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.
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
How does the programme work? Once signed up, you'll gain instant access to over 400 video tutorials covering obedience 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, but this is only to show that your dog has achieved the highest level of training (it may not work as proof of training)
Will my dog become a registered assistance dog? There is no official registration 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 (although this isn't legal). If you don't live in the UK, you will need to check your local laws.
Will I be able to access training jackets? Yes, once your dog has passed their first award, you can purchase an 'assistance dog in training' jacket 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, where we are aiming to source and raise 3 puppies every year to gift to someone in need of an assistance dog. Our current puppy Neo is now ready to find his forever home. You can find more details about him here. We are always looking for puppies to be donated to our programme.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
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.
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, which are held in Ewhurst, Surrey
You can join us right away and start training. You will need to provide the following documentation:
A letter from your doctor, counsellor or professional stating your disability and the fact that they consider that a dog would support you with your condition, or a medical letter detailing your disability. 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). We recommend dogs reach at least 2 years of age before taking the access tests.
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 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 jackets 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' for assistance dogs. It doesn't exist.
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 Jackets, 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)
Find and retrieve scented item
Take item to designated area
Interrupt anxiety attacks using paws
Interrupt anxiety attacks using nose
Make space in crowds
Deep pressure therapy
Carry an item
Turn on a light
Ring a bell
Take off socks/clothes
Walk beside a wheelchair
Backup out of doorways
Navigate around a wheelchair in tight spaces
Settle under legs / table
Empty washing machine (coming soon)
Remove jumper (coming soon)
Indicate upcoming seizures (through scent training) coming soon
New videos added monthly
Over 350 videos
Instantly access 16 courses with over 350 video tutorials, including tasks and wheelchair videos
Weekly Live Q&A
Ask Jenny & Mike questions LIVE
Exclusive Task Group
Exclusive access to video tutorials for teaching Tasks, and an Assistance Dog community group
A fun & supportive Facebook community group
Monthly Live Webinars covering hot topics
New content is FREE
Anytime we add new content or courses, you'll get it FREE
Weekly Live Training
Live training demos with novice dogs for real world troubleshooting
24/7 access to us, with our personal support & guidance
We'll help you keep your training on track by building a personal plan every week!
There is a membership fee which can be paid monthly or annually.
Members will be able to:
Access VIP CLUB training videos (If you're already a VIP member, we can simply add on the assistance course for free)
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
Take our Assistance Dog Awards to build a clear training goal
Receive 10% off one to one lessons and residential stays
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org and then sign up for your membership option below
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.
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?
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.
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
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)