Assistance Dogs

Duo Assistance Dogs bring stability + independence to everyday life.

98

Assistance Dogs that are working today

95%

of clients report satisfaction with Duo Dog’s services

95%

of clients say Duo Dogs has maintained or improved their lives

Assistance Dogs

stability + independence

Duo Assistance Dogs provide stability and independence — working with you when you’re not able. We’ll enhance your everyday enjoyment of life by providing the freedom to be your best and the mobility to go where life takes you.

$39,000

the cost to train one Assistance Dog (not including countless volunteer hours)

2 years

to raise and train each Assistance Dog

walking_assistance_dog

Training amazing dogs to assist individuals with mobility and hearing challenges is Duo Dogs’ signature service.

It’s what we’ve been doing since 1981 and what we’re known for.

Duo Dogs trains our mobility and hearing dogs for approximately two years to make sure they’re proficient in more than 50 skills and over 200 tasks. They help mobility clients with activities like opening and closing doors, picking up dropped items, retrieving objects, undressing, and carrying bags. They also alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing to important sounds like doorbells, alarms, or a crying baby.

The goal of these placements is to have the dog act as an extension of a person so that they can perform those tasks that may be difficult, or impossible, because of their disability.

Duo Dogs partners with some of the most highly respected top breeders in the country to breed its Assistance and Facility Dogs. This ensures that each Assistance and Facility Dog has the best genetic foundation and highest health standards to build on.

Duo Dogs places all of its dogs at no cost to the client. The client is responsible for a $100 application fee and the cost of equipment. All interested individuals must complete an application and upon approval and placement, agree to attend a two-week Team Training in St. Louis to receive their Assistance Dog.

Duo Dogs provides open communication for the duration of every assistance dog placement, requiring annual client checks and recertification. Duo views every placement as a partnership for as long as the client and dog are a working team.

Every assistance dog trained by Duo Dogs meets or exceeds standards established by Assistance Dogs International, as well as criteria established by the Americans with Disabilities Act. All of our assistance dogs have public access and can accompany their handler in all places of public accommodation.

Duo Dogs are a breed apart from your average dog. The first step of becoming a Duo Assistance Dog begins with breeding. Many of our assistance dogs are bred in-house at our world-class headquarters. For the first eight weeks of their lives, our volunteer Whelper Helpers spend 24 hours a day with our puppies to help strengthen their bonds with humans. Then the dogs spend the next 16 months with a volunteer Puppy Raiser (foster family) who helps them with socialization and basic obedience. Finally, they return to Duo Dogs for an intensive four to six months of training program under supervision of our trainers before they are ready to be placed.

While it takes nearly $40,000 and countless staff and volunteer hours to raise and train our dogs, there is no charge to our clients.

Quick Facts

  • Since 1981, we have placed over 115 dogs across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom and have 98 assistance dogs working today.
  • In 2018, we placed our first dog internationally with a client in England.
  • It takes approximately four to six months to train the 50 skills and our over 200 tasks required to be an assistance dog. These skills include activities like opening and closing doors, picking up dropped items, and retrieving objects.
  • Our 20,000-square-foot headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, was specifically built for our organization’s unique needs and is home to our dogs-in-training.

Duo Dogs are bred at Duo through our specialized breeding program.

Whelper Helpers raise new puppies with 24/7 care at Duo Dogs facility.

8 weeks

Puppy is placed in a Volunteer Puppy Raiser's home for socialization and basic training.

16 months

Puppy returns to Duo Dogs for Advanced Training.

4-6 months

Duo Dog trains & bonds with client.

2 weeks

Bonded Duo Dog is placed in permanent home with client.

Forward

Client Testimonials

Taylor has played an enormous role in my life. Just this past week, I was making dinner in the oven and forgot it was cooking. She came to get me and saved the day. It’s moments like this that I tell her, “I’m so thankful you’re helping me.” But I’m also so thankful for Duo Dogs.

Krista — Hearing Client

It’s hard to explain the attachment I have to Fannie Mae. She pulls doors open for me, picks up things I drop and holds them until I can get a grip, travels with me and carries my bags. She makes it possible for me to do so many things that I would otherwise miss. You can’t minimize the mental aspect of what she’s brought to my life by not only physically opening doors, but opening avenues of opportunity.

Jim — Mobility Client