We make training fun for our dogs. They enjoy the interactivity, learning new skills and visiting different environments.

At VWD we use 'bond-based option training', which means simply that the dog chooses to participate in training sessions, or indeed any interaction with their care-giver. This forms a bond of trust with the dog from the very beginning.

Offering this kind of empowerment to our dogs means that we can build a level of trust with them not previously seen. Their focus on us is increased, and their tolerance of uncomfortable situations or scenarios is much improved, compared to dogs not trained using choice. This provides us with the kind of temperamental stability and trust that a dog for mental health needs to have in order to be most effective to a Veteran.

Bond-based option training is a pain-free way that will better build the relationship between you and your dog.

Our ethical stance against punishment based training is scientifically backed and the results of correctly undertaken option training speak for themselves.

Most dogs enjoy training, because it gives them something to do. They also have an innate desire to please their people.

Dogs thrive on interaction with humans and other dogs.

Give your dog a purpose in life. Carrying the newspaper is even enough to make them happy.

Loving them and giving them your time is maybe the most important aspect of dog ownership.

Aspire to be the best owner possible. Your dog certainly deserves it.

Every dog needs two forms of exercise - mental and physical.

Allow time for your dog to be a dog, they need to display natural behaviour.

VETERANS WITH DOGS' training is designed to assist you with the best training solutions for you and your dog. Training using the bond-based option method is an enjoyable and rewarding way for you both to learn new and useful skills for everyday life.


Our first question is always, “What can a dog do to help you become more independent?”

We understand every mental health disability is different and unique to each individual, which is why each dog is matched and custom-trained for a Veteran's specific needs.

To ensure an Assistance Dog can meet the needs of a client, it has to pass a temperament test and comprehensive health screening to enter our training programme.

A dog is matched to a client based on the person’s lifestyle, temperament and the physical characteristics required to complete the needed tasks.

Once the dog has passed the initial training phase, VWD brings the Veterans and dog together in a residential environment to begin the matching and transfer. This allows the Veteran to train under supervision with our trainers and learn how to work and train with their dog .

Further training then continues at home, building on more advanced work and tasks until certified as an Assistance Dog Team by VWD.