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Ultimate focus test for assistance dogs at Oxfordshire wildlife park

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Assistance dogs have been busy in training at Cotswold Wildlife Park in Oxfordshire, in order to get them used to busy and exciting environments.

They are a lifeline for people with physical disabilities, as well as those with conditions such as dementia or autism.

Mavis is one of 17 young pups from Banbury-based charity Dogs for Good.

They will go on to help adults and children with a range of disabilities, with some helping children with autism.

It's of great benefit, we can see what they're going to be like. And they're only young, only teenagers, so we can utilise this and we can do their training here in real life rather than in set-up situations. And we can better prepare the dogs and also the clients, so when they're matched with the client we can tell them what the dog's potentially going to be like when they visit attractions and when they go for days out."

– Melanie Wood, Dog trainer

The training programme gets them used to all sorts of unusual sights and smells, learning to keep control when out in the real world with an owner who relies on them.

There is just one month to go before they go to live with their new owner.

  • Watch Charlotte Cross' report below