Become a B&Ber – Victoria

Victorian Bed and Breakfast carers — or B&Bers — look after dogs undergoing Advanced Training. A trainer will pick up the dog for training most weekdays. The role is perfect for those who would love the company of an older dog (14 months of age or over) in the evenings and on weekends. People who work or study during usual work hours are welcome to apply too.

B&Ber – Victoria


Victorian Bed and Breakfast carers look after dogs while they are undergoing Advanced Training. A trainer will pick up the dog for training most weekdays.

After training they are returned back to the B&Ber for rest and play, and to practice their house manners.

A B&Ber receives the same training as a Puppy Carer, to provide consistency in training of the Assistance Dogs Australia pup.

B&Bers play an important role in maintaining and building on the training of a well-rounded Assistance Dog, and get to enjoy quality time with a super dog in the making.

Requirements for B&B carers are:
• secure fencing and a side gate, or some way for staff to access to the dog if no-one is home
• allow the dog to live and sleep indoors as part of the family
• willing to maintain the dog’s basic training and good manners
• able to commit to either caring for one dog for 5-6 months until they are placed with a client, or doing regular temporary care for 1-4 weeks at a time.

Assistance Dogs Australia provide:
• basic dog handling skills training for B&B
• all food and medical for the dog-in-training
• basic start-up kit of equipment.

Become a B&Ber

B&Ber FAQs

What is a B&Ber?

Bed and Breakfast – B&Bers – in Victoria are volunteers who look after dogs while they are undergoing Advanced Training. A trainer will pick up the dog for training most weekdays. After training they are returned back to the BnBer to have time for rest and play and to practice their house manners.

How old must I be to apply?

The applicants should be over 18 years old.  Children may be involved in the project, but full responsibility should be with an adult member of the family. Only the adult can be the primary handler of the dog and should be the one handling the pup while out and about in public.

Can I still be a B&Ber if I have young children?

Families with children under four are welcome to apply, but please be aware that adding a dog to the family home will an create extra workload as children of this age still require supervision from the parent, especially in the presence of a dog. This will be discussed and assessed during the application process.

Do I need to have a Police Check to be a B&Ber?

A Police Check is required to volunteer as a B&Ber, the cost of which will be reimbursed to you by Assistance Dogs Australia.

What is my role as a B&Ber?

The B&Bers role is to provide a safe but stimulating environment for the dog while it is not out with its trainer.

Here are some of the training tasks a B&Ber may be required to maintain in their dog:
• Daily care of the dog, eg. feeding and grooming.
• Good house manners, eg. no jumping on people, no feeding from the table.
• Specific training as advised by the dog’s trainer, so that consistency in the dog’s training is maintained during the time the dog is with you.

    How much support and training is given?

    B&Bers will receive an induction and initial training at the time of placement. The dog’s trainer will be in contact with you at least once a month to help with any issues and show you specific training goals. They can be contacted if you have any concerns during a dog’s stay with you.

    What if I have other pets in the house?

    Families who have other pets are welcome to apply. We try to match your lifestyle and your family pet’s temperament, to best suit the dog’s needs. We need to make sure the welfare of all animals is taken into consideration. To achieve the best outcome for our dogs there should be no more than one other dog in the home. The family dog should be over 18 months of age.

    I live in an apartment. Can I still be considered as a B&Ber?

    Yes, apartment dwellers are considered, as long as the dog can be accessed by the trainer. The dog will need regular exercise, a place to toilet, and a safe play area.

    I don’t drive. Can I still apply?

    Daily access to a car is a requirement in case of emergencies (for vet visits). This can be your own car or with the assistance of a trusted neighbour/friend/family member that lives nearby. The dog in your care needs to become comfortable with car travel.

    Can I take the dog on a walk?

    For B&B volunteers, we generally recommend no walks for the dog on weekdays when they have had training, unless advised by the trainer. Weekend walks are encouraged. The main objective is giving time for the dog to relax in a home environment, with some playtime and a chance to practice their house manners. If you need to go out, the dog can be left in at home for up to four hours in a safe area, as discussed with the trainer.

    Can my dog go into shopping centres, cafes etc. with me?

    The Right of Access is different in each state/territory in Australia. In most states, full public access is only awarded to an accredited Assistance Dog team. While the dog is in your care, it has no legal right of entry for indoor public spaces; outdoor cafes seating is allowed.

    What type of person makes a good B&Ber?

    The B&B program is open to families, singles and retired people who fit all the other criteria. There is no blueprint for the roles and each case is considered individually. Of course, you must love dogs, be open and willing to learn how to support them in their learning journey, and dedicate time and energy to this.

    I’ve never owned a dog before. Can I still apply?

    Experience is not required, as we will teach you how to care for and educate the dog in your care. A sensible love of dogs is required.

    Where will the dog sleep?

    The dog will need to sleep inside the home and the trainer will discuss this with you at the initial home visit. Our dogs are crate-trained but most do not need to be in a crate during their time in with you while they are doing Advanced Training.

    Want to be a Puppy Volunteer?

    Yes, I want to help change lives by looking after puppies.

    Apply Now

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