Puppy Volunteering


Join a passionate community, enjoy puppy cuddles, and feel rewarded. This could be one of the best things you’ve ever done.

There are four ways you can volunteer and have more puppy love in your life. You could be a Puppy Educator, Puppy Carer, B&Ber or Brood Carer. Read on to find out more about these roles.

Puppy Volunteers


Would you like to look after a puppy, with costs covered?

We need:

Puppy Educators


NSW – Sydney (North Shore, Inner west, East, Sutherland Shire, St George West – Orchard Hills and surrounding suburbs) & Northern Illawarra, Blue Mountains.
QLD – South Brisbane, Ipswich postcode area, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Northern Moreton Bay area
VIC – Melbourne (Mornington Peninsula, Blackburn, Box Hill & Vermont, Cockatoo and surrounding suburbs)


Breeding Dog Carers

Care for prospective breeding dog (mum-to-be) and her newborns (when the time comes).

Commitment: Full-time
Fitness required: Low-Moderate
Location: Sydney (Orchard Hills and surrounding suburbs, Blue Mountains, North Shore, Sutherland Shire, and Wollongong and surrounding suburbs, up to Waterfall)



QLD – Pups in Prison

Carer for one of our older Puppy Education or Advanced Training dogs from the Pups in Prison (PIP)

Commitment: Dogs have 3 weeks periods in PIP and then 3 weeks with their community carer (on rotation) for 6 months on average.

Fitness required: Moderate to High
Location: Ipswich postcode area and Gatton

B&Ber’s – NSW & VIC


Care for one of our Advanced Training dogs on weekends. Required to collect and return dogs from our training school in Orchard Hills.

Commitment: Flexible (minimum once every 2 months)
Fitness required: Low-Moderate
Location: Blue Mountains, Orchard Hills and surrounding suburbs


Care for one of our Advanced Training students on weeknights and weekends.

Commitment: 4 – 6 months
Fitness required: Low-Moderate
Location: Blackburn, Box Hill, Vermont, Croydon, Cockatoo and surrounding suburbs

Puppy Carers

Look after 8-week-old – 15-month-old super pups, for a few days, weeks or months at a time.

Commitment: Flexible
Fitness required: Moderate – High
NSW – Sydney (North Shore, Inner west, East, Sutherland Shire, St George West – Orchard Hills and surrounding suburbs) & Northern Illawarra, Blue Mountains.
QLD – South Brisbane, Ipswich postcode area, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Northern Moreton Bay area
VIC – Melbourne (Mornington Peninsula, Blackburn, Box Hill & Vermont, Cockatoo and surrounding suburbs)

What does Assistance Dogs Australia provide?

All food and supplements, training equipment, and tick, flea & worming preventatives are covered by Assistance Dogs Australia. All snuggles are provided by the puppy.

We don’t receive government funding and are only able to raise, train, and give our clients an Assistance Dog free of charge with the help of compassionate supporters like you. 

The joy of raising an Assistance Dog

As a Puppy Volunteer, you will witness some of the most precious (and heart-melting) moments in your puppy’s life. 

Your puppy will see you as the most important person in the world, and you will help teach or maintain skills they have learnt so far.

Your puppy can be with you in most public places, such as shops and on public transport.

Who becomes a Puppy Volunteer?

Puppy Volunteers are special people who give of their time, energy and home to help a puppy on its journey to becoming an Assistance Dog. 

It can take patience and dedication while a puppy is learning the ropes, but as each day passes, you will have the satisfaction of seeing them grow and blossom. 

Our Puppy Volunteers are usually animal lovers, who have some time and flexibility they want to use for something meaningful. 

They have a volunteer spirit and a desire to help others. They come from all stages of life, including retirees, people with flexible or home based jobs and stay at home parents – we even have some Puppy Volunteers who take their dog to work!

Who will you be helping?

Our Puppy Volunteers help us provide Assistance Dogs for:


  • People living with Physical Disabilities
  • Children and families living with Autism
  • First responders and defence force personnel living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Educational Support to assist in students with additional needs in the classroom environment.

Our Puppy Volunteers belong to a friendly and supportive family.

We are behind you every step of the way to provide support and guidance as you raise or look after a puppy. 

Besides providing all the training and feedback you need, all vet bills, food and supplements are covered by us.

You will also have the support of other Puppy Volunteers in your community. We have regular training meetups and social gatherings. 

It’s a labour of love

Puppy Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.

It takes a lot of time, love and patience to raise an Assistance Dog, so check below to see if you meet the criteria to apply.

  • Be available for puppy classes and home visits.
  • Have regular access to a car to transport your puppy.
  • Allow the puppy live and sleep inside the house.
  • Have a secure, fenced backyard, or an outdoor area.
  • Not leave the puppy alone for more than 4 hours a day.
  • Be patient, enjoy learning and playing games!
  • A police check is required, the cost will be reimbursed.
  • Families with children under five years old are ineligible.
  • Other pets in the home? That’s okay! Ideally there would be no more than one other dog in the household and that dog cannot be under 18 months old. Part of the application process will involve checking the temperament of your dog with one of our pups during the home visit interview.

Exploring your suitability to raise a puppy is easy

Are you excited at the idea of Puppy Volunteering  but not sure if your situation is suitable? 

Reach out for a conversation with us – you might be surprised! 

Or if you already know that Puppy Volunteering is something you’d like to do, fill in this form. Once we receive your details, the following will happen:


  • You can expect an email confirming your application, with some information to get you started.
  • You will receive a phone call from an Assistance Dogs Australia trainer within 10 days. This is a great opportunity to ask questions.
  • A police check would then be requested, and you would be invited to join an information session for Puppy Educators, Puppy Carers and B&Bers either at a venue or at a home interview.
  • Assistance Dogs Australia will then conduct a home interview and arrange for some handling practice, to make sure that your family is set up with everything you need to know in order to support our puppies in their training success.

Don’t take our word for it…

Irene and pup Winnie

“I recently had the privilege of being a puppy educator to a wonderful Assistance Dog puppy called Winnie. I was provided with on-going, expert guidance from lovely Fran at Assistance Dog Australia throughout the year, and always felt completely supported in Winnie’s care and training. The result was a joyful and unforgettable 10 months shared with the beautiful Winnie as she grew from a tiny puppy to an awesome adult.”

Gary and pup Laser

“It’s great to be a small part of something that will add so much value to someone’s life. I can’t describe how wonderful it is to be a part of Assistance Dogs Australia and how much support is provided by the whole Assistance Dogs Australia community.”

Yinna and pup Mocha

“Puppy Educating is dynamic, challenging and lots of fun. Being out and about with an Assistance Dog in Training is the closest I’ll get to being famous – (actually, it’s the puppy that gets the attention, not me). Helps an introvert like me to boost social confidence. It is such a rewarding journey. Love being a Puppy Educator!”

Gabby and pup Senna

 “The year we spent with Senna was intense but immensely rewarding. 

Being a part of this journey meant that we were able to see him grow and mature from an intelligent and affectionate little puppy who loved to learn into a beautiful and proud boy who was able to accomplish new skills on a daily basis.

Whilst it was an emotional rollercoaster when saying our goodbyes, we were and still are filled with pride for our little learner who will no doubt graduate and make someone’s life better.”

Want to be a Puppy Volunteer?

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

Apply Now

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