Emma's dream is to get a Guide Dog

Your gift could help children like Emma to be independent and achieve their dream.

Emma with Guide dog.

Emma's dream is to get a Guide Dog

Your gift could help children like Emma to be independent and achieve their dream.

Emma with Guide Dog Donate today

About the Therapy Dog Program

The Therapy Dog Program is a community focused service we have offered for over 30 years. A Therapy Dog provides comfort, companionship and emotional support to individuals, families, and people visiting or living in facilities. Therapy Dogs can particularly support people who experience:

  • behavioural, emotional, developmental and mental health conditions
  • physical disabilities
  • isolation caused by age or illness.

We currently offer two Therapy Dog Programs: Therapy Dogs for individuals and Therapy Dogs for residential facilities.

A yellow Pets as Therapy Guide Dog, laying on the ground, looking straight to camera.

Am I eligible for a Therapy Dog?

Please see the Therapy Dog Self-Assessment to check for your eligibility. Please note you will be required to complete this self-assessment as part of your application if you choose to proceed.

A client and their black Guide Dog looking at each other.

Do Therapy Dogs have public access rights?

Therapy Dogs are placed with clients in the capacity of a companion animal, not an assistance animal. Therefore, they do not have public access rights.

Although Therapy Dogs are matched to clients based on carefully considered criteria, they are not trained in behaviours to specifically assist with alleviating health concerns and so cannot be considered an Assistance Animal. Please see www.assistancedogsinternational.org for more information regarding assistance dog standards and types.

Should you wish to take your Therapy Dog into public places—like medical appointments, school grounds, café’s, or other similar places—you will need to seek permission from each individual establishment which may or may not grant access.

Therapy Dogs are permitted in housing under the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT complies with the Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Companion Animals Act 1988 NSW Legislation in relation to welfare, training, allocation, and public access of Therapy Dogs.

Young girl lying on the floor smiling and facing an adult yellow Labrador with her hands on the dogs paws.

What breeds are Therapy Dogs?

Dogs used in the Therapy Dog Program are Labrador Retrievers, and Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. We do not offer small breed dogs.

Side profile of a black Labrador Pets as Therapy Guide Dog

What age are Therapy Dogs?

Dogs in the Therapy Dog Program are typically placed with clients when they are 14-18 months of age.

Side profile of a yellow Labrador

Do you provide low allergenic dogs?

Unfortunately, no. If you experience allergic reactions to dog hair, please be aware that Labradors and Labrador/Golden Retriever mixes shed a lot of hair, and this may irritate people with allergies to dog hair.

Close up of a black Labrador, looking away from the camera.

How can I receive a Therapy Dog?

  1. Request an application via email or phone: 02 4579 7555.
  2. Complete the application and return to tdp@guidedogs.com.au or post to Guide Dog Centre PO Box 3104 Freemans Reach NSW 2756.
  3. A member from the Therapy Dog Program Team will contact you to discuss your application and potentially arrange an in-home or in-facility assessment.
  4. If successful, you will be placed on the waiting list for a dog match.
A Pets as Therapy Guide Dog, looking directly to the camera.

How can I support the program?

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is a sponsor, donor and volunteer-driven charity which receives less than 10% funding from the government.

Donate now to support the Therapy Dogs program.

Public generosity allows dogs from the Therapy Dog Program to be placed with clients free of charge. However, if you are applying for a Therapy Dog, please consider the ongoing costs of dog ownership as outlined in the Self-Assessment.

To apply for a Therapy Dog for yourself, a family member or your facility please contact tdp@guidedogs.com.au or the Guide Dog Centre on 02 4579 7555 and request an application.

How to get in contact

For more information please contact tdp@guidedogs.com.au or call the Guide Dog Centre on (02) 4579 7555.