wisdom from people who have been there and are doing this.