Brood Carer FAQs

What is a Brood Carer?

A Brood Carer is someone who looks after one of our Assistance Dogs Australia (ADA) Brood dogs (our Mums-to-be). You provide the brood with a home and take responsibility for her. You will also providing support during her pregnancy, when she is giving birth and then caring for both the brood and her puppies in the weeks after birth.

The time devoted to the role changes – but your dog will need you most when she is giving birth, and the seven-eight weeks following birth, until the puppies leave to be placed with their Puppy Educators.  


What does the role of Brood Carer involve?
  • To provide a safe, secure and welcoming environment
  • To feed and care for the brood as advised by your ADA contact
  • To provide support to the brood when she’s giving birth in your home, with the support of your ADA contact
  • To ensure, if and when appropriate, that the dog receives emergency veterinary care as soon as possible, and that ADA are informed at the earliest opportunity
  • All non-emergency health issues should be reported to the Dog Care & Welfare Breeding Coordinator at the National Training School
Where does Assistance Dogs Australia need Brood Carers?

A Brood Carer needs to live within a reasonable distance from our National Training School (NTS) in Waterfall, NSW. This is so that ADA can support you during the brood’s breeding career.

Would I need to drive the brood anywhere?

Travel maybe required to and from the National Training School (NTS) at Waterfall and Penrith, NSW, as well as local vets or breeding locations around the Sydney Metropolitan area. Most of the travel involved will be at the time that the brood is in heat and/or needs veterinary care.

What skills and experience are required to be a Brood Carer?
  • An overall caring and loving attitude towards dogs
  • Good communication skills
  • Dog handling experience preferred but not essential
  • Valid driving licence and access to a car you are insured to drive
What support & training is provided?
  • Regular and ongoing support from Assistance Dogs Australia
  • Basic induction to Assistance Dogs, and to the role of Brood Carer
  • An opportunity to take part in any general Assistance Dogs Australia volunteer training that is available locally
  • Equipment, veterinary care, food & preventatives needed to maintain the Brood’s optimum health & welfare, and rear a litter
How old must I be to apply?

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.

What if I have other pets at home?

Families who have other pets in the home are welcome to apply to be a Brood Carer. We try to match your lifestyle and your family pet’s temperament, to best suit the brood’s needs. We need to make sure the welfare of all animals is taken into consideration. To achieve the best outcome for our brood and her litter there should be no more than 2 other dogs in the home, and all dogs should be over 18 months of age.

Where will the brood and her litter sleep?

Our brood and her litter of puppies must be accommodated inside your home, to keep them safe and sound. Your ADA contact will be able to advise you on the best location for the brood to sleep in your home, as well as where to accommodate the litter during the different phases of development.

How long will the brood stay with me for?

The brood caring period may vary according to the number of litters planned, but in general, our broods breeding career will be over the optimum breeding period of 5 years. In this time they will have up to four litters .

Once retired from the program, our aim is for the brood to stay with you as the family pet, or if you are unable to keep the brood, we will find another suitable family.

Please note that Assistance Dogs Australia can ask for the brood to be returned at any time during the brood’s breeding career, up until they are released from the Breeding Program.

It costs over $40,000 to train and place an Assistance Dog.

Your donation will go towards the training and development of our Super Pups and to developing our growing programs servicing the community.

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