With such long waiting lists for assistance dogs from registered charities, it’s no wonder many people consider whether they could train their dog themselves. It has become increasingly common for people to go down the route of training their own dog, either because they happen to have a dog who seems ideal, or because they’ve specifically sourced a puppy for this purpose.
However, there is a reason why these charities exist. Training assistance dogs is not easy. Even with the most specialised breeding, socialisation and training programmes, not every dog makes the grade and it takes a huge amount of time and money to develop these dogs into the best assistance dogs.
Despite this, there is a great need for more dogs and there are benefits to people training their own dogs. Not everyone needs a dog who can perform a range of complex tasks, for some people it is perfectly possible to train their own dog for what they need.
It’s not straightforward though, and you need to start by choosing the right dog. You also need to know when your dog simply isn’t suitable…