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Assistance Dog Programme

UK's leading Owner Trained Assistance Dog Programme

We support the training of Owner Trained Assistance Dogs in the UK and across the world via our Online Assistance Dog Programme.

We mirror the same high standards recognised for assistance dogs across the world

We support a wide range of disabilities including physical, medical & psychological.  All breeds are welcome and there is no waiting list.

You can train your dog yourself from home following our online programme below, or we can train your dog for you via our Trained Assistance Dog Programme

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Welcome to the Adolescent Dogs Online Academy for Owner Trained Assistance Dogs in the UK

Who are we?
 

We are a team of qualified, force free dog trainers who have been training family dogs for over 18 years, helping Owner Trained Assistance Dog teams to reach their goals

Our Assistance Dog Programme is open to anyone who wishes to train their own pet dog to become their assistance dog, covering a wide variety of disabilities including physical, medical, psychiatric and neurological. 

Sadly, the waiting list for owners to seek help from charities is often long (up to 5 years), or their lists are full due to increasing demand, or you need to spend crazy amounts of money to buy one of their trained dogs, making it difficult for many owners to access the help they need and taking them further away from their dream of training their dog to assist them in everyday life

Our mission is to help as many owners as possible to turn this dream into a reality, providing top quality training they can follow from home, along with our personal support and coaching, so that they can train their own dog to become an assistance dog for them.   

We have NO waiting lists, NO breed restrictions & NO neuter requirements

Watson

Watson

PTSD support

Willow

Willow

PTSD & Autism Support

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

PTSD Support

Sky

Sky

Mobility Support

What disabilities do we support?

We support a wide range of disabilities including:

  • Physical disabilities (wheelchair users, PoTS, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, ME, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Injuries, Brain injuries, Strokes, Amputees etc)

  • Medical support (Diabetes, Epilepsy, Seizures, Addisons, Allergies, Blood Pressure, Migraines, POTS, Crohns, non epileptic seizures)

  • Guiding & Hearing - we only currently have light guiding & hearing videos available, but our trainers are happy to support your training journey in any way we can

  • Psychiatric & neurological support (Autism, Downs Syndrome, PTSD, Dissociative Identity Disorder, FASD, Bipolar, Major depression, Severe anxiety) Your dog would need to ease your symptoms via specially taught tasks

  • Emotional support dogs: An emotional support dog is a dog who provides emotional support and eases your anxiety/symptoms without any training.  Unfortunately Emotional Support Dogs are not recognised in the UK. 

To utilise an assistance dog, regardless of the type of disability, a handler must qualify as disabled under the Equality Act of 2010. This means that their disability must have a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.  We do not discriminate based upon diagnosis and we are open to recipients with any psychological condition with recommendation from their Psychiatrist

Assistance dog in training

Online Programme

Train your assistance dog from home

We provide full training from puppy to fully trained, guiding you and your dog through all stages of training

You'll have instant access to over 450 step by step video tutorials covering puppy training, socialisation, basic to advanced obedience cues, distraction proofing, public access training and behavioural challenges

In addition to this, we have step by step tutorials for teaching a wide range of tasks so that your dog can learn to mitigate your unique disability

There is Live trainer support available 7 days a week and optional weekly Live Zoom meetings

You'll work your way through our Awards via video submission from Puppy to Gold level (similar to the KC awards) and the Mitigating Task award before being invited to do an Access Test from 18 months of age which is assessed in person.

 

The Public Access Test mirrors the same high standards expected of assistance dogs across the world. Our Gold level test takes dogs beyond this standard, ensuring they reach the highest level of training

Practical Trainer support is available via one to one lessons, classes and residential training

Current list of tasks available

Frequently Asked Questions​

How do I sign up? Simply fill in the questionnaire below and email us proof of your diagnosis. You'll be approved within 24 hours and can then choose to setup either monthly or yearly membership

How does the programme work? Once signed up, you'll gain instant access to over 450 video tutorials covering obedience exercises and tasks. You can work through our Award levels from Puppy to Gold by submitting videos of the training exercises. We also offer an 'access test' level which is done with our trainer in Guildford (or within 50 miles)

What if I don't live in the UK? We accept teams from all over the world. You will need to check your local laws regarding assistance dogs. You can take your awards via video submission and utilise a local trainer for your Access Test (this needs to be recorded)

Is there a waiting list?  We have NO waiting list to join our programme

Is my dog suitable?  As long as your dog is under 6 years of age (depending on breed), in good health and without any concerns over their temperament, you can begin your training journey. If you are concerned about any of the above, please send us a message. We offer free assessments. There is a mandatory temperament assessment before dogs can take their Silver Award. This can be done with a local trainer

Does my dog need insurance? Yes, your dog must have public liability insurance that specifically covers your dog as an assistance dog. Agria, Many Pets and Petplan cover assistance dogs

 

What age can I start my dog? We accept puppies from 8 weeks of age. You'll find video tutorials covering all of your puppy's needs throughout their first year, from puppy socialisation tips, confidence building, obedience and the foundations for tasks.  As the journey can take 2 years, we don't recommend commencing training with dogs over the age of 6 (depending on breed).

 

How long does it take to train a dog? To train your dog from puppy to fully trained (ready to pass an access test), takes a minimum of 18 months. You should expect the entire process to take roughly 2 years (depending on how much time you put into training and how suitable your dog is)

Can I train more than one dog? We don't recommend training more than one dog at a time. This is due to the amount of time and commitment required to train each dog. As well as the on-going training needed throughout your dog's life to keep the training in place. If you do decide to train more than 1 dog, please ask us about a price to have 2 dogs on the programme

Does my dog need to be neutered? We don't recommend neutering your dog unless there is a medical or behavioural need to do so. With girls, you may prefer to neuter after the 2nd season to reduce how often your dog will need to rest from supporting you

Will my dog become a registered assistance dog? There is no official registration or certification for assistance dogs in the UK. As long as your dog is well trained and mitigates your disability, you are covered by the Equality Act 2010. We have no association with ADUK or ADI

Can your programme help with air travel? Yes, British Airways have previously accepted our supporting letters for training as proof for travel. However, their rules changed at the end of 2023, so you would need to check their updated requirements. You will also need to check with other airlines. This is subject to change based on Airline rules, we recommend checking prior to signing up if this is a goal for you.

Will I be able to buy training vests? Yes, once your dog has passed their Bronze Award from 6 months (or earlier via a residential stay), you can purchase an 'assistance dog in training' vest, settle mat and lead slip with our logo on it. You can fully customise your gear with your own preferred colours and design. This will help you with access whilst your dog is still training. An 'Assistance Dog' jacket can be purchased once your dog passes the Access test & temperament test level

Can you support with access issues? Yes, we can provide official letters confirming your membership with our programme and the level of training your dog has achieved, as well as providing membership cards. We are also happy to email any establishments refusing you access such as Universities, Businesses, Colleges and Services.

Do you offer In Person support? Yes, we offer 20% off one to one lessons in Surrey with Mike and 10% off one to one lessons in Guildford and Stafford. We also offer a 10% to 20% discount off our residential training stays which are a popular choice for fast-tracking your training, overcoming training struggles, teaching tasks or preparing your dog for public access training

What if my dog is already highly trained? You can still join us, but you'll still need to submit videos for Bronze to Gold before taking your Access Test