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What tasks do our Assistance Dogs do?

Updated: Jul 23, 2023

Assistance Dogs help people who have physical, medical, psychiatric or developmental disabilities.

Did you know, you can train your own pet dog to become your assistance dog? As long as your dog is trained to mitigate your disability, you are covered under the Equality Act 2010.

Here are some examples of tasks that we support dog owners with through our Online Assistance Dog Programme

Physical tasks

  • Open doors

  • Close doors

  • Pickup dropped items

  • Retrieve named items (medicine, keys, mail)

  • Find hidden items

  • Fetch a ringing phone

  • Opening cabinets/draws/fridge

  • Turning lights on and off

  • Pressing buttons in lifts or at crossings

  • Tugging at clothes to help with undressing

  • Remove blankets

  • Emptying the washing machine/dryer

  • Tidying up and putting items in a box

  • Carrying items such as the mail or a purse

  • Giving a wallet or credit card to a cashier

  • Putting rubbish in a bin

  • Assist handler with position changes like sitting to standing (brace)

  • Counterbalance

  • Nudge hand or foot back onto chair rest

  • Hands free reward training

  • Training from a wheelchair

  • Navigating around a wheelchair

  • Heeling next to a wheelchair

  • Forward momentum

  • Guiding to seating

  • Guiding to exits

Medical tasks

  • Alerting to low or high or low blood sugar

  • Alerting to a seizure

  • Alerting handler to high heart rate

  • Alert handler to asthma attack

  • Alerting to Metabolic Deterioration

  • Alerting handler or caretaker to presence of deadly allergens

  • Alert handler to changes in blood pressure

  • Alerting handler to repetitive motions or stimming

  • Lying with the handler when they collapse

  • Raising handlers legs after fainting

  • Protecting handlers head during a seizure

  • Alerting caretaker

  • Retrieving medication

  • Delivering messages from handler to someone else

  • Lying across the handler's body for temperature regulation

  • New tasks being added all the time

Psychiatric Tasks

For dogs supporting handlers with Autism, Anxiety, PTSD, Neurological conditions and more

  • Deep pressure therapy during panic attacks

  • Tactile grounding via nuzzling or licking

  • Interrupt repetitive self harm

  • Retrieve self care kit

  • Interrupt flashbacks

  • Interrupt anxiety attacks

  • Make space in a crowd

  • Settle under legs/chair when out in public

  • Lead to exits

  • Lead to seating

  • Alert caregiver

  • Provide comfort when crying

  • Alert to change in stress levels

  • Watch my back

  • New tasks being added all the time

Hearing Support Tasks

For dogs supporting handlers with hearing loss

  • Retrieve ringing phone

  • Alert to doorbell

  • Wake up at the sound of alarm

  • Retrieve medicine at the sound of an alarm

The Adolescent Dogs Online Assistance Dog Programme supports owner trained teams with a variety of disabilities including physical, medical, neurological, chronic pain, hearing loss, PTSD, autism and more!

We also support the training of all breeds of dogs, including Spaniels, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Cockapoos, Poodles, Husky's, Terriers, Pugs and more!

There is no waiting list and training is easily accessible for teams throughout the UK, or to support training for dogs worldwide.

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