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Trained Assistance Dogs

Pet Dog to Assistance Dog

Here at Adolescent Dogs, we provide intensive residential training packages to train your own dog to become your assistance dog

Our assistance dog residential training stays are tailored to your specific needs and cover all training from basic to advanced obedience, public access training and training mitigating tasks

If you want to train your dog yourself, head over to our Online Programme

What disabilities do we support?

We support a wide range of disabilities including:

  • Physical disabilities (wheelchair users, POTS, EDS, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, ME, Spina Bifida, Cerebal Palsy, Spinal Injuries, Brain injuries, Strokes, Amputees etc)

  • Medical support (Diabetes, Seizures, Addisons, Allergies, Blood Pressure, Migraines, POTS, Crohns)

  • Psychological & neurological support (Autism, Downs Syndrome, PTSD, Functional Neurological Disorder, Disassociative Identity Disorder, FASD, severe anxiety, Bipolar, major depression)

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​

  • A document confirming your dog has 3rd party liability insurance as an assistance dog

To train as an Assistance Dog, your dog must:

  • Have a sound temperament; not show any fear or reactivity issues

  • Receive yearly vet checks to confirm suitability and be in good health.

  • Have public liability insurance that covers your dog as an assistance dog

  • Be trained to an advanced level

  • Demonstrate 3 specially taught skills that provide assistance you need because of your disability 

Dogs with behavioural issues are rarely suitable to train as assistance dogs, so please contact us for a free assessment if you are unsure if your dog is a suitable candidate.

Please note, if you plan to fly with your dog, your dog may need to train with an ADUK or ADI charity alongside our programme as many airlines require this. 

The training syllabus


We can support all areas of training for your assistance dog including

  • Puppy socialisation

  • Basic obedience cues

  • Advanced training cues

  • Training in different environments

  • Training beside a wheelchair

  • Training with a walking aid

  • Heeling on & off lead

  • Off lead control

  • Impulse control

  • Manners in the home

  • Neutrality towards people & dogs

  • Training in dog friendly places

  • Teaching mitigating tasks

  • Public access training

  • Tranferring the skills to you

How it works

Your dog comes to live with one of our trainers in their family home to receive intensive training fully customised to their needs.

There are 5 stages of training that your dog needs to work through including:

Bronze Award: basic obedience cues (from 12 weeks old)

Silver Award: advancing training around distractions (from 9 months old)

Gold Award: Complete on and off lead control (from 12 months old)

Mitigating Tasks: teaching tasks that mitigate your disability

Access Test: the Public Access Test is your final test for your dog to become fully trained. (from 18 months old)

The waiting list to receive a trained dog from a charity can be up to 5 years and in many cases can cost over £15,000.

With our programme, there are no waiting lists and you can be involved in your dog's training journey from day 1, allowing you to grow a bond with your dog and have the training completely tailored to your needs

If you want to train your dog yourself, sign up to our Online Assistance Dog Programme

The programme

Your dog will come to live with one of our trainers in their family home to receive daily intensive training.  You can either book a shorter stay of 2 to 4 weeks to work towards one Award level or to overcome a specific training struggle. Or you can book longer stays or our full 8 to 16 week programme to cover the entire training syllabus.

Each Award takes roughly 4 weeks to achieve, with the mitigating tasks being integrated into any stay with us. The most popular option is to send your dog for a 4 week stay to help achieve one of the Awards or to help overcome specific struggles. We do offer a 'home at weekends' option if you live locally .

Some of our clients require full support and opt to book the full programme. This can take 10 to 16 weeks depending on your dog's age, breed, training history and your ability to keep the training in place between stays.  


After each stay with us, you'll receive hands on training to transfer the training to you so that you can keep it in place and continue to advance your dog's training

If opting for the full package of 5 awards, we would recommend starting with a puppy and schedule 2 to 4 week stays as follows:

  • 12 weeks: Puppy Award

  • 6 months: Bronze Award (can be achieved earlier during a puppy stay)

  • 9 months: Silver Award & tasks

  • 12 months: Gold Award & tasks

  • 18 months: Access Test Level

If you have an older dog who has already achieved their Bronze award or above, you can complete the programme in 8 to 12 weeks in one go, or as a split stay.

Some dogs might be slower learners, or you as the handler may not be in the best position for keeping up your dog's training.  You can always book additional stays if you both need more than the standard package.  We can't guarantee that your dog will reach the required standard during their stay since progress depends on your dogs age, breed, temperament, learning history, learning style and how able you are to keep up the training.

Not every dog has a suitable temperament to become an assistance dog and temperament can change as your pup grows, as well as be impacted by any negative experiences they may encounter. Unfortunately we have no control over your dogs temperament.  We provide free temperament assessments during each stage of training.

See the Awards below

puppy milestone

Puppy to Bronze


In this stay, we will teach your puppy all of the basic obedience cues such as Sit, Down, Middle, Heel, Wait, Leave, Come, Door Manners & handling skills


Your puppy will also receive positive socialisation experiences with people, dogs, cats, livestock, children, traffic, bikes, shops, cafes, grooming, handling, sounds etc


This stay aims for your pup to pass their Puppy & Bronze Award

Silver milestone



In this stay, we’ll further advance your pups training, starting to build distance, duration and distractions. We'll begin proofing the training to different environments and busy places as well as getting ahead of any bad habits


This stay will aim for your pup to pass their Silver Award and to start building mitigating tasks

Residential Dog Training
Deciding who to trust


As trainers and dog owners ourselves, we understand how important it is to find someone you trust to care for your assistance dog prospect


Throughout your dog's stay, you'll receive regular photo & video updates and have daily contact with your trainer so that you have peace of mind that your dog is being well cared for, having fun and receiving training tailored to their needs

Our team have a wealth of experience working with assistance dogs and catering to very specific needs


Gold milestone



In this stay, we’ll work on further proofing your dog's training in busy environments, improving their on and off lead control around other dogs and people, their settling skills and advanced obedience cues in public access spaces


This stay will aim for your pup to pass their Gold Award and Mitigating Task Award

Access test

Access Test


In this stay, we’ll be training your dog in Public Access spaces, building your dog’s reliability in shops, restaurants, theatres and on transport.


We’ll also work on building a more reliable response to mitigating tasks in public areas.


This stay aims for your dog to pass their Public Access Test with you

What's included

Your dog will receive the highest level of care and training during their stay. Our residential stays include full support & contact during and after your dog's stay to ensure long term success


  • Chat with or meet your trainer before booking

  • Your dog lives with their trainer in their home as part of the family

  • Guaranteed positive training methods

  • Training customised to your dog's unique needs

  • Training in a home environment and out in the real world

  • A certificate for each Award completed

  • A digital assistance dog membership card

  • An 'Assistance Dog in Training' vest customised to your needs (full package only)

  • An 'Assistance Dog' vest once your Access Test is passed (full package only)

  • WhatsApp chat for daily trainer contact

  • Receive regular photos, videos and updates throughout the stay

  • Weekly progress reports

  • 2 x owner training lessons at the end of each milestone to transfer the training to you

  • Lifetime access to the Online Assistance Dog Programme for video tutorials and Live trainer chat

  • A YouTube video featuring your dog's training progress

  • Call your trainer anytime for questions or support

*Dog & Owner packages can either be booked as an 'extra' addon to your package, or the final week of an Award can be swapped out. These are 5 days of training with your trainer in their location for 1.5 hours per day.

Nationwide collection services available (please ask us for a quote)

Training guarantee

Every dog is different based on their age, breed, personality, previous learning history and environment.


When training an assistance dog, your individual dog's temperament and willingness to learn plays a huge role in their success rate to making it as an assistance dog, as well as having a dog well matched to your individual needs

We can't guarantee that your dog will achieve each milestone in the allotted time (they may need additional stays to reach more advanced milestones), or you may need to work with your dog for longer between stays. We also can't guarantee that your dog will be a suitable candidate to become a fully trained assistance dog for you as your dog's temperament can change as they mature or from negative experiences. 


We offer free assessments prior to commencing the programme if you have any doubts about your dog's suitability.

Watch videos of Assistance Dogs who have trained with us

Layla the Labrador Puppy - Full Assistance Dog Programme: 4 Week Bronze Stay

Layla the Labrador Puppy - Full Assistance Dog Programme: 4 Week Bronze Stay

Gorgeous little Layla the Labrador puppy has completed her 4 week assistance dog residential stay where she returned home at the weekend. Layla joined us as part of the 16 week assistance dog program, completing her first of four stays with us to make a positive start to her training and to work towards her puppy and bronze awards. Layla is a very bright girl who is extremely eager to work with you and to please and this has meant she has been able to meet the criteria for both of these awards during her stay. She is able to complete cues such as sit,down, middle and wait in a variety of locations including busy towns and walks around dogs. We have been working on socialising Layla with all different situations and environments including bus, train, garden centres and farms. We have made great foundations with her lead walking and she still needs some guidance in very busy locations but she can walk on a loose lead around lots of people and some dogs too. She is extremely responsive to recall and will come when called even when she is greeting another dog. Layla can now settle in busy cafes and in the house with lots going on. She will also settle in her crate through the day and sleep in there at night. Layla will be returning for the next part of her stay in May when we will be working towards her silver award and putting the foundations in for her mitigating tasks. Well done Layla 🐾
Watson the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Assistance Dog Residential Training

Watson the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Assistance Dog Residential Training

Beautiful Watson has come to the end of his 9 week stay with us 😭❤️ He is a young boy with a very special job to fulfil. He has been working hard towards becoming an assistance dog for his owner and along the way we’ve fallen in love with his charm. ❤️ Alongside building Watsons confidence and social skills we have been working on teaching Watson all the key obedience cues as well as some very special tasks which will make his owners day to day life much easier. 🦮🧍‍♀️ Watson makes a wonderful companion but he really does have what it takes to fulfil this role so we can’t wait to hear how he gets on. He has so much potential and is definitely eager to show his owner what he’s achieved over the last 9 weeks. He will find his owners glasses on request and bring them to her hands. He has learned how to tidy items away into a box, he can push a button with his nose which will be useful for opening automatic doors in public. He will interrupt certain behaviours his owner wants interrupting and offer deep pressure therapy as well as watch his owners back in a reverse middle position when asked. What this lovely boy has absorbed throughout his stay has blown us away, he really is a special pup. His trainer will miss him terribly ❤️ Today we start on his first handover with his amazing owner and tomorrow we will continue more owner training before he heads off to his new home in London. Good luck little man. Join our Online Assistance Dog Programme from anywhere in the world: #assistancedog #servicedog #ducktoller

Contact us

Complete the form below and we'll be in touch via email to recommend the best suited trainer and training package for your dog. We can also give you a call back to discuss your dog's needs and answer any questions you may have.

If you'd like to meet us, you can book a free in-person assessment with our Head Behaviourist Mike or chat/meet with your preferred trainer before committing 


You can also chat with us direct via Whatsapp using the Chat feature on this page 

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Prices per week

Prices include a 10% discount on our normal residential prices.

After your first 4 weeks, an additional £100 per week discount is available on top up stays.

Payments accepted by credit/debit card or bank transfer.

A 50% deposit secures your date, with the balance payment due 1 week before arrival. 

For the full programme, book your first 4 week stay and then book each stay as required with the additional discount.

If you want to train your dog yourself, sign up to our Online Assistance Dog Programme

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