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Assistance Dogs

Assistance Dogs

As an experienced, qualified dog trainer, trainer/assessor for Minddog, I not only have credentials but first hand experience.

If you have a genuine need for an assistance dog (physical or psychological) that you require to take into public places not normally allowed by pet dogs then you and your dog need to pass a public access test (PAT). The term we use for this is an assistance or service dog.

What’s the difference between therapy and assistance

Therapy dogs are not required to undergo a public assess test (PAT) but have no more rights than a pet dog. Therapy dogs are doing a job to help a third party, ie a child or adult whom you take your dog to, for relief of stress or to enhance quality of life. A service dog or assistance dog (whether physical or psychiatric) is there to help the sole person (you its owner) 24/7, and is required to pass a PAT and should have current ID on them, this permits them into all public areas, with a couple of exceptions.  There are two legislations that cover this, in Qld we have The Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 and then the Commonwealth disability Discrimination Act. Your PAT is valid under either.

It can be very confusing as you start your search for information.

There are two ways to acquire an assistance dog.

Purchase a ready trained assistance dog from an organisation. This will come at a huge cost, but can suit some.

The other way is to self-train your own dog.  You may already have a dog or be looking to get a dog or puppy. Going through an organisation gives you support and reassurance that you are reaching the required training standard.

Psychiatric Assistance Dog

MindDog organisation is for individuals with a mental health disorder and a dog, (your own dog) mindDog will test that dog for suitability, oversee the training, test, and certify that dog as an assistance dog.  K9 Potential is affiliated with Minddogs to do assessing or training.  To find out more or to apply Go to

To enroll in the mindDog program, please use the online form 

Training is quite straightforward with clear requirements. You will receive ongoing support between training sessions. From your allotted trainer.

Assistance Dog For You Or A Family Member

MindDog is a not-for-profit organisation. You do need to qualify for such a dog and have your medical practitioner sign a form.  If you are just thinking about getting a dog/puppy to be your assistance dog and training privately then get in touch K9 Potential for help in choosing and training the right dog. 

The training style for any dog but particularly a service or assistance type dog should always be force free, so not using any equipment designed to inflict pain or any intimidation, bodily or vocal.

Fee Structure

For one on one training sessions the fees are $90 per session (1 hour). Travel may be extra. Clients may be able to use their NDIS funding. For Zoom sessions its $60

Pre assessment $135

Travel Costs

Where I need to travel 30-100K from Samford then expect to pay extra.