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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

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.

Our programme can support your dog's entire training journey from puppy through to mitigating tasks and the Access Test

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 6 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 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

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 support (Autism, PTSD, Disassociative Identity Disorder, FASD, severe anxiety)

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​

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

  • 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.

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


The programme


The full programme is designed to start with your 3 to 5 month old puppy and take them through the 5 Awards over 4 x 4 week stays as they grow.  Whilst you can start with an older dog, the process may take longer depending on your dog's learning history.

For full benefit, the 16 week programme is split into 4 x 4 week 'milestone' stays where we work through one of the training levels during each stay and progress your dog's training as they mature.  You'll receive 2 handover lessons after each stay to ensure the training transfers over to you and to ensure you can keep the training in place so that we can work towards the next milestone on schedule

For those who would prefer to do most of the training themselves, you can work through the Online Programme and utilise the residential programme to advance through specific milestones, booking them as 2 to 4 week stays to support your training journey. 

Your dog needs to pass each Milestone (Puppy, Bronze, Silver, Mitigating Tasks and Gold) before taking their Public Access Test.  In some cases, you may find your individual dog needs more than our standard package of 16 weeks (4 x 4 week milestone stays), but this is our base package based on what the standard assistance dog prospect will need to reach the high standard of training required to pass their Access Test.

Some teams will benefit from adding on a 'Dog & Owner' 5 day package whereby you come and train with your trainer for 1.5 hours a day, 5 days a week for the final week of a Milestone course (or booked as an extra week). This can be beneficial if you need more hands on training yourself or if there are additional needs that would require more hands on work with you and the dog together. 

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 'milestone' stays if you both need more than the standard package

See the Milestones below (each Milestone takes 4 weeks, but can be split into shorter 2 week stays)

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 exposure to people, dogs, other animals, children, traffic, bikes, 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

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 certficate for each Milestone completed

  • A digitial 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 a Milestone 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 can't guarantee that your dog will be a suitable candidate to become a fully trained assistance dog for you. 


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