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Canine Helpers is a community support organisation that provides assistance to people with a disability through the training and placement of different types of assistance dogs, including:

  • Service Dogs for people with physical disabilities
  • Therapy Dogs for people with many other types of disabilities

Canine Helpers is the first non-profit organisation accredited under the new Queensland Legislation as a Certified Assistance Dog Training Organisation.

Canine Helpers provides an individually tailored program so that each client receives an Assistance Dog that is perfectly suited to their needs. We provide a highly specialized service to the disabled community and it is the only one of its kind in Brisbane.

While we strive to offer our services to those who need them throughout Australia, current funding levels limit us to South East Queensland at this time.

What we offer

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Service Dogs provide valuable physical assistance to a person with a physical disability. They allow that person to take part in activities that they otherwise might not be able to do and help them with activities of daily living so that they may be able to live more independently. Service Dogs can perform tasks such as opening doors,
By assisting their owner with certain tasks such as pulling the wheelchair, Service Dogs can help their owner to save their strength for other activities. Because of this, and their increased independence, some Service Dog users have found employment or moved out of care facilities with the help of their dog. Service Dogs can also save the owner money by reducing their need for paid care.
Service Dogs are very highly trained animals that take a long time, and a lot of money to train. The amount of time required to train a Service Dog is the same as that of a Guide Dog. If you encounter a Service Dog (or any type of Assistance Dog) when wearing its identification coat, please remember that it deserves the same respect that you would afford a Guide Dog. Please do not try to touch or talk to the Service Dog without first asking its handler.

Service Dogs Can

  • Lift and carry items
  • Retrieve dropped or lost items
  • Be used as a brace for people with walking difficulty
  • Open and close doors
  • Activate light switches
  • Pull a manual wheelchair
  • Accompany their owner in public
  • Bark an alert for help
  • Assist with daily tasks such as making the bed, doing the laundry etc
  • Move limbs for people with paralysis
  • And many more.......

Service dogs are also a wonderful companion and friend to their owner. Often people comment that the emotional and social benefits of having a service dog are of equal importance to the physical benefits. Service dogs help people to make friends, encourage an initial talking point for first time meetings and also give people the opportunity to gain self-esteem by doing things for themselves..


Therapy Dogs are trained for families and individuals who have a dog to assist a person with a disability. That disability may be physical, emotional, intellectual or developmental in nature. Therapy Dogs can help improve the quality of life of someone with a developmental or social disability. People who have a physical disability and require some, but not all, of the physical assistance provided by a service dog may be granted a Therapy Dog.

A Therapy Dog must provide a service to the person with a disability which goes beyond what a normal, well trained pet dog could provide.

In addition to fulfilling all of the standards that each Canine Helpers dogs is required to fulfill, Therapy Dogs also meet the following criteria:

  • All Therapy Dogs must have completed a minimum of 120 hours of training.
  • All Therapy Dogs must have spent a minimum of 6 months in training with a Canine Helpers trainer.
  • Therapy Dogs have spent at least 24 hours training in high distraction public places.


For owners who have trained their own dog to assist them, Canine Helpers can evaluate and certify privately trained assistance dogs through our Private Certification Program.

In addition to fulfilling all of the standards that each Canine Helpers dog is required to fulfill, Service Dogs also meet the following criteria:

  • All Dogs must have completed a minimum of 120 hours of training.
  • Dogs have spent at least 30 hours training in high distraction public places.
  • Dog handlers complete a 6 months training course.(Meeting Monthly)
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