What groups of people do you train for?
My focus is assistance dogs for people on the autism spectrum, children and teens with developmental disabilities, and people of all ages with epilepsy, narcolepsy, and diabetes. I have also successfully trained dogs for people with dementia or mobility impairments in recent years.
How can I get in contact with you?
Feel free to write or call me. Often I am in training and an automated voicemail will come on. If you give me your name and a phone number, I will get back to you as soon as possible.
I don't want it to be known that I have an assistance dog for me / my child or another family member. Is that possible?
Yes, discretion is very important to me. In Germany assistance dogs have to wear a special marking in public. But it does not say there for which disability the dog is used. Outside of Germany there are different regulations, we can look together what applies in your country.
How long does it take until I have my assistance dog with me?
That depends very much on what the dog should be able to do and how quickly I find a suitable dog. Often the dog can move in within a year, sometimes even faster and sometimes it takes up to two years. Good assistance dogs are rare and high quality training and good health of the dog is very important to me.
I already have a dog, can I train together with it?
Yes it is possible, if the dog is suitable and between 12 months and 4 years old. If your dog is older, we will have to see what he still needs to learn in order to take the assistance dog team test with you.
My child is only 4 years old. Can an assistance dog already help?
That depends very much on the child's disability. If your child can communicate with the dog and an adult companion is present, even a four-year-old child can lead an assistance dog. It is often better if the children are already eight years old or older. It is best to see together what is possible.
Are there any restrictions on breeds? I have a precise idea of which breed my assistance dog should be.
In Germany, there are basically hardly any restrictions on the breed for an assistance dog. Only so-called "Qualzucht" dogs are excluded from use. "Qualzucht"* is a difficult topic in Germany. In simple terms, it covers all dogs that are limited in health or communication due to their breed standard. Examples are very short-nosed breeds like pugs or French bulldogs, extremely large or long-nosed breeds like very large Great Danes or Bassets, Dachshunds or Corgie. Breeds without fur (naked dogs) or with very many skin folds (Schar Pei) or that are very small (Teacup dogs and Chihuahua) are also excluded from use as assistance dogs. It should also be noted that there are breeds in Germany that may only be kept under very strict conditions. These include American Staffordshire Terrier, Pitbull Terrier, Bull Terrier, Bull Mastiff, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux, Fila Brasileiro, Mastin Espanol, Mastino Napoletano, Mastiff, Tosa Inu. Mixed breeds may be used as assistance dogs as long as none of the above breeds are involved.
* Qualzucht is the german word for some dog breeds where the breeding characteristics impose a severe limitation on the dog. These include very small heads as in the Chihuahua or very short noses as in the Pug or French Bulldog. If you would like a billdog or a chihuahua as an assist dog, please contact me beforehand. We can then discuss what possibilities there are.
I would like the assistance dog to also defend my child or family member in case of emergency. Is this possible?
No. The law stipulates that an assistance dog may not show aggression at any time, nor may it have completed a protection service or comparable training. an assistance dog provides support in the event of an existing disability. It is not a protection dog or a four-legged bodyguard.