You should request a “Register of Interest” form to complete - we ask for some basic information and is NOT a full application at this stage.
Once a Register of Interest is submitted the process can be as short as 6 months or as long as 24 months. If a Veteran is accepted onto the programme he/she then goes into the pool of all clients waiting to be paired with a Dog.
For all clients on the waiting list, the search to find an appropriate dog begins right away. However, this all depends on the individual needs of the client, and the individual qualities of the dogs in training.
Unfortunately no. We carefully source and select potential assistance dogs specifically based on proven background, temperament, structural soundness, healthy genetics and breeding. Even our extensive screening and assessment process does not necessarily mean that every dog will make the grade.
We use breeds with an established history and proven background of assistance dog work in the UK.
Unfortunately this is not possible. We do not provide any kind of registration process for dogs.
Potentially yes. However, there are standards and temperament criteria that your dog has to meet to qualify as a working dog, in the same way that any other assistance dogs do.
Our assistance dogs are trained for certain baseline behaviours such as initiating daily routine, medication reminders, grounding and other activities personal to the Veteran.
A veteran will display certain behaviours just before and during a flashback. The dog is trained to recognise the early signals of these behaviours, interrupt them and redirect the veteran.
The length of time training takes is determined by the Veteran’s needs and the tasks the dog is required to do.
Unfortunately this is not possible. We insist that an assistance dog is the one and only dog in the household.
Experience of training and placing assistance dogs has taught us that some traits, temperaments, characteristics and instinctual drives make some breeds unsuitable for working as assistance dogs for mental health.
Veterans must be willing and able to attend residential training with VWD, local 1-2-1 personal training with one of our professional trainers, then follow on with the in-home and public training process.
Unfortunately not. There is no shortcut to qualification.
Speak to us first please. We don't advise anyone gets a puppy without thorough research and a complete understanding of what is needed to raise a potential assistance dog.
We receive no government funding and rely solely on the generosity of the public, voluntary donations, trusts and fundraising initiatives to continue transforming the lives of Veterans with a mental health disability.
We receive many queries from people with mental health difficulties asking if we can help them.
Applications are accepted from Veterans with a criminal record.