In 2010, a discussion began between an animal behaviourist with an assistance dog training background and a member of the Psychological Assistance Dog community from the United States. This discussion was joined by members of the legal and mental health communities, and a coalition was formed to put forward a proposal for the creation of a new organization. That coalition became PADsUK, and is now moving forward to produce training and assessment standards to ensure that this resource becomes available to the people that need it.
In our discussions with other assistance dog charities across the UK, we have learned that many of them receive frequent calls for assistance from individuals looking to be partnered with a PAD. Unfortunately, these organizations have neither the resources nor the experience necessary to develop the PAD concept to the high standards which all assistance dog programs need. There is a documented need for this service, and PADsUK intends to move forward in its creation making sure that it is done ethically and serves the needs of both the handler and the dog. We are grateful for the work of other registered assistance dog charities for paving the way for this important work.
If you would like more detailed information about who we are and how our dogs will work, please read our public information document. You can read it online here or download it for offline reading or printing here. The document is in PDF form, and so will require a PDF reader like Acrobat or Foxit. If you need the document in another format for any reason, please contact us and we can accomodate your needs. We encourage you to share this document with any interested parties.
PADsUK attained candidate status with Assistance Dogs International in 2012. We will adhere to all existing ADI and ADEU regulation and will train and assess dogs at a high standard utilizing only reward-based techniques performed by certified trainers. Each dog will be individually trained alongside its handler to create an effective individualized set of tasks to mitigate the handler’s symptoms.One in four people in the UK are thought to experience some sort of mental health problem at some point in their life and it is evident from our research that PADs could provide significant benefits to a proportion of these. Our proposed scheme sets out a realistic basis upon which to develop PADsUK as an effective Assistance Dog charity in the UK, with provision for further expansion. PADsUK aim to provide a high-quality service, with dogs trained to an extremely high standard, in order to vastly improve quality of life for the client.