What We Do
We train two categories of dogs, depending on the owner's needs and the dog's abilities.
If an owner has a diagnosed disability, and they and their dog are capable of making the grade, we can qualify them as an Assistance Dog partnership. As an Assistance Dog the dog is allowed access to many more places than a pet dog. Assistance Dogs are covered by the legislation in the Equality Act 2010, where it states that a disabled person has the same rights to services as a non-disabled person. If you need your dog to access those services the provider is obliged to allow your dog access.
Training a dog to qualify as an Assistance Dog takes hard work and dedication from the owner and the trainer, and results in a highly trained, well socialised, well behaved dog who can remain calm, alert, and under control in any situation. The standard a dog must reach to qualify is set by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) a coalition of Assistance Dog training organisations across the world.
According to ADI the definition of an Assistance Dog is as follows:
A generic term for a guide, hearing or service dog specifically trained to do more than one task to mitigate an individual's disabilities. The presence of a dog for protection, personal defence, or comfort does not qualify that dog as an assistance dog.
The Assistance Dog programme can be a long and arduous process and some clients may feel that it is too much for their needs. In those cases there is an alternative - to train their dog to be a Canine Personal Assistant (CPA). Some dogs haven't got the temperament or ability to qualify as an Assistance Dog, they can still be highly trained dogs, suitable for their owner's needs, and they too would be classed as CPAs.
CPAs are not Assistance Dogs and have no extra rights of access than a normal pet dog has. In fact it is an offence to pretend or imply that a CPA is a full Assistance Dog.
Read our Annual Report here