What does an Assistance Dog do?
- Open and close doors, drawers, cupboards and fridge
- Retrieved dropped items
- Press the button at the traffic lights
- Take the washing out of the machine
- Remove items of clothing
- Pay the cashier at the shops
- Alert bark if their owner is in danger
Apart from the tangible day-to-day tasks an Assistance Dog can:
- Assist with the development and improvement of motor skills
- Provide greater freedom and independence
- Reduce the need for a carer
- Improve self-esteem and confidence
- Give love and companionship
Assistance Dogs Australia provides Assistance Dogs and their recipients with public access rights in accordance to the rules and regulations of Assistance Dogs International.
Can Assistance Dogs Australia accredit or train my dog?
For state specific information, click below.
Does Assistance Dogs provide dogs for emotional therapy or train medical alert dogs?
Do Assistance Dogs have public access rights?
For more information on laws and regulations concerning the public access rights of Assistance Dogs please view the following references per state.
Other useful sites;
What kind of dogs does Assistance Dogs Australia train?
Assistance dogs Australia provides different types of dogs to assist people with different needs:
- Service Dogs – Trained to assist their owner in ways specific to their needs, Assistance Dogs Australia provides Services Dogs to people with physical disabilities, as well as Autism Support Dogs, PTSD Support Dogs and Dementia Support Dogs. All Service Dogs have full public access right so they can accompany their owner anywhere in the community.
- Support Dogs – Trained to provide support to everyone at institutions such as schools,learning centres and care homes.
Learn more about the different services we provide.
Who is eligible to apply for a dog?
How long will I have to wait for my Assistance Dog?
The first step is to fill in an application form which you can find on our website. Once submitted, a staff member will contact you within four weeks. You will then have a phone interview, a face-to-face interview before going on our waiting list. You will receive a final interview once a dog becomes available.
How can I get involved with the dogs?
Unfortunately we are unable to provide training courses for people wishing to become Assistance Dogs trainers. For more information about this please visit The Delta Society.
We cannot provide work experience opportunities to anyone under the age of 18.
What training methods does Assistance Dogs Australia use?
Assistance Dogs Australia’s trainers and volunteer puppy carers use positive reinforcement methods to elicit and motivate desired behaviours in our dogs. Desired behaviours are rewarded and undesired behaviours are redirected.
With Puppy Educators, Assistance Dogs learn basic obedience and experience appropriate socialisation activities in the community. Crate training is used to assist with toilet training and to provide puppies with a safe place to sleep. We socialise puppies with other animals and a variety of people so that they learn to be calm and confident in all situations.
When training at the National Training School, Assistance Dogs learn advanced tasks with qualified Assistance Dogs trainers such as pressing the button at the traffic lights. They also learn skills specifically tailored to the needs of their future recipient. Newly placed Assistance Dogs and their recipients undergo team training together before undertaking public access testing.
Why does it cost so much to train an Assistance Dog?
We do not receive government funding and therefore rely on the generosity of indivduals, corporate and philanthropic organisations to provide our vital services to the community.
Why can’t I pat an Assistance Dog?
Where does Assistance Dogs Australia get its puppies from?
We do not buy puppies from puppy farms or condone puppy farming.
Can I give an unsuccessful Assistance Dog a forever home?
At what age does an Assistance Dog stop working and what happens to them when they retire?
When they retire Assistance Dogs Australia ensures they find a loving ‘forever home’. Often this is within the client’s family or friends network.