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PAWS Program

*Please note completion of these workshops are a prerequisite before we can accept an application for an Autism Service Dog.

  PAWS (Parents APAWS Logoutism Workshops and Support)   
  brings together parents of children with autism, to
  share experiences and explore the potential that a
  pet dog might have within the family. The program
  has been running successfully in the UK and the
  Netherlands for the past two years.

 The special chemistry shown between a child and 
  dog through Assistance Dogs Australia’s work providing assistance dogs for families with a child with autism, has led us to realise that whilst for some children there will be a clear need for a fully trained assistance dog, a well-trained family pet dog can also have a massively beneficial impact.


If you are considering getting a dog, then the workshops cover the pros and cons of getting a dog to help your child and your family.

The workshops are designed to provide parents with the information and long-term support for sourcing, choosing, handling and training a dog specifically to benefit a child with autism and the family as a whole.


Due to the structure of the workshops they are not suitable for children and privately owned pet dogs to attend, unless otherwise advised. 

The workshops cover:

  • Question you might have about owning a pet dog
  • How dogs can help a child with autism
  • Selecting the right dog to live with a child with autism
  • Options for finding a suitable pet dog
  • Things to think about when training a dog
  • Selecting an appropriate training club/trainer
  • Dog welfare and equipment needs

Upcoming Workshops

 Perth 9th July, 16th   July  and 23th July Fully booked
Melbourne  30th July, 6th August and 13th August Fully booked
Brisbane  8th October,15th October and 22nd October 4 places remaining

If you would like to see a PAWS workshop in your area, please register your interest.


Application Criteria

  • These workshops are open to parents of children and young adults with a clinical diagnosis of autism.
  • Workshops run from 9am-3pm.
  • Parents are welcome whether they already have a pet dog or not.
  • $70 payment for each series of three workshops to cover resource packs and light refreshments.

Long-term Support Available

Following the workshops, the PAWS team will offer ongoing support to families, through a variety of media, from telephone support to an online forum and family support network.

For more information, please call 1800 688 364 or email us.

PAWS is sponsored by our Foundation Sponsor

RSI Trust Logo