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Wimborne, Dorset, United Kingdom



Helping disabled people live more independent lives…

Woofability are a local organisation that train assistance dogs for disabled people in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Dorset, Hampshire and south Wiltshire.

At present there are approximately 4,500 people in Dorset and Hampshire who could benefit from the use of a disability assistance dog. When a dog/partner relationship is formed the person benefits from additional companionship and assistance with day-to-day chores and tasks such as opening and closing doors, switching lights on and off, and carrying and emptying the washing machine. In turn, the dog benefits from living in a stimulating environment, with a partner that values and loves them as a four-legged companion and K9 assistant.

Not only do Woofability provide adults with assistance dogs, they can provide assistance dogs for children with autism and Down's Syndrome. Acting as both a physical aid and a friend, Woofability's trained assistance dogs play a vital role in the everyday support of their child partners.

Training assistance dogs…

The charity always works to ensure that their assistance dogs experience happy puppyhoods, during which they are well socialised with both people and other dogs. During their adolescence, these dogs have time to grow, mature and learn new behaviours before they are placed with a partner.

Training is reward based, meaning that trainers reward their dogs for good behaviour and well-performed tasks. Mental stimulation benefits each and every dog from an early age. As puppies, Woofability’s assistance dogs have plenty of time to play, learn basic commands and socialise with other dogs. From this period, at the age of 8-9 months, the charity’s young dogs spend time with a team of volunteer dog socialisers. All socialisers attend regular seminars, which are run by a professional dog trainer and behaviourist. During these seminars they are taught how to train, practice tasks and instil good behaviour in their dogs.

Woofability’s assistance dogs stay with their volunteer dog handlers for anything up to 3 weeks. The charity’s dogs are always happy to arrive at their new and temporary homes, as they get to meet new people and explore new surroundings such as shops, pubs and doctor’s surgeries. The charity has found that this regular placement and integration with volunteer families makes for very happy, well-adjusted assistance dogs.

Over the next 18 months the adolescent assistance dogs are introduced to even more types of environments such as schools and care homes, and are encouraged to experience new things such as going on holiday and taking train journeys. When they reach the age of two they are usually fully trained in their tasks. However, the charity does not place their dogs with partners until they have reached adulthood, as it is better to place a mature dog than an immature one.

A variety of factors are taken into consideration when it comes to matching a dog with the right partner. These include their disabled partner’s needs and abilities, the environment that they will be living in (animals, garden size, children etc.), whether the person has any life-changing future plans, whether they are going on holiday and what size dog would best suit them and their home. When all the factors have been considered the charity will evaluate which dog would be suitable, and once a match has been made the dog will spend a trial period with their potential new partner. If the match is not a success then there is a delay until the right assistance dog completes their training and enters into adulthood.

Woofability will continue to provide their support throughout all of their dog’s partnerships.

Donating and fundraising for assistance dog training…

Woofability is a local dog charity that relies on donations and sponsorships for funding. Whether you want to arrange a fundraising bake sale, leave a donation in your will, make a one-off donation or become a business sponsor, there are many ways in which you can help Woofability raise vital funds.

Your money will help this fantastic local charity train more dogs, which in turn will improve the lives of disabled people throughout Dorset, Hampshire and south Wiltshire.

To find out more about donation and fundraising, click here.

Applying for an disability assistance dog…

Woofability’s application process is not difficult. If you think that you, or someone you know would benefit from having one of these wonderful assistance dogs, then you are welcome to get in touch with the charity via email, telephone or mail.

For more information about applying for a Woofability disabled assistance dog, click here.

Woofability – Disabled Assistance Dogs in Dorset, Hampshire and south Wiltshire. Woofability is a registered local charity that works to improve the lives of people with disabilities through building lasting dog/partner relationships.

Woofability Charity Number 1135756

Landline: 01202 814643
Mobile: 07818 217183

Fill out an online contact form

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