Guide Dogs are the “ears”….Assistance Dogs are the “hands”.
Guide Dogs are trained to assist people who are blind or visually impaired.
An Assistance Dog is a specially trained dog that is trained to perform everyday tasks, for people living with a wide range of disabilities. Assistance Dogs Australia use two dog breeds to train into Assistance dogs, these are the Labradors and Golden Retrievers.
They offer support to people with disabilities such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, developmental disabilities such as autism, and mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Assistance Dogs increase independence, reduce reliance on human caregivers and act as a great ice-breaker helping overcome social isolation.
Assistance Dogs are trained and matched up for three different roles to assist people with disabilities:-
People with Physical Disabilities
Children in Need (Autism, Reading Issues etc)
Facility Living (Aged Care, Schools, Hospices etc)
Each Assistance Dog takes two years to train at a cost of AUD$27,000. Dogs are placed free of charge to people who need them.
Check out this video below, which shows some of what is involved in training these incredible dogs and how they make such a difference in the lives of their owners.
See the training that goes into these amazing dogs
The work carried out by the organisations that train these Assistance Dogs around the world is invaluable and they rely heavily on donations to undertake the training of these dogs. So please contact your local Assistance Dog Organisation, to offer any support that you can.
This information was gathered from Assistance Dogs Australia, who do amazing work to help people in need of assistance, independance, support and friendship.