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Guide Dog Access Rights

Yellow labrador puppy wearing an orange training coat.Guide and Assistance Dogs are allowed access to everywhere their handler goes – and this includes dogs in training.

Under the Dog Act 1976 – Section 8, it is an offence to refuse entry to a person accompanied by a Guide or Assistance Dog including dogs in training; the only exceptions to this rule are operating theatres and some areas of zoos (such as the walk-through exhibits).

The Legalities

Section 8 of The Dog Act 1976 defines an Assistance Dog as one:

“that is trained or is being trained by a representative of an organisation
that is prescribed for the purposes of this definition”

Section 8 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 provides that to refuse a Guide or Assistance Dog, effectively, discriminates against a person with a disability.

How To Identify Guide Dogs & Autism Assistance Dogs

Guide Dogs and those in training are easy to recognise. A white harness indicates that the Guide Dog is working with their owner. A brown harness indicates that the dog is in training with a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor. An orange “puppy-in-training” coat indicates that the Guide Dog puppy is learning how to behave in a range of environments.

Guide Dog in Training & Qualified Guide Dog Harnesses

Guide Dog Puppy & Autism Assistance Dog JacketsWhat can I do to help?

The best way to help is to spread the message: Guide Dogs Can Go Anywhere.

Like our Facebook page or register to hold a Community Fundraising event to raise awareness and funds to help provide more Guide Dogs to people who need them.

Are you a business owner?

Here are 5 handy tips you can use to make Guide Dog handlers feel welcome:

  1. Print the ‘Guide Dogs Can Go Anywhere’ poster and display it in your window to show support. Or contact us to receive a ‘Guide Dogs Can Go Anywhere’ sticker.
  2. Guide Dogs Can Go Anywhere StickerAlways speak to the Guide Dog user directly, not the dog. Never feed, pat or distract a Guide Dog in harness.
  3. Keep your entrance and high traffic areas free of obstacles or spills.
  4. Offer verbal information about your products or services. Don’t rely solely on signs or visual information.
  5. Address any concerns other customers may have by knowing the relevant legislation.

Which legislation governs Guide Dog and Guide Dog in training access rights?

The Disability Services Commission can provide more information on access legislation.

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