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Assistance Dog Assessment Association Implements Policy Update Regarding Head Collars for Public Access

The Assistance Dog Assessment Association (ADAA), a leading charity specialising in independent assessments for individuals who have trained their own assistance dogs, is announcing a policy change regarding the use of head collars for teams qualifying for full public access.

New applications received after 29th February 2024 will only be considered if the applicant's dog is trained to walk without a head collar. This shift reflects our commitment to ensuring that all assistance dog teams consistently meet the highest criteria in regards to welfare, as well as exceptional standards for full public access.

This change is part of our ongoing commitment to raising the standards of assistance dog welfare whilst ensuring the safety, reliability, and professionalism of these invaluable partnerships.

If we have received your application before 29th February 2024, we understand that this transition may pose challenges, and to support this change, ADAA will be offering an extension on the application process so that teams have the opportunity to train for public access without head collars.

"We believe that by discontinuing the use of head collars, we are advancing the welfare of the dogs involved in our special partnerships. Emerging evidence is clearly showing the adverse effects these halters can have on the canine musculoskeletal system; therefore, their use now falls outside of our accepted equipment criteria.
More than ever, we are dedicated to assisting these partnerships to have the best, mutually beneficial, relationship possible and will do all we can to assist our current qualified teams to transition. We are committed to welfare and support going hand in paw."
-Trustee Kirsten Dillon

ADAA remains steadfast in its mission to uphold the highest standards in assistance dog assessments for public access. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our community as we work together to improve the lives of both individuals with disabilities and their canine counterparts.

For more information about this policy change and the support available to qualified teams, please visit our website or contact our office at

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