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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 16 years, often helping Owner Trained Assistance Dogs to reach their goals

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, 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.   

Online Programme

We provide training through all stages of development, from puppy training and early socialisation, temperament testing, basic to advanced obedience and teaching tasks. We offer our Assistance Dog Awards to members so that they can build clear training plans, and mirror the same high standards being used for assistance dogs around the world.  We are constantly adding new content and you can request specific video tutorials to suit your needs.

You can find a list of our current members and their achievements here

FAQ

  1. How does the programme work? Once signed up, you'll gain instant access to over 400 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 can be done in person with a local trainer of your choice

  2. 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.  Some organisations such as airlines & universities may require your dog to be registered with ADUK or specific charities ; but please note, this is not legal and they are breaking the law by requesting for your dog to be registered. Our programme does not offer any official 'registration' or 'certification' that would qualify your dog to travel with airlines for example.  If you don't live in the UK, you will need to check your local laws.  

  3. Will I be able to access training vests? Yes, once your dog has passed their first award, you can purchase an 'assistance dog in training' vest and settle mat with our logo on it. 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 level.

Puppy raising & training

We also provide a puppy raising & training programme.  We are looking for breeders who would like to donate well bred puppies for us to raise, train and match to a person in need of an assistance dog. It costs us over £30,000 to train each puppy for their first 6 months.  Please get in touch if you have a puppy to donate.

Gifted residential stays

We offer a limited number of gifted residential stays and one to one lessons each year to members of our Assistance Dog Programme.  Sadly we don't currently have enough members to offer as many stays as we would like. We have provided over £60,000 worth of gifted stays between 2021 to 2022. Our next stays may become available in 2023, but currently we are training a Puppy Candidate full time to gift to someone (Neo)

Mission statement

Helping dog owners with disabilities to train their own assistance dogs.  We will do this by:

  • Giving them access to qualified, force free trainers

  • We will provide a high standard of training throughout each dog's life

  • We will educate the public about disabled peoples rights under the Equality Act 2010.   

  • We will commit to animal welfare and train and work only fit healthy dogs.  

  • We will educate all our members about their legal responsibilities as a dog owner and an assistance dog handler.

  • We will offer regular assessments every dog that is registered with the Adolescent Dogs Assistance Programme

  • We will create a friendly community for members to support each other every step of the way.

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Our Application Process

Our programme is open to anyone wishing to train their own dog to aid in their disability. We accept puppies as young as 8 weeks of age to begin their learning journey

 

Not every dog is suitable to become an assistance dog, and not every dog / owner team will reach the standard of training required to pass all the assessments

 

You can join us right away and start training. You will need to provide the following documentation:

  • A letter from your doctor stating your medical diagnosis. Or a letter from a health professional stating your diagnosis and the fact that they consider that a dog would support you with your condition. If you require a dog for autism / anxiety / depression, then you will need a letter from a professional stating that they believe you would benefit from an assistance dog

To train as an Assistance Dog, your dog must:

  • Have a sound temperament; not show any fear or reactivity issues and be in good health.

  • Be trained to an advanced level (we can help with this).  Dogs can take the Awards at any age, but Access Tests are only available once your dog reaches 2 years of age. 

  • Demonstrate 3 specific skills that provide assistance you need because of your disability (we can also help with this training)

Dogs with behavioural issues are rarely suitable to train as assistance dogs, so please contact us for a free assessment.

Assessments

Assessments are not required by law. If your dog mitigates your disability in any way then you are covered under the Equality Act 2010. Your dog is an auxiliary aid just like a walking stick or wheelchair and as such cannot be denied access. 

 

However, Owner Trained Teams often struggle with Access issues, so having the assessments to prove training level, along with our training vests can help with access (please note, our programme does not guarantee you won't have problems with Access, especially with air travel)

Organisations / companies requesting that your dog is trained by a specific organisation or to have an ID book is breaking the law!  There is no 'registration' or 'certification' for assistance dogs in the UK, nor is it a legal requirement. 

 

We recommend that your assistance dog is trained to a high standard, so that your dog does not cause disruption and can cope with supporting you with your disability in public.  We offer online Canine Community Awards that you can submit videos for you to achieve certificates. 

A certificate is provided for each level of training, from Puppy to Gold and Access Tests.  If you sign up for the yearly membership, you will also receive a certificate of membership.

Your dog must have achieved their Puppy Award before being allowed to purchase our Assistance Dog in Training Vests, which can become a great aid for not only gaining public access, but also to ensure that the general public know to ignore your dog.

Task videos currently available:

  • Retrieve items (keys, medicine)

  • Pickup small items (pencils, credit cards, paper etc)

  • Find and retrieve scented item

  • Take item to designated area

  • Open doors

  • Close doors (with nose or paws)

  • Interrupt anxiety attacks using paws

  • Interrupt anxiety attacks using nose

  • Make space in crowds

  • Deep pressure therapy

  • Chin rest

  • Provide comfort

  • Carry an item

  • Turn on a light

  • Ring a bell

  • Take off socks/clothes

  • Walk beside a wheelchair

  • Wheelchair training and troubleshooting

  • Backup out of doorways

  • Target training

  • Navigate around a wheelchair in tight spaces

  • Nudge arm/foot back onto arm/footrest of wheelchair

  • Settle under legs / table

  • Remove blanket

  • Jump up alert

  • Empty washing machine

  • Scentwork to alert to seizures, changes in blood pressure etc

  • New videos added monthly

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Over 350 videos

Instantly access 16 courses with over 350 video tutorials, including tasks and wheelchair videos

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Weekly Live Q&A

Ask Jenny & Mike questions LIVE

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Exclusive Task Group

Exclusive access to video tutorials for teaching Tasks, and an Assistance Dog community group

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Community

A fun & supportive Facebook community group

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Webinars

Monthly Live Webinars covering hot topics

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New content is FREE

Anytime we add new content or courses, you'll get it FREE

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Weekly Live Training

Live training demos with novice dogs for real world troubleshooting

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Personal support

24/7 access to us, with our personal support & guidance

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Training Plans

We'll help you keep your training on track by building a personal plan every week!

Membership

There is a membership fee which can be paid monthly or annually. 

Members will be able to:

  • Access VIP CLUB training videos 

  • Access Assistance Dog videos: includes tasks, anxiety support and wheelchair videos

  • Receive online support

  • Receive ongoing support & evaluation

  • Purchase our Assistance Dog in Training jackets and settle mats

  • Purchase an ID card to help with access issues

  • Take our Assistance Dog Awards to build a clear training goal

  • Receive 10% off one to one lessons and residential stays

  • Free assessment of video entries for Puppy to Gold Awards

  • 50% off session cost for an Access Test Assessment (£60 instead of £120)

  • 100% of members fees goes towards us gifting residential stays to assistance dogs in need. Read more here

Membership will only be granted to those who meet the eligibility criteria. All documents must be sent to info@adolescentdogs.com 

The Assistance Dog Academy benefits from a more than 50% discount off the current Academy subscription so that we can help as many people as possible.  This is an introductory price and subject to change.

Once you've completed your application form, please email your documents to info@adolescentdogs.com and then sign up for your membership option below

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MONTHLY

14.99 per month

Monthly membership plan. Includes full access to the online video tutorials and online trainer support

From:

£14.99

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ANNUAL

£139 per year

Yearly membership plan. Includes full access to the online video tutorials and online trainer support

From:

£139

Paying it Forward

All of the profits from our Online Academy Memberships are put towards our own Assistance Dog Programme, where we carefully select puppies from reputable breeders, put the necessary training and tasks in place for their first year of life, and then match each puppy to a family. 

Occassionally we are able to offer gifted residential stays to those who have already purchased their own puppy (under 4 months of age), or for those with older dogs who have passed the Silver Award who need support with teaching tasks.  

We are not a charity, and our practical trainer support is funded 100% from our own income generated from our Online Academy, so the availability of gifted stays is limited.  Please contact us direct to find out more. 

Breeders

We are looking for puppies to raise to become assistance dogs.  Are you a breeder, or do you know a breeder who may be willing to donate a puppy to be trained for our programme?

Puppies

We are currently training a Standard Xoloitzcuintli to become an assistance dog. When assessed, he will be matched to a new owner and gifted to a family in need.

Your Instructors

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Jenny Trigg

Director & Head Trainer

Jenny founded Adolescent Dogs in 2006 and is passionate about modern, reward based training. She has helped to train thousands of dogs from all over the world 

Jenny is a VSA Certified Dog Trainer, a member of the Pet Professional Guild for force free dog trainers, a member of the Guild of Dog Trainers, a Professional Member of the Pet Professional Network and holds an Advanced Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour & Training

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Mike Newland

Director & Head Behaviourist

Mike has been training for over 10 years and runs Adolescent Dogs with Jenny. He specialises in working with reactive dogs & behaviour, with a passion for teaching scentwork.  He is a Gold Certified UK Sniffer Dogs Instructor,  is a member of the Pet Professional Guild for force free dog trainers, a member of the Guild of Dog Trainers and a Professional Member of the Pet Professional Network (PPN)

“Brilliant, adaptive, efficient training delivered...” Written on 12072021 by CrystalSanct