Facts and Figures
Dogs for Good (formerly Dogs for the Disabled) was established in 1988 and its headquarters is in Banbury, Oxfordshire; it also has centres in Bristol and Culcheth, Warrington.
Dogs for Good Services
Dogs for Good provides three services – Assistance Dog: training assistance dogs to support adults and children with physical disabilities and children with autism; Family Dog: providing advice and support to people on how their pet dog can benefit their whole family; Community Dog: training activity and therapy dogs and their specialist handlers to work in communities and schools.
How long does it take to train an assistance dog?
Dogs for Good puppies spend the first year of their lives with a volunteer puppy socialiser, who teaches them the basics such as lead walking, sit, stay and recall.
At around 14 months old, they start work with Dogs for Good trainers and instructors learning the vital skills they need such as picking up dropped items, fetching the phone, loading and unloading the washing machine, calling lifts and helping someone dress and undress as well as how to distract or comfort a child with autism is angry, anxious or distressed and keep them safe when out and about.
At about two years old they’re ready to become fully qualified assistance dogs.
Number of Assistance Dogs trained
Dogs for Good has trained over 880 Assistance Dogs to date and currently has nearly 300 working in England and Wales. There are 164 Assistance Dogs working in partnership with adults with disability, 70 working with children with a disability and 57 working with a family with a child with autism.
Family Dog Service
Dogs for Good’s Family Dog service runs workshops across the UK demonstrate to families affected by autism the positive impact a pet dog can have on family life. So far more than 1000 families nationwide are seeing extraordinary results. Workshops for 2018 can be booked online.
Community Dog Service
Dogs for Good launched its Dementia Dogs pilot in 2013 with the first assistance dogs in the UK helping couples with one partner affected by early stage dementia. The scheme is currently being evaluated by the University of Edinburgh and economic and social research consultancy EKOS.
Community Dog for Schools has placed specially trained dogs in two Special Educational Needs schools. Using Animal Assisted Intervention techniques, this service is exploring how a dog, working with our School Dog Instructor, teachers and therapists, could bring benefits to students in their learning, social, physical and emotional development.
Dogs for Good has become the first charity to support adults with autism. Our Instructor works with a trained activity dog alongside four people supported by the Kingwood Trust. The charity hopes to expand this service in other centres across the country.
Dogs for Good must raise nearly £14,000 to fund each dog to fully-trained Assistance or Community Dog and a further £8,000 to cover the costs of its working life from qualification to retirement.
It costs more than £3 million pounds a year to run Dogs for Good and the vital services it provides. The charity receives no government funding and relies entirely on donations, fundraising and volunteers to continue its pioneering work: 75p from every £1 raised or donated goes directly to support its work. With over 4,000 enquiries each year there are many more people the charity could help. It’s estimated that more than 100,000 people in the UK could benefit from an Assistance Dog.