Fakes pose risk to assistance dogs

Fakes pose risk to assistance dogs

While guide dogs and hearing dogs are a familiar site in public places, Helen Dolphin is concerned that growing numbers of untrained and badly behaved fakes could compromise the credibility of the real thing.

For over eight years I was accompanied everywhere I went by my assistance dog Yancey. Yancey was a grey Labradoodle and was able to perform a variety of different tasks from picking up things that I dropped to helping me off with my coat. She was pretty much a replacement for my arms and legs. Sadly she had a stroke last year and so has retired to my parents to live a more relaxed life in the country.

Yancey was supplied by the charity Canine Partners, which is one of seven charities in the UK who are members of Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK). The other organisations are Guide dogs, Hearing dogs for deaf people, Dogs for Good, Support Dogs, Dog AID and Medical Detection Dogs. All these charities provide and/or train dogs for deaf, blind and disabled people and adhere to the highest training and welfare standards as set out by Assistance Dogs International and the International Guide Dogs Federation.

However, it has come to my attention that there are some people who don’t get assistance dogs from one of these ADUK member organisations. Instead they just make a jacket themselves or buy one off Amazon to put on their pet so it looks like an assistance dog. There are even websites set up claiming to register disabled people’s dogs as “assistance dogs” without putting the dog through any kind of training.

Having attended a number of disability shows this year I have witnessed a number of these dogs with their homemade jackets pooping on the floor, barking non-stop, fighting with other dogs, having their feet run over by their untrained owner and jumping up at people.

Now I’m not for one moment doubting that these dogs help disabled people in some way, and they may have trained them to help with simple tasks, but a dog supplied by an ADUK charity has to meet numerous criteria. For example the dog’s temperament would have been thoroughly tested, it would be toilet trained, able to behave well in public and lie quietly under a table, be groomed daily and have its health checked regularly by a vet. Assistance dogs from ADUK charities are also covered by special insurance policies designed for dogs working in public. In addition as assistance dog owners we too are put through our paces to ensure we can work with a dog. The reason for all these checks is to ensure the dog is able to cope with being an assistance dog and carry out the tasks that it needs to do.

All dogs from ADUK charities are also afforded certain privileges under the Equality Act 2010. For example, we can take our dogs into public places such as supermarkets, airports and restaurants. It is for this reason that genuine assistance dog owners are becoming concerned by dogs that have just been put in a jacket without any official training. All that is needed is for one proprietor to have a bad experience with an untrained dog for them not to want to allow other dogs entry in the future.

Wendy Morrell, an assistance dog advisor, who is partnered with Udo from Dogs for Good has challenged one of the companies making “assistance dog” jackets: She said: ”A yappy homemade jacket dog was barking at my dog Udo in Poole Hospital. Office doors started opening and all they saw was Udo on the floor, and shut the doors again. I rang the company the woman bought the jacket from off the internet, she said she didn’t care what people did once they’d paid for the jacket and it wasn’t her responsibility. When I tried to explain it was her responsibility for selling the jacket she hung up on me!”

There is also a petition at the moment on change.org to allow non-ADUK dogs access to public places. In my opinion this would enable any dog which anyone claimed to be an assistance dog to go anywhere it liked. All that would need to happen would be a dog to bite someone, poop on the floor or eat a shop display for access for the rights of ADUK dogs and their owners to be called into question.

All ADUK dogs carry the same symbol on their jackets of a hand and I believe more needs to be done to raise awareness of this so proprietors are more welcoming of ADUK dogs but also confident to ask (nicely) if a dog they’re not sure about is from an ADUK member organisation. This way the rights enjoyed by genuine assistant dog owners will continue to be protected.

46 thoughts on “Fakes pose risk to assistance dogs

  1. Biased much? I can’t have an ADUK dog for many reason, so I have to train my own. Without my owner trained service dog I would be house bound, without a job and unable to talk to people. ADUK dogs aren’t superior. Yes, there are Fake Assistance dogs. Yes, there always will be fake ones, but you writing this ‘article’ isn’t helping anything, it’s just trying to get all owner trained service dogs banned so people can’t have freedom because ADUK doesn’t train their dogs for those peoples needs, or won’t allow them to have a dog trained for them because of some stupid reason.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There is never a stupid reason why you may not get an ADUK trained dog. Lots of checks are made before acceptance on the waiting list, e.g. evidence from medical professionals, social workers, access to gardens, parks, vets, needs of the partner and expectations etc. Partners are later assessed over a period of time while working/training with the dogs before they are matched with their own dog. All of the dogs have to meet specific criteria. jackets will only be given if the partner can show that they can control their dog out in public and in various situations. If not, they may be entitled to have a companion dog that can do all the same things but not enter public premises. Pet owners often believe that their dogs are highly trained but compared to an ADUK qualified assistance dog, in my opinion, there is no comparison. ADUK dogs have continuous training by there partners, medical checks and checking that medication is given at specific times, aftercare assistance for the working life of the dog, specific insurance, food and weight requirement and many other criteria that pet dogs are unlikely to meet. I believe Helen had good reason to write about this problem and her experiences. More needs to be done to stop these fake jacketed dogs entering public places before those places stop all dogs entering them.
      enablerdogs – I don’t know which ADUK accredited dog you had but I agree force free is how dogs should be trained. Canine Partners train with treats – toys/food, praise and love. We continue to train lots more things when our dogs are brought home, so that it meets our needs. Our Aftercare Assistantsand trainers are always on hand to support us if there is something specific that we are having difficulty with. The advanced training our dogs are given is just the start of the journey. Some people have trained their dogs to carry out over 300 tasks because they need so much help.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Here we go yet again the plain simple fact is just two words high standard and monitoring of course people can and do train dogs to the level of the charities and great, but and there is a but no one other than the person owning the dog checks them, I await a shout my vet does! How often? You know the issue on this subject is simlair what is transpiring in Europe now tons and tons of people flooding in not enough can be done because of the numbers, so it is with those official dog charities the queue and length is so long, I waited just over a year, but there is something else in this period of time people have no patience we live I want it NOW it is my right! Just also look at some of the replies hostile hate venom another sign of today’s society.
      If my application had been turned down in truth it would have hurt badly but saying that I would never go out and get a dog, I respect in society we must abide by laws rules regulations yes again some are plain stupid that I admit, but if another Falklands arose you would not go out buy a rifle buy a ex surplus uniform and go down to the Falklands to fight? Well what right do you then have to buy a made up jacket with fancy Dan wording, and then walked into one of our major supermarkets. By the way for those admitting they take non official dogs into supermarket are you aware if a environmental health officer found your dog in there then that supermarket could get fined up yo £5,000 plus a fine for you are you aware of this? I await one of our barrack room lawyers to scream with abuse vile wording your wrong well you ask your environmental office to accompanate you into your local major supermarket
      I seen enough to say that only official dogs should be the ones to enter those places that dogs have a bar up to. I could leave one lasting picture on should you or shouldn’t allow unofficial dogs in.
      I was in a local pub in the restaurant was two small dogs sniffing at the table that was bad enough but the people at the table kept up giving titbits then it happen all on in come a black lab mayhem broke out the two dogs launch into barking like mad the black lab had a go back one small dog not being held launch at the black lab who tried to chase it but the owner held tight to it but a tail going mad swipe a meal plate off and on to the deck now more mayhem took another ten minutes before heat was cooled down
      My dog was still laying under the table looking in fact I would say disgusted the landlord said god why did your dog not join in ? Two major reason fantastic training but also I keep up the training I showed him my ID spoke about ADUK his answer shook me after this I shall say no dogs other than Guide Dogs / Assistance Dogs once to much
      Well there you have no doubts I shall get a load of abuse vile remarks but that is your choice but I will say one last thing with no apology nothing but if I saw a non official dog in a place it should not be I would draw the mangers notice of that fact.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ENVIRONMENTAL LAW – dogs are not allowed in food preparation areas

        Companies have their rules whether to allow dogs or not, the law of the land doesn’t dictate that to them. If a pub, restaurant or shops want dogs in their premises that’s up to them. They are not allowed to stop assistance dogs

        They were not assistance dogs so don’t compare that with user trained assistance dogs


  2. And the flip side: I studied for 2 years before training my current dog. He is trained way beyond the level of my ADUK dog. His tasks are more complex, he is a lot more reliable and because I understand behaviour and learning theory and is trained force free he is also less stressed than trained with the methods of the organisation I was with.

    I could not have had another assistance dog because my disability has now progressed to a point travel is impossible for me and my local Dog Aid trainer is neither as qualified as me or force free.

    Where I do agree with the article, no one who trains a dog should also be the person to assess the dog. It’s just not possible to be objective. So I am assessed by a trainer friend.

    We are not fully set up as an organisation so by your definition I too am a faker. Yet my dog uses the emergency call button if I am unconscious or I cue him to. He pulls me from bed to chair, car to chair. gets named people from other parts of the house. gets a multitude of named items as well as using directional cues to fetch items. He alerts to sudden drops in my blood oxygen. He sorts rubbish vs recycling and takes to the right bin in the kitchen, He takes my clothes off and puts them in the dirty washing. He holds coat for me to put it on. He even fetches my blind dog if he strays too far on a walk. He does many of the ‘standard’ tasks but not all. eg there’s not much point getting the washing out of the machine when I can’t do anything with it if he did.

    As you can see he does indeed help me ‘in some way’, and he has been trained ‘to help with simple tasks’

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a very interesting post for me – as I fall into the category of not meeting the criteria to get an assistance dog from a charity, yet I still require the support to live safely and independently. This resulted in me investing my time and money in a rescue dog, to become my assistance dog.

    I took a lot of time finding the right rescue dog with an appropriate temperament and eventually found my gorgeous boy – a 2 year old cocker spaniel. I enrolled in training classes with him and spent lots of my own time continuing training with him at home.

    I take great pride in keeping my dog in good health and him being well groomed and looking smart and always ensure I have poop bags attached to the lead when we go out – as any dog owner should.

    He is now trained to do what he needs to if I need him for support and he’s a huge form of emotional support to me too. He’s also my best friend. He’s even been formally approved as my assistance dog by my employer, which was fully supported by my GP, even though he’s not from a registered charity as he’s seen as a “reasonable adjustment” for my disability.

    I am often challenged by staff when taking him into public places – but I don’t take offence to this – I’m always polite and explain the situation to the staff and why I need him and display his calm behaviour and good manners and not once have I then been declined entry with the dog. In fact, quite often, they apologise to me!

    Ultimately, I don’t think the issue is with dogs not coming from a registered charity – it’s (yet again) the few irresponsible owners that do not train their dogs to have good manners, fail to carry poop bags on them and allow their dogs to invade other people’s space in public places – and abuse the ‘assistance dog’ privileges as they wish for their dog to go everywhere with them.

    If the rules changed to assistance dogs being from registered charities only – id be completely stuffed. And what a shame it would be for both me and my boy, who’s life has changed from being up for adoption – to living a good life and helping me live independently?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I am in a partnership with Alucia from Canine Partners, as there are so few partners in Hull. I know of Guide dogs, Hearing Dogs for the deaf, Dogs for Good (originally Dogs for the disabled) but now there are people putting on Jackets and saying they are trained service dogs. I am pleased that I am registered, have my registration document and have the flash on a lead. I was recently asked how someone who was training their dog to be a service dog could get one I just said get in touch with ADUK and get you and your dog properly assess to the correct standard. Some shops still state Guide dogs only accepted, they all need to have the ADUK sign and workers need to ask to see registration documentation and if it’s not present then they should not be allowed to enter the premises. I wish that they would show the program about Woofability which was only show in the southern region Inside Out, nationwide, to show how people are being abused and having money stolen from them. I have been stopped and asked to leave a coffee shop with Alucia, but my registration document stopped that. Awareness is the necessary thing. I was once made to jump through hoops to allow Alucia to attend Hospital appointments because we are only one of two partnerships in Hull and they thought that Canine Partners were companion dogs. With the help of my aftercare worker I have provided all the necessary evidence to prove that Alucia is a registered assistance dog. Well done Hull and East yorkshire hospitals, but as was done to me so it should be done to others to ensure that Jackets aren’t fake and we lose the ability to have our specifically trained dogs to continue their work. If people want a service dog and want to train them alongside dog aid and be properly assessed, then great, but get it done officially. Everyone who is assessed is then registered until retirement when they no longer need to keep up with our daily needs. I have needs to help me get dressed, undressed, to keep me safe when I drop keys, purse, phone which if I have to find someone to pick them up puts my safety at risk. My PA has seen some of the task work my dog does and is training a pet to do the same, but their pet is not regularly teained to the standards that puppy parents and foster parents are doing. Why is it that not all puppies pass? Is it because Tey are not capable and how is a home trained pet ensured that they are fit to continue to work in high pressured environment. That is what concerns me. Get Service dogs the correct training and don’t try and make them something they are not. We will be the poorer for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Registered to what? legally there is no registration. ADUK are not a government body and they are a self regulating organisation that can do what they like. They do not represent the Government

      Liked by 3 people

  5. After my 5th guide dog died suddenly in May 2011 and Guide Dogs UK (GDUK) said I’d likely have to wait in excess of a year for my next match, and after narrowly missing falling in front of a tube train at Liverpool Street Station on the way home from work two months later, I took the difficult decision to train a dog to guide me. I had tried many of the European and US guide dog schools, but they all referred me back to GDUK which couldn’t help.

    It’s been a long hard slog, and it’s cost me an absolute fortune and many sleepless nights, but I now have a dog who behaves beautifully in public places at all times, has never fouled indoors, passes all but two of the public access tests (like my last school-trained dog she has some residual mild dog and food distraction), and guides me as competently and safely as any of her predecessors.

    Is my guide dog a fake? Should she be banned from public places?

    If so, what should I have done differently, and how should the often not insignificant time lag between the loss of one assistance dog and the match with another be handled?


    1. Congratulations Lynn on training your own dogs and to clarify the situation you are legal. I have an email from EHRC commission which I have forwarded to the editor of Disability Now saying they have withdrawn their publication on “small business guide to assistance dog” which every business seem to adhere to until a true respective is written. In the publication “owner trained” will be included


  6. I share the concerns expressed by Helen Dolphin as I too have seen clearly untrained dogs posing as assistance dogs. I feel that ADUK needs to take firm and positive action now and a simple logo on the coat is totally inadequate and easily forged. I suggest they introduce a secure ID tag that has the photo of the dog embedded in it, together with a hologram and a bar code and can be crossed matched on a publicly accessible database to the dog’s microchip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fake what? owner trained are legal. ADUK are not a government body, they are self regulating organisation where 7 charities are represented. They have failed to keep up with supply and demand, the organisation is a dinosaur that has failed to change with the times

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Assistance Dog UK is the British arm of the International body ADI who set rules regs procedure training guide lines and the British arm acts on them, by the way they are in fact Chapters each country is a chapter


      2. British Law is the law and supersedes ADI which is an organisation, whereas the Equalities Act is the of the land and if you have read the Equalities Act 2010 you will note that there is nothing and I mean nothing that stipulates ADI or ADUK except in the Antarctic Act 2015

        There are more specific details when it comes to taxies

        No matter what you write or think the law is specific you meet the criteria on protected characteristics then a dog in the eyes of the law is an “Auxiliary Aid” you must be seriously disadvantaged and you can take you dog to assist you

        The Equalities And Human Rights Commission has removed it publication because of a complaint I raised about it being bias to ADUK and my complaint was upheld. EHRC legal department are contacting me and are putting Owner Trained assistance dog partnerships in their new publication.

        The Editor has a copy of the email from EHRC to validate what I have written.

        This country needs trainers accredited to ADI so us owner trained assistance dog users can get certificated should we need to take them abroad.

        ADUK need to look at expanding because the amount of enquiries each charity gets they can only handle a tiny percentage because they don’t have the money or facilities to train any more

        May I recommend everyone look at company house for the 7 big charities and see just how few partnerships they create in respect of the number of enquiries

        I’m compiling a special report for the Disabilities Minister Justin Tomlinson and will Cc in the Health Minister as my assistance dog has been prescribed by my doctor and consultants yet cannot be dispensed.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Owner trained are legal? Yes they are.
        Doesn’t mean they are by law allowed into public buildings and establishments. That is down to the establishment owner.

        If an ADUK approved dog was refused admission without good cause then that would be wrong.
        An ‘owner trained’ dog regardless of how good it is doesn’t have the same right of admission.


    2. TheWheeler, I understand your concerns and those of Helen Dolphin, but they don’t provide any answers for people like me who get caught in the supply and demand trap. I could not have functioned for a whole year without a guide dog. GDUK encouraged me to rely on their wonderful dogs, and then were unable to provide me with one. In my first comment on this post I asked what I could have done differently, and nobody has provided an answer.
      Where does this belief system come from that says disabled people cannot be competent dog trainers? My current dog’s training matches my specific needs much better than any dog trained by someone who doesn’t know me ever could.
      It’s great that you were able to be matched with a dog when you needed one. I wasn’t so lucky. Having been forced to owner-train once, I’m now convinced that an owner-trained dog meets my needs more fully than a school-trained one. Let me explain:
      I currently live in Northern Ireland but visit London about six times a year for business purposes. The guide dog school here cannot provide me with a dog that can work in London. So what am I to do? Leave the dog at home when I need to attend business meetings? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having an assistance dog? So I think my best course of action might be to train my own dog next time and spend a month or so in London teaching it about tube trains and busy roads and crowded streets and all the rest of it.
      With respect, if you cannot offer me a credible alternative to a charity that’s currently failing to meet my needs, I’d appreciate empathy rather than criticism.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your article is severely flawed. Define “Fake” and then define the law. ADUK are not the authority on assistance dog no matter how they like to think they are. They are a private organisation, not a government body and are not mentioned in the Equalities act 2010 anywhere?

    In the Equalities Act 2010 you have to have “protected characteristics” fulfil that criteria then the Act says reasonable adjustments. Now a dog is regarded by the law as an “auxiliary aid”. So if you’re “substantially disadvantage” without your dog and your doctor is aware then you are legal, no matter what an ADUK assistance dog user says. ADUK and each charity within the organisation knows it so all this propaganda is not coming from them

    Please do not naturally assume and ADUK dog is perfect because I’ve seen many that are not, so have other owner trained assistance dog users. The clients don’t go running to the charity telling them because of the fear of having their dogs taken away as the charities can remove the dogs and these people have formed an attachment.

    That petition will get nowhere, I’ve been dealing with the Disabilities Minister Justin Tomlinson and if you can access Dogs Today Magazine December Issue I’m featured about assistance dogs and the law. I’ve just won a case regarding discrimination over my assistance dog Rizzo who was not ADUK accredited and owner trained. Also I have an email from Equalities & Human Rights Commission say they have removed their publication “Small Business Guide to Assistance Dogs” due to my complaint that EHRC commission were being bias to ADUK and it doesn’t reflect other organisations and owner trained assistance dogs which are legal under the Equalities Act 2010.

    I would like to see trainers accredited to ADI [assistance dogs international] so you can by bypass the charities who cannot cope with supply and demand as it is. Have you looked at these charities audited reports at Company House, you will be shocked. ADUK charities cannot fill the need and people are suffering because of that. The disabilities minister was shocked at the amount of enquiries to formed partnerships and it cannot continue.

    Dogs Today Magazine have adopted my campaign “Rizzo’s Legacy” as it’s the only way forward, we cannot rely on ADUK big 7 charities. Also not every charity fits people disability criteria, blind dog, hearing dog, medical alert dogs are not suited for my disability so that leaves 4 charities, Dog AID trains your own dog which is the way I would like to go as does Support dogs. Also many users have cross disabilities and there are no charities within the ADUK organisation that cover this, Support Dogs may but so many users have been turned away and these people need their needs met.

    So please stop hatred for us owner trained assistance dogs users and realise we all have a need, we are all disabled. And please read the Equalities Act 2010 thoroughly before starting petitions that do not reflect the law and shows you have no knowledge of the law

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hatred no one person has used that word who is in favour of ADUK in fact inspire of some very personal vile words you know you sound like some old fashion union leader if any one does not agree with the brothers then their for it. Lastly that bit the Equalities Act does explain but why not write contact the present Home Office Minister he is setting out to clarify this for once and for all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes Barry, there’s a lot of hatred towards “owner trained” assistance dogs users and it isn’t just a word but actions also, with petitions against us and absolutely no proof, just hearsay and scaremongering. Yet we’re all in the same boat trying to live our lives to the best of our ability with an assistance dog.

        I’ve experienced this hatred first hand with snide remarks in aggressive tones, but won them over only to discover its jealousy really because they feel its such a privilege and that privilege has been watered down with a owner trained assistance dog. Well an assistance dog isn’t a privilege its an necessity for social inclusion

        I have responded with legal facts and you don’t like it. Well I’ve won £10,455 compensation on knowing the law, dealing with the government and Equalities & Human Rights Commission and actually having their publication removed not bad ‘eh for an old fashioned union leader.

        Teresa May who is a “she” not a “he” is the present Home Office Minister and is not dealing with this and I have letters stating exactly where the governments stands I have the backing of Dogs Today magazine, my M.P. healthcare professionals and other groups of people.


  8. I accept that the people on here have, by the sound of it, gone to a lot of time and trouble (and money) in training their dogs to a high standard. However, for the few responsible and good owners there are many, many more who are buying jackets but whose dogs are NOT trained to an acceptable standard. Indeed, some of these people who buy jackets do not even have a disability, they get the jackets simply so that they can take their pet dogs into public places. Measures need to be in place to stop these people from abusing the system and, as far as I am aware, the only orginisation who do this at the moment is ADUK.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I’ve won £10,455 compensation on knowing the law, dealing with the government and Equalities & Human Rights Commission

      So what!

      You need to start listening to both sides of the argument and not trying to force your opinions on everybody else.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am saddened by some of the aggressive comments here. The charities mentioned do not get any government funding but rely on donations, yet they do their difficult, specialist work for OUR benefit, not theirs. If they can’t currently help us all, then we need to do something to help change that, not pretending they are the bad guys in this as they hate having to turn people away. I wonder how many of those who attack them, because they have sadly been turned away, have fundraised for them! And if they haven’t, then how do they expect the charities to be able to grow and diversify? It’s not good enough to say I need a dog now, then I might be able to help fundraise later. We are all equally responsible for helping the greater good before we can benefit personally.

    AD(UK) is run by people in their own time, again with no government funding, but because they care. If people want that to change, then they need to find a way of paying for that before anything else. Until then, we should be grateful for them doing what little they can, as well as managing full-time jobs. That public access test people keep talking about, which by the way does not define an Assistance Dog, was developed and perfected by these people. That public acceptance of Assistance Dogs in the UK was again fought for by these same hard-working people. And so on. We have so much to thank them for whether we have benefitted directly from their help or not.

    One concern I have about anyone training their dog is who will monitor the dog’s welfare throughout it’s working life? One comment here says owners will not report problems, so equally will owner-trainers withdraw their dog from working as soon as it shows any problems or signs of stress? The charities always put the dog’s welfare and happiness before that of the human & constantly monitor their partnerships. Who will look out for the unmonitored dogs as even a yearly vet check would not be enough to pick up any changes or signs of unhappiness? Hopefully the partnership will be perfect, but if not, who will notice?

    Many dogs who start training to be an Assistance Dog are withdrawn, change speciality or retire early for the welfare of that particular dog (like my first dog). I have read lots of stories about dogs trained outside these charities, but have not yet come across any instances where the owner has admitted their dog isn’t happy. Yet I have seen photos of stressed dogs out in close proximity of the general public. How long before a stressed dog bites someone’s child, as we all know children are unpredictable just like dogs. Hopefully never, but who is keeping an unbiased eye on things? As partners, we can’t stay unbiased. That’s why we need a third party.

    I don’t want to turn this well-meant article from someone with lots of Assistance Dog experience into an argument, but I would encourage readers to check out the facts for themselves and make their own opinion. Personally, without AD(UK) and their caring, committed members, I would not be alive today. Surely, the best answer is to help the experts grow and expand, so that one day, no one who is suitable for an Assistance Dog or Dual Assistance Dog (like those I know) is ever turned away.

    After all, we all need the same thing. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Carol, you make some good points. If there were a testing and certification body for owner-trained service dogs, I’d jump at it.
      I can’t speak for all owner-trainers, but I for one will put my dog’s health and happiness before my own need for her to be working. Right now she loves working and gets totally excited when the harness comes out. But as soon as she stops loving it, her work will be drastically reduced or stopped altogether. Training one’s own dog is a huge commitment in terms of time, money and emotion, and I think you’ll find that most owners will prioritise their dogs’ physical and mental health.
      I’d also like to dispel the “ADUK dog good, owner-trained dog bad” myth.
      I’ve had 6 guide dogs so far, 5 trained by ADUK, and the current one owner-trained. Of these 6:
      * No. 1 was a sweet dog but a very slow workerwith a fear of traffic. She was retired two years early.
      * No. 2 was and escapologist who was brought back by the police several times. Not a bad worker though.
      * No. 3 was a mouther who destroyed my clothes and furniture and chewed on everyone in her path. She had me on a health and safety report at work for breaking the skin on someone’s hand. A brilliant worker but a social nightmare who only worked for 10 months due to epilepsy. I like to think I could have trained the mouthing out of her or she’d have grown out of it herself.
      * No. 4 was a wonderful dog. She had a bit of a fettish for pooing in railway stations, but no dog is perfect.
      * No. 5 pulled like a steam train on harness and jumped on tables and worktops to steal food. It took me 2.5 years to sort that dog out, but I loved her like no other dog.
      * No. 6 (my current o/t dog) was a terrible chaser and will still look around and sometimes stop when she sees a cat. She also has mild hip dysplasia, something which I hope to avoid next time by being less hurried and more picky. I’m pleased with her work.

      I attend fundraising events for GDUK, but can’t really collect on the streets any more with my o/t dog. My choice to owner-train a dog doesn’t stem from a dislike of GDUK, just from desperation. Would school-trained dog-owners really want to deny me the ability to move around confidently and have a life just to protect the status of their dogs?


  10. Although I sympathise with the people who have trained there own dog against a dog from an ADUK affiliated charity, there has to be some rules and legislations.

    As a comparison, somebody who has learned to drive and pass their test may not be as good as a driver who has been taught by a friend and not passed their test. Does this mean they are legally allowed to drive alone?

    Without having some form of standard like ADUK, then anybody could say that any dog was trained. But trained for what and to what standard?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Let’s take Assistance Dogs out of the equation here…..

    I bet most people here get frustrated by the use of disabled parking bays by non ‘blue badge’ holders but have no problem with the people using them who have genuine blue badges.
    Non blue badge holders who park in disabled parking bays are stopping those who have a legitimate right and need to park there and are parking inconsiderately and abusing the facility.

    Now translate that to people who have an ADUK approved assistance dog against those who have a non ADUK assistance dog. The people who are using non ADUK approved dogs are slowly ruining it for everybody.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re all disabled that the difference. And show the proof that none ADUK are behaving badly. All we have is individuals interpretation of bad.

      ADUK are slowly ruining peoples lives because they have not moved with the times, they have not promoted more charities as they are all after the same funding pot and that’s donations.

      We are taking about people lives here, people who are struggling with their disabilities, now were fighting amongst ourselves. Don’t you think life is tough enough


      1. Believe me, being a double lower limb amputee, I know how tough life can be.

        What I was trying to get across to you (and the others reading this) is that there are rules and regulations that everyone has to abide by. Disabled or not.

        It doesn’t matter how disabled you are, if you don’t have a valid blue badge, you don’t have any right to park in a designated disabled space.

        In the same vain, it doesn’t matter how good your dog is, if it is not ADUK accredited, then it has no rights either.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ADUK set themselves up the the authority, they are a private sekf regulating organisation and are not commissioned by the government. The Equalities Act is specific and DOES NOT mention ADUK anywhere in the Act, so why are they placed as the authority.

        I have been prescribed an assistance dog by my doctor and consultants yet they are not able to dispense my assistance dog. I need an assistance dog like anyone needs their medication or life saving operation. They do not work with medical people so you have some sort of priority, they follow their procedures. Their books are close, they cannot register any more people because they are not capable to create any more partnerships. So are we then left to rot and fester because individuals want to say who’s right or wrong

        All these assumptions being thrown around is not proof.

        I’m so pleased the EHRC have withdrawn their publication “Small business guide to assistance dogs” because of my complaint to reflect the law of the land and not individuals moaning who’s right or wrong, the law is the law and needs to be obeyed

        I will be contacting ADUK Michele Jennings asking her to write to all the charities accredited to the organisation to ask the people they have partnered to stop speaking for ADUK, especially as nobody has dealt with 1) the government 2) EHRC 3) ADUK 4) Accredited Charities 5) their M.P. 6) read the Equalities Act. I have dealt with all of them even to reading again and again and again the Equalities Act

        Reflect the law not your opinions


  12. Not worth arguing with you any more as we will are unlikely to agree.

    However, the way your describe having a dog, suggests to me you shouldn’t have one.

    I have been prescribed an assistance dog by my doctor and consultants yet they are not able to dispense my assistance dog.

    Prescribed and Dispense a dog? Sounds like you would treat it as a commodity.
    It is a living and loving animal which is there to help.


    1. A phrase not literally a metaphor and if you remember unless your doctor prescribes to your charity that you need an assistance dog then you will not get one. So have a word with your ADUK charity because that’s what they have said to me, my doctor must prescribe. So your wrong I have the paperwork her for Dog AID and Canine Partners

      Also yes I had a very successful partnership with Rizzo. We were featured in many publications and accepted we were great together, Rizzo was loved and respected everywhere we went he always drew people to him asking what type of dog he was and well trained he was, how devoted he was, how we were “hand and glove” I could look at Rizzo and he knew what was wrong, he saved me because we had a bond. He had a privileged life and he deserved it, so you’re wrong again with your nasty vile uninformed statement.

      You’re wrong on this and wrong when it comes to the law. ASSUMPTIONS AGAIN that’s all you know and will ever know


      1. You don’t need to be ‘prescribed’ a dog.

        You need to prove to the charity that you would benefit from an assistance dog, and then go through the process of being matched with a suitable dog which can be a lengthy but rewarding process.


      2. ADUK are a voluntary organisation run by hearing dog Michelle Jennings is Chair. They have £18,000 in their account and DO NOT TRAIN DOGS. This is from their heading “Assistance Dogs UK is a coalition of seven assistance dog charities.”

        You are raising funds to run the office no for assistance dogs


    1. I wrote “Prescribed and Dispense a dog” as an example a metaphor thinking you were educated enough to understand. The vile and disgusting statement was ” Sounds like you would treat it as a commodity.It is a living and loving animal which is there to help.” Suggesting I would treat a dog a a commodity. I never said that you said it so you are not quoting me. Get it


      1. If you were ‘educated enough to understand’ you would understand the need for regulation.

        And I never suggested anything, I was saying that the way you spoke and the language you used ‘sounds like’ you would treat it as a commodity.

        Get it?


      2. There is no need for your type or regulations, you don’t know the law and you only know what you want. Get on with your life and don’t start pontificating on others

        Have you read the audited statement of the charities accredited to ADUK. Well I have everyone one of them I compiled a factual report to ministers enquiring about number of partnerships and they were horrified, thousands of requests and only hundreds of partnerships. You’re happy with that?

        You have no care or concern that people are suffering because ADUK is failing, well I care, that’s the difference between you and me

        As for quoting you wrote ” Sounds like you would treat it as a commodity.It is a living and loving animal which is there to help. You omitted “It is a living and loving animal which is there to help” in your last statement. BTW what is “it”. I’ve never referred to animals in my care as “it”

        You also wrote ” the way your describe having a dog, suggests to me you shouldn’t have one” well mate, you’re wrong again. Want to see the glowing reports my vets wrote about animals in my care that the ADUK charities have asked for as a part of their procedures and they have written “prescribed”

        Is my statement simple enough for you to understand?


  13. It would appear on here that certain members from the ‘owner trained’ camp have very strong views and won’t accept that others have opposing views. This then turns into a personal attack, suggesting that ‘my type’ whatever that is, ‘have no care or concern that people are suffering because ADUK are failing.’

    How someone can make that comment when they know nothing about me is very eye opening.


    1. OMG I wrote “There is no need for your type of regulations” go back and read the whole sentence

      But you made the original attack on me ” Sounds like you would treat it as a commodity.It is a living and loving animal which is there to help”.

      Hey buddy how can you say that without knowing anything about me! very eye opening, then go public omitting your vile words

      You attacked me for saying an assistance dog was prescribed by my doctors and consultants, I have letters here from my doctors prescribing a assistance dog.

      you can have what ever view you want, but educated ones please, remember and look back at what you have written before you post anything more


    1. your type of regulations, sorry typo the “F” is blow the “R” on the keyboard.

      Now explain your vile attack was that a one word typo or a couple of sentences!


  14. What charity are you with, I need the information for Michelle Jennings chair of ADUK and Hearing Dogs.


  15. Personally, I think that ADUK and the associated charities are doing a fantastic job. I will continue to fund raise for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sharon Lawrence:

    Stop being such a dictator and start listening to both sides of the discussion.


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