Standing together for assistance dog teams

Independent quality assurance and support

About Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs work with their owners to mitigate their disabilities through specially trained assistance. They are a lifelong team and enable their owners to live more mobile, autonomous and often safer lives. In addition to guide dogs for the blind, there are many other types of assistance dogs.

Assistance dog teams are breaking new ground. Their partnership, discipline and care are fascinating – but unfortunately they are often completely on their own.

Teams deserve our support!

We are committed to comprehensive care for qualified teams. Our independent assistance dog team exam is an important milestone on the way to meaningful care.

Join us so that …

  • Quality replaces improvisation,
  • the path to becoming an assistance dog becomes easier,
  • teams are better supported.

Ensuring quality, establishing support structures

  Independent, objective test: Our video-based assistance dog team exam, is fair and transparent. It qualifies assistance dog teams in Germany. Teams can sign up for the exam here!

✓   The goal: comprehensive support: Standards, independent testing and independent analysis improve acceptance and progress. We establish partnerships and funding structures so that teams are better supported.

✓   End improvisation: Strong structures improve the sector and convince decision-makers.

About Assistance Dog Foundation

Assistance Dog Foundation is a daughter organization of Pfotenpiloten and focuses on quality assurance and sustainable support structures. The division of tasks became necessary in order to do justice to the many fields of activity in which we support the assistance dog sector.

We do not train assistance dog teams ourselves, but aim to be able to support them in a variety of ways in the near future.

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A major innovation is our video-based assistance dog team test, iCert360™. We are also developing a wide range of partnerships – but are taking great care to remain independent of interest groups.

In addition to the assistance dog owners, we also keep an eye on the needs of the dog, trainer, public and sponsors. We are convinced that only a concept that suits everyone can develop optimally.

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Our honorary advisory board

Get to know our Honorary Advisory Board here. Representatives from politics, society, business, research, medicine and animal welfare join us in advocating for assistance dog teams.

And you? Join us!

Why we do not (yet) fund teams

Although it would be more satisfying to simply fund teams and thereby enable individuals with disabilities to be more mobile *today*, this would only help a tiny group. However, the real core of the problem lies in the lack of structures and the improvised nature of the sector.

In order to enable systematic support in the future, we are first focusing on the basics.
We are building understanding, developing independent structures and devising reliable ways of ensuring quality. These foundations can then be used to build effective care that does justice to all those involved.

There are still many barriers on the way to a reliable solution today that make it difficult to live successfully with

assistance dogs. Many arise from a lack of basic principles – an improvised career path, a lack of information, a lack of quality assurance.

An effective solution must consider all those involved: not only the people with assistance needs, but also the dogs, the trainers, the public and the sponsors.

Once clear structures have replaced the improvised standards, systematic support can be built on them – the path becomes easier and safer for everyone. There is still a long way to go. We can only do this together! We need your help to build effective structures and solid foundations as an independent organization.