Assistance dogs have their day at Wilson-based training centre

Kathleen Wisniewski with Barney, Tracey Gregory with Pact, Carolyne Carey with Rufus and Kaye Few with Phoenix. Picture: Marie Nirme        www.communitypix.com.au   d446086
Kathleen Wisniewski with Barney, Tracey Gregory with Pact, Carolyne Carey with Rufus and Kaye Few with Phoenix. Picture: Marie Nirme        www.communitypix.com.au d446086

IT is an exciting time for four two-year-old labradors who have joined young Perth families as assistance dogs.

Earlier this month, Rufus, Barney, Phoenix and Pact graduated from intensive training at the Wilson-based Assistance Dogs Australia National Training Centre to become assistance dogs for children with autism.

Assistance dogs for children with autism spectrum disorder is an emerging trend that offers a range of benefits to both the child and their family.

Assistance dogs can help with children’s emotional regulation and behaviour, reduce parenting stress, increase socialisation opportunities for families, and provide companionship and skill development for children.

The dogs learnt a range of skills to help their future owners with everyday life at home with volunteer puppy raisers.

Last week, the families took part in a weeklong training workshop with their new dogs and the staff from Assistance Dogs Australia (ADA), which included visits to shopping centres, cinemas and public places.

ADA programs manager Alberto Alvarez-Campos said the dogs would be life changing to their new families.

“We are very excited to place four dogs at the same time and change the lives of four families,” he said.