Guide and Assistance Dog Access Rights

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Yellow labrador puppy in orange jacket

Did you know that under the Dog Act 1976 – SECT 8, Guide and Assistance Dogs are allowed access to everywhere their handler goes – and this includes dogs in training.

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).

These rights are covered by a variety of legislation including:

The Dog Act (1976), Section 8

The Disability Discrimination Act (1992), Section 8

How To Identify Guide Dogs & Autism Assistance Dogs


Guide and Assistance Dogs and those in training are easy to recognise as they wear different harnesses/jackets: 

Yellow labrador in white leather harness

White Leather Harness – Qualified Guide Dog

A white leather harness, with a rigid handle and reflective front panel indicates that this is a qualified Guide Dog, who is working with their owner. 

*The colour of harness for dogs trained by Guide Dogs WA is white. The colour of harness may vary for other Guide Dog training schools and in other states and territories.

Yellow labrador wearing a brown leather harness

Brown Leather Harness – Guide Dog in training

A brown leather harness, with a rigid handle and reflective front panel indicates that this is a Guide Dog in training, who is learning all the skills a Guide Dog needs to safely guide a Western Australian living with low vision.

Yellow labrador in orange Autism Assistance Dog jacketOrange Jacket – Autism Assistance Dog 


An orange canvas jacket with a black foam handle attached by soft straps indicates an Autism Assistance Dog.


They may be in training with a Guide Dogs WA trainer or they may be working with a child and their family.


An Autism Assistance Dog has the same public access rights as a Guide Dog.

Yellow labrador puppy with orange jacketOrange Jacket – Dog or Puppy in training 

An orange fabric jacket indicates a dog or puppy in training. Like a qualified Guide or Autism Assistance Dog, a puppy in training has access rights and can accompany their handler everywhere.  

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