Applications temporarily closed

Due to overwhelming demand, we have temporarily closed the application process for this program. We are working hard to reopen the process and provide the best service we can to those who could benefit from one of our extraordinary dogs. 

This page will be updated when applications reopen for this program.

People with physical disabilities program

For over 20 years, we have been training and placing very special dogs with Australians with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, and those injured in serious accidents. The benefits are immediate and impactful — reducing stress and isolation for individuals and families, while improving relationships and allowing people with disabilities to save much-needed money on paid care. Our program considers applications regardless of race, gender or religion.

Additionally, recipients of dogs are more likely to venture out of the house with their buddy, increasing their physical activity and often reducing reliance on medication. And the bigger picture? Physical Disability dogs lower taxpayer costs to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and help people with disabilities participate more actively in their community, stimulating the economy and helping to educate the public about their very special companion.

For people with physical disabilities, dogs are trained to do tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Retrieving dropped items
  • Opening and closing doors, wardrobes and drawers
  • Opening and retrieving items from the fridge
  • Pulling washing out of the machine (front loaders only)
  • Removing items of clothing such as socks and jumpers
  • Retrieving the phone
  • Alert bark if their owner fall out of their wheelchair or is in danger
  • Press the buttons at the traffic lights and lifts
  • Accompany their owner on public transport
  • Brace when need to support their owner if they become unstable in their chair
  • Emergency bark
  • Deliver and retrieve items at the shop counter
  • Help carry or pick up shopping items

A Physical Disability Service Dog has full public access rights meaning they are allowed in any public place* and on all public transport. It is illegal to refuse entry to a Service Dog*.

*The only exceptions are zoos, aquariums, sterile environments, food preparation areas and quarantine areas.

People who receive a Physical Disability Service Dog are provided with a photographic identity badge as proof of Service Dog status, which they must take with them in public, and a Service Dog jacket for the dog.

Physical Assistance Dogs Program and the NDIS

Assistance Dogs Australia is a registered provider of services under the NDIS. We offer various services under the Physical Assistance Dogs Program which are potentially claimable from an NDIS plan. Our team can assist you to understand the funding areas in your plan that can be utilised towards participation in the program. We can also provide assistance and advice in preparing a request to apply for specific funding in the plan for the costs associated with the Physical Assistance Dogs Program.

How can I apply for a Physical Disability Service Dog?*

*Please note that currently our Physical Disability Service Application process is on hold due to overwhelming demand and the immense success of this program. We are working hard to reopen the application process and provide the best service we can, as soon as we can, to those who could benefit from one of our extraordinary dogs.

It costs over $60,000 to train and place an Assistance Dog.

Your donation helps covers training, vaccinations, food and equipment for an Assistance Dog, who is given to a client free of charge.

Donate Now

About us  |  Support us  |  Services  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Contact us