Whether you have an assistance dog from one of ADUK’s members or from another source, you will find a range of useful information on this page.
If you need tailored advice or advocacy, the best thing to do is to contact the charity you received your assistance dog from for more support.
You can find more information on our general information page
In the UK there is no assistance dog register so it is not possible to register a dog as an assistance dog, regardless of where it has been trained.
Only dogs that have been trained by ADUK members are issued an ADUK Identification Booklet. ADUK cannot issue dogs that have not been trained by one of our members with identification or branded dog gear.
Assistance dog owners are not required by law to carry identification.
Not all assistance dogs are trained by ADUKs members or candidates.
An emotional support dog (ESD) is a dog that provides comfort and companionship to its owner.
There is no doubt that all of the assistance dogs trained by ADUK Members offer emotional support to their owners, but none of our Members currently train emotional support dogs for the sole reason of bringing comfort or companionship.
Currently, emotional support animals do not have legal recognition in the way that assistance dogs do in the UK.
There is no register for emotional support dog or assistance dog in the UK, so it is not possible to register, validate or get an ADUK ID booklet for an emotional support dog.
Some websites claim that registering your emotional support dog with them (for a fee) will allow you the same rights as someone with an assistance dog by providing you with ID. There is no guarantee that this will increase your access rights.
Many people choose to train their own assistance dog. ADUK Cannot make recommendations for independent trainers.
Two ADUK members, Dog A.I.D and Support Dogs support the training of people’s pet dogs as assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities and mobility issues.
Visit the members page to identify which ADUK member might be most suitable to meet your needs and then contact them directly.
ADUK member, Guide Dogs, have created extensive guidance around travelling with an assistance dog. Visit the Assistance Dog Travel Website (link opens in new window) to view their travel resources.
Transport For London has created a handy guide for assistance dogs owners to know their rights when travelling by private hire taxi – download the Assistance Dog Travel Resource (link opens in new window).
Under the Equality Act 2010, it is against the law for service providers, including landlords, rental agencies and housing associations to treat disabled people less favourably because of their disability, or because they rely on an assistance dog or guide dog.
Landlords, rental agencies and other housing providers must make reasonable adjustments for disabled people who use assistance dogs.
A landlord may be required to make changes to any policies or practices they have which may disadvantage a tenant because of their disability. This includes making changes to a tenancy agreement. For example, saying pets are not allowed in the property should be changed to allow a disabled person to have their assistance dog.
A landlord cannot increase rent or charge additional cleaning fees to assistance dog or guide dog owners, even if a contract states they charge extra for pet fees. An assistance dog should not be treated as a pet in this context. Charges for actual damage caused by the dog can be made.
There is no register or certification process for assistance dogs in the UK. Whilst all assistance dogs trained by members of ADUK are issued an ADUK Identification Booklet, not all assistance dog owners have papers or ID, nor do they require ID by law.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a useful resource that outlines peoples rights to accessible housing. Included in this guide is a case study involving an assistance dog owner.
You can find it online using this link Your rights to accessible and adaptable housing in England (equalityhumanrights.com)
Apart from the practical disruption it brings, being refused access can be a very humiliating and stressful experience.
A lot of service providers are simply not aware of their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 or Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (NI), so providing initial information about access rights for assistance dogs is the first step.
In many cases, when service providers realise they are at fault, they are more than happy to help to resolve the problem.
ADUK assistance dog partnerships can show their ADUK Identification Book to the service provider or point the service provider to the ADUK website for further information. ID is not required by law.
If a service provider continues to refuse to deal positively with the issue, you should contact your assistance dog organisation and they will support you in any way they can.
Where necessary, the organisations that form part of ADUK work together to ensure compliance with the law on access rights.
Non-ADUK trained dogs can refer businesses to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
Download or read Assistance dogs: A guide for businesses.
ADUK cannot offer advice but you can contact your local CAB or get in touch with The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) for advice https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en
Disabled people that use assistance dogs have important rights under the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (NI). The law protects disabled people to ensure that they can enjoy the same rights as everyone else to use the services supplied by shops, banks, hotels, libraries, pubs, taxis and restaurants.
Service Providers, including schools, must make reasonable adjustments for disabled people who use an assistance dog in order for them to access their services or venues.
As an assistance dog owner, you may want to accompany your children onto the school grounds whilst using your assistance dog. ADUK would encourage assistance dogs owners to have a conversation about this with the school in question before they bring the dog onto the grounds.
If a school has concerns about the behaviour of your assistance dog or believes that there is a risk to the safety of the children, they would have reasonable cause to have a conversation with you about how to eliminate such risks.
According to the Society for Companion Animal Studies, a therapy dog is rather a general term to describe a dog that is used to benefit people in a therapeutic way. This includes quite a wide range of potential activities with a wide range of potential people and clients. Some pets take part in visiting programmes, whilst others take part in structured activities as part of a therapeutic programme or practice
There are no ADUK members or candidates that offer training for people who want their dogs to become therapy dogs.
The charity Pets As Therapy may be able to help.