These are some of Frequently Asked Questions (FQA) we get as an organisation and hopefully this will provide some answers.
Do you provide dogs for those outside the Armed Forces or Emergency Services?
Our focus is to help those that have, through serving, paid the high price of PTSD. We realise that there is a need overall for the provision of PTSD Assistance dogs and we hope that in the future, as the importance of such dogs is realised, help is offered to those outside the forces and services.
Can I buy one of your dogs for myself?
No, our dogs are not for sale..
… we are NOT a commercial organisation. You can apply to take part in the programme and we welcome donations, however the veterans who will be helped will be on a first come first served basis after careful assessment and programme acceptance, regardless of any donations.
What of breed of dogs do you use?
We use adult rescue dogs that are clever, really enjoy learning and are big enough to perform the tasks needed to become a PTSD assistance dog.
We will not be selecting dogs on the basis of breed; but on their ability to become assistance dogs, they might be mutleys, pedigrees or crosses.
Why do you use rescue dogs?
We believe rescue dogs make great PTSD Assistance Dogs and many need a loving home and friendship. Equally for a veteran to “save” a life is hugely empowering.
What does your training programme cost?
The training programme is provided at NO COST to the veteran.
After this period we do expect veterans to be able to provide basic care for the dog. It’s an ethical point for us, we do not want to give dogs away for free – they are invaluable.
What kind of training do you do?
To create a strong bond between dog and veteran you need trust and respect, therefore we use fun, empowerment, positive methods as tools to train our dogs. This not only benefits the dog, but equally the veteran – it makes everyone feel happier and motivated.
Training should be fun, we want dogs to figure “stuff” out themselves, learn with pleasure in safe, caring and fun environments and delight going to training… and they do! It means the relationship between a dog and guardian is stronger, reliable and is a partnership where the dog chooses to be of a support.
Dogs, all dogs, are precious and as an organisation we are the guardians of these special unique and individual beings – every choice we make is with this in mind; they deserve understanding, kindness, patience, respect and a great stimulating life filled with love.
Can I sign up for the programme with my own dog?
… we select dogs for their trainability from rescue. We do not train pet dogs. The rescue dogs we select get matched to a veteran by ourselves.
Can I donate my dog for a veteran?
We are not a rescue organisation and are unable to take in dogs from the general public. For rehoming your dog please contact your local rescue.
Do you need puppies…
Service Dogs UK does NOT use puppies, we use Adult rescue dogs in need of a home, a loving friend and a secure future.
Can I train my own dog to be an assistance dog?
You are best seeking the advice of Assistance Dogs International and Assistance Dogs UK. We do not offer pet dog training, Service Dogs UK carefully selects and matches a suitable rescue dog to a veteran.
How do I accredit my own assistance dog?
Why are you only in the South of England?
We have to start somewhere, whilst it is our ambition and aim to be nationwide we do not have capability at this point in time to provide for veterans across the UK.