Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs are specially trained working dogs, to help people living with disabilities or limitations. They help complete everyday activities and retain their independence. They have legal access rights to public places over and above those of a pet dog.

An assistance dog must complete an independent assessment through Assistance Dogs International (ADI) to have full public access rights.

Please note: Although Guide Dogs and Autism Assistance Dogs do meet required criteria, as an organisation, Guide Dogs WA are only able to train dogs within our own programs. We are unable to train external pet or companion dogs. We do not provide a gateway to ADI certification.

What Jobs Do Assistance Dogs Have?

Dogs can be trained to fulfill a number of different jobs including:

  • Guide a vision impaired person to the shops or place of work. Learn more about Guide Dogs for the Blind.
  • Prevent an autistic child from running away or into danger. Learn about Autism Assistance Dogs for children on the autistic spectrum.

Although Guide Dogs WA do not currently train dogs in these roles (below), dogs are asked to perform the following jobs:

  • Alert to the potential onset of epileptic seizures or hypoglycaemia in diabetics.
  • Provide routine and grounding for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Provide emotional support in stressful situations for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (eg. on a plane or social gatherings).
  • Alert to the door bell or telephone ringing.
  • Retrieve items from hard to reach places or switch on lights.

These specially-trained dogs should not be fed, approached or distracted while they are working. This could endanger a handler if the dog fails to do its job because of a distraction.

Further Resources:

We suggest contacting these organisations for further information.

Assistance Dogs International
Assistance Dogs Australia
Australian Lions Hearing Dogs
Centre for Service & Therapy Dogs Australia
Dogs for Dementia
Paws for Diabetics

NB. this information is provided in good faith and is intended purely as an information resource. Guide Dogs WA are not affiliated with these organisations and we cannot be held responsible for the content of websites or the services provided.

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