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The Blog

Post Lockdown Public Access

For all of us the last two years of the pandemic and related lockdowns has kept us at home with very limited access to the outside world. The few essential outings that assistance dogs teams have taken during this time in a lot of cases has not been enough to keep us at peak performance. As we start to venture out again most of us, me included,

Training During the Pandemic

I think we can all acknowledge how hard the last two years has been with Covid-19 impacting our lives on every level. Globally we are all struggling, and this has continued for much longer than many of us had expected. It truly is a trying time for us all, especially those of us working to train an assistance animal. I have had to constantly

Standardising Assistance Animal Legislation

As there has been a rapid growth in the use of assistance animals over the last decade there has been a vocal minority who want there to be a centralised register of assistance animals and want legislation to replace the Disability Discrimination Act and other state based laws pertaining to assistance animals. This on the surface sounds like a

Taking your pet to the shops

I am member of several camping/travelling Facebook groups and this comes up on a regular basis. People who decide that for whatever reason they should/can take their pet in to the shops. I have made a Facebook post about this, but I wanted to go in to even more detail in this blog post about why this causes harm to the assistance dog community.

Why should you buy from a registered ethical breeder?

First a disclaimer: There are no "bad" dogs. Only bad people. Its not the dogs fault how it was bred or who bred it, and every dog with the right health, training and temprement can become an assistance dog. But this blog post is for those of you who are considering where and how to purchase your potential assistance dog and about how to make wise

What is blocking and why is it useful?

Today we are going to talk about the task “Block”. Blocking is when the dog is positioned to provide a physical barrier between the handler and most often, other people. This physical buffer and the additional space the dog provides allows handlers to have reduced hypervigilance and anxiety. The dog doesn’t do anything but hold position.

Retiring Your Assistance Dog Part 1.

This blog post is going to read more like a diary entry then my usual posts tend to. This is a journey of BIG emotions and I’m sharing them because while I don’t have all the answers right now, in the future this experience is going to serve me to help my clients when they are ready to go through this experience too. I’m sure when it is all

The benefits of owner training - The Bond

Today brought me a lovely reminder about why I choose to work with owner trainers rather then place pretrained assistance dogs. While I do agree there is a time and a place that a pre-trained assistance dog may be more appropriate, I firmly believe that the bond that develops between a handler and their assistance dog when owner training can not

Assistance Dog Etiquette - The Shoe Rule

As assistance dog handlers we always strive to make sure we are adhering to the unofficial list of etiquette about how we manage and handle our dogs. We all strive to make sure our use of an assistance dog has as little impact or effect on the public as possible. We are very cognisant of the fact our right to have an assistance dog with us in a

When can you call your dog an “ADiT”

To be covered by federal law, the dog must meet the legislative requirement of being trained in the behaviour and hygiene for an animal in a public place. You might not have task work solid yet, but your obedience and toilet training needs to be up to scratch. Your dog must be fully toilet trained, able to heel on a leash and complete a 5 minute

Horses for Courses

There are lots of great trainers out there, but very few with experience training assistance dogs. While they may be great at training pet dogs, or even competition obedience or agility champions, the skill set required for an assistance dog is quite unique. Most dog schools train with the goal or guidelines of competition obedience in mind.

The Patch Paradox

Assistance dog vests are designed to display information about that dog’s status to the public, that is after all why we wear them. I know how tempting it can be to cover that vest in as many patches as you can possibly put on there - I mean the more patches you have - the more information you can convey and the less annoying questions the

Pets can help people manage mental illness, but psychatric assistance dogs can do so much more

While I was scrolling though my Facebook feed I came across this report from the ABC. "There is significant evidence owning a pet has benefits for general well being, but new research has found that pets can also play an important role in the daily management of long-term mental illness. When people living with serious mental illness were asked