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Project information

Help Canine Partners train more assistance dogs

Canine Partners is working hard to increase the number of dogs it can train each year so that it can re-open the waiting list to new applicants as soon as possible and continue with its mission to transform lives.

December 2018 - June 2019

Charity information: Canine Partners

Canine Partners logo
  • Need


    Demand for Canine Partners' assistance dogs is higher than ever before. The charity's waiting list has been closed for 18 months due to demand far outstripping supply. The charity also faces the challenge to place successor dogs with those whose dogs are due to retire.
    There are 140 people on the waiting list, however the charity can only train between 75-80 per year.
    We need to increase the number of dogs we train every year to ensure we can continue to transform more lives.


    To create more partnerships we need to ensure we have enough puppies, dog trainers and facilities. With support from generous donors via the Big Give Christmas Challenge, Canine Partners will be able to recruit more puppies onto the training programme, develop their in-house breeding programme aimed at producing the best and most suitable puppies that can grow up to become fully qualified canine partners, and contribute towards the expansion of their facilities in the Midlands.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Reopen the waiting list to new applicants and reduce the waiting time for a canine partner


    » Continue to place dogs with those already on the waiting list until it is at a reasonable level in order to reopen it again

    What success will look like

    The success of this project will be demonstrated by the reopening of the waiting list, a reduction in waiting time and a clear timeline for replacing retired dogs.

    Aim 2

    Invest in the development of the Canine Partners’ in-house breeding programme.


    » Recruit more brood bitch holders to support the breeding programme by looking after the dogs that will give birth to the next generation of dogs.

    What success will look like

    The success of this project will be demonstrated by an increase in the number of puppies in training, improved health conditions and behaviour and significant cost savings.

    Aim 3

    Increase the pass rate of the dogs in training


    » Provide training and support to the volunteers who are training the puppies for their first year

    What success will look like

    The success of this project will be demonstrated by an increase in the number of dogs passing their assessment and being placed with someone on the waiting list.

    Aim 4

    Complete the kennel facilities at the charity's Midlands Centre


    » We have invested in our fundraising and communications team to ensure that we have the manpower in place to increase income and awareness.

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated by the completion of the kennel facilities at the Midlands Centre which in turn will allow the training and placement of more dogs.

  • Impact


    In the long term this project will enable Canine Partners to provide even more life-changing dogs each year for people with disabilities. The breeding programme will ensure more dogs are enlisted to become mothers to the next generation of canine partners. Improved training will help to improve our pass rate and meet demand to avoid closing the waiting list again, and the completion of facilities will allow us to train, place and monitor the partnerships that we have created.


    Not all puppies in training pass the relevant tests and stages for them to become a partnered canine partner. Puppy training is monitored regularly and volunteer puppy parents attend regular training classes and receive support throughout the dog’s early stages. Puppies and dogs in training will not continue on their journey to partnership if health or behavioral issues persist or affect their working capability.


    The charity shares with members of the public through their website and the media, the number of dogs partnered each year as well as the updated status of the waiting list and hence application list. This means that all donors will be informed regarding success on the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £150,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £20,000 Breeding Programme Purchase and care of five brood bitches
      £30,000 Training of volunteers To provide training to volunteers who train the puppies from a young age
      £100,000 Midlands Training Centre To help complete the facilities at the Midlands Centre to allow more dogs to be partnered

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    No Fear Bridge Ltd £50,000 Guaranteed
    Anonymous Trust £20,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Canine Partners is a small national charity that provides assistance dogs to people with physical disabilities across the UK. The charity's puppies live with volunteer puppy parents during their first year and receive regular training with support from our 14 puppy group classes across the country. After their first year of training, all puppies go to our advanced training centres in either West Sussex or Leicestershire to be assessed.


    More than 1.2 million people are currently living with a physical disability in the UK and many of these individuals could benefit from one of Canine Partners' assistance dogs.
    The dogs transform the lives of people with a range of conditions that affect their mobility, and consequently independence, including those with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, MS, spina bifida, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and people that have had serious injuries or amputations including members of the armed forces.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Canine Partners has 28 years experience in training assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities. Since the charity was founded in 1990 more than 750 canine partners have been trained and partnered with individuals in need of assistance and support, including over 400 that are currently active.
    The charity adopts the highest standards of training and care for both dog and partner.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nicola Martin

    Chief Executive of Canine Partners

    Anne Yendell

    Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications at Canine Partners

    Clive Murray

    Director of Finance at Canine Partners