Assistance Dogs – The Process

  • Do you meet the Eligibility criteria and have a need for support of an Assistance dog.
    • Please download and read the eligibility document at the bottom of the page by clicking on the button.
  • If you meet the Eligibility Criteria
    • You can fill out the Application form and submit it 
    • You can fill out the Enquiry form if you require further information and submit it 
  • Helping Paws will contact you by telephone after receiving your Application form
    • We will phone you to discuss:
      • Information in your Application Form and the Fee Structure
      • Temperament of your dog
      • The trainable tasks you are requiring your dog to do for you
      • Answer any questions you may have
      • Set up face to face appointment
  • First meeting with Helping Paws Service Dog Training, trainer:
    • This meeting will be in a low distraction area such as a public park
    • The trainer will observe and fill out a temperament test form of your dog in a public space
    • The trainer will observe and review your dogs training needs and provide you with the ‘How to earn a Training Jacket and ID Card’ information and the final Administration forms to be filled out.
  • At this stage of the process and if everything is approved, we will work on reaching the training jacket standard.
    • Training goals and training notes will be provided for you to work on, based on the observations from the last meeting.
    • These training goals and notes are individualised to take in to account any possible impact on your disability .
    • Once your dog is at standard we will provide you with an ID card, training jacket for your dog and a happy mat.
    • We will provide you with a fact sheet of what you can/can not do and what other people can/cannot do when you are out in public places training
    • We will be there to support and work with you throughout this stage as we know it can be a challenging part of the process
  • Training
    • The training process is really up to you, this is where you will need to put the effort and the work in to have your dog reach Public Access Test (PAT) standard.
    • We will provide you with all the training information, support and individualised training plans, however the rest is up to you.
    • Please provide videos if possible.
    • We will have regular face to face contact (we may video some of these sessions as it makes it easy to explain what we have seen) and phone contact on the off weeks. You will need to fill out a log sheet of the training that you did with your dog through the week. This is an electronic form.
    • It is really your time to shine here!
  • Ready to do the PAT
    • At this stage of the process we would have spent some considerable time with you and your dog. We will know when you and your dog are ready to do this test
    • We will provide you with all the information that we possibly can
    • We will provide you with all the support that you require as we understand that this can be a stressful time for you
    • We will do a dry run of the PAT to see if there are any issues of risk
    • Please rest assured we will do our utmost to ensure that you and your dog are ready for this testing
  • Successful PAT
    • When you have successfully completed your PAT with HPSDT you will become known as an accredited team and issued a new ID Card. This means that you have met the standard as per the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
    • You will be retested every 3 years to ensure that you meeting the required standard of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992
    • We do not leave you on your own, we will always be here to check in on you to see how you are doing, to help you train for any new tasks that you need your dog to do for you and if you are having any difficulties with your dog

Please note that this process listed above is our full process, we understand that everyone who has a disability is unique and will work at their own pace and that is okay we are here to support you through this journey,