Great Debate: Should owner-trained assistance dogs have the same access rights?💬


What’s your stance on the next Great Debate?

Owners of assistance dogs have reportedly been denied the ‘reasonable adjustments’ required by the Equality Act on the grounds that their assistance dog was not trained by a charity under the umbrella of ADUK (Assistance Dogs UK). This leaves dogs trained by charities or organisations outside ADUK at disadvantage – and it is even worse for dogs that are owner-trained due to the long waiting lists many charities have. On the other hand, some think that letting owner-trained dogs qualify as assistance dogs might mean letting any companion dog with a smart–looking jacket pass off as one.


Should owner-trained assistance dogs be afforded the same access rights as those trained by charities?

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  1. Of course they should! The ADUK has no right to ban other training their own dogs when they can’t even meet demand. Their waiting lists are 7 years long and now closed because they can’t keep up. Not to mention the fact there are no organisations for psychological disorders and those with autism over the age of 11.
    I personally have been denied a service dog because I have an invisible disability and have other pets.
    I’m not blind, deaf or in a wheelchair so they’re not interested.

  2. My owner trained seizure-alert dog can literally save my life. The waiting list for one of these charities is 3 years, and even then I don’t qualify because I already have a dog! I suffer atonic (drop) and tonic-clonic (grand mal) epileptic seizures. I cannot work, shop, go for a walk or even take a bath without my dog, because a seizure could kill me. Even though my dog is trained just as well as “official” dogs (I trained military dogs for several years) we can be refused entry to places simply because my dog wasn’t trained by a charity.

    The answer? Have a standard public-access test that dogs must pass before they can be registered. That way, you don’t get the fakers but you allow life-saving dogs for people like me.

    • There is a standard public access test. If standards are the same (and there lies the problem, ensuring standardisation) then everyone should be catered for. Unfortunately many organisations that are ADUK believe that other organisations can’t keep that high standard but I ask why? If all trainers are qualified and experienced then why can’t high standards be kept? Maybe the public access tests should be independently assessed for ALL organisations. This would lead to an equal playing field.

  3. I totally wish there was something out there for mental health and psychological disorders, Im 23 years old I can’t work because my mental health affects me in a way that I can’t enjoy going out anymore without feeling tense and unable to relax.
    if ADUK could accept that there was a huge demand for such charities for mental health and how much a dog could help using such tasks as fetching medication, pawing the owner if having an episode. it could help all the current charities that are registered at the moment but not under ADUK

  4. I have an assistance dog that helps me manage PTSD I have issues because I trained her, but I couldn’t get a dog any other way. Without her I would never leave my home or be able to do simple tasks. Even P.I.P. Assessors wouldn’t accept she is an assistance dog because she wasn’t trained by a charity.


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