Meet Our Assistance Dog-in-Training

JoJo is a black 3/4 Labrador, 1/4 Retriever puppy, which are the breeds usually chosen by Dogs for Good, mainly because they take pleasure in retrieving and like to work for rewards, making them the perfect candidates.


JoJo is currently being cared for by a volunteer puppy socialiser, and she will stay there for the first 14-18 months of her life. She'll be getting the all-round obedience training a puppy needs and will be getting used to lots of different environments and places to go.


At around 18 months, JoJo will be handed over to a Dogs for Good trainer, and her formal training will begin. Depending on her suitability, JoJo will specialise in either disability or autism. Training at this stage involves developing obedience skills further, developing confidence working with specific requirements (for example, wheelchairs), teaching tasks (such as picking up dropped items) and getting used to places that their future owner might live, work or visit.


After initial training, the instructors will begin the process to match JoJo to a potential owner, based on her skills and personality, and what her owner's specific needs will be. This is a really important part of the journey, as every dog and every person is different and the aim is to achieve a successful partnership.


JoJo has a long road ahead of her but we have our fingers crossed that she has what it takes to become an assistance dog that will truly transform someone's life.


We caught up with JoJo's puppy socialiser, Sally, who had this to say:

"One thing that stood out to me from her handover notes was this: "JoJo is very intelligent. She's small but mighty and is always the first to conquer new challenges and is always the escape party instigator". She's so quick to learn, I only have to tell her something once or twice and she gets it, so she's very intelligent. She gives amazing eye contact and is very good at lead-walking. She is a brilliant puppy and I've got no complaints about her - except that she likes to start her day at 5am!"


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