A companion dog is suitable for a child with autism who doesn’t need a dog for safety when out in public places.
These dogs are brought up on our puppy foster care programme and will be approximately 12-18 months old when they are placed with the child and their family. Companion dogs are dogs that are released from our program early because for one reason or another, we feel they will not reach the high health and training standard required to fully qualify as an assistant dog and meet the standards of Assistance Dogs International (our accrediting body). Companion dogs DO NOT have access to public places.
A Companion Dog act as a constant companion to the child with autism in their home environment, helping to give them a sense of responsibility, reassurance and support.
Autism companion dogs do not ask the child lots of questions, use humor that the child does not understand or expect the child to behave in certain ways that are difficult for the child to conform to.
Hence, families frequently talk about how the Companion Dog is like a non-judgemental best friend to their child with autism, a strong bond is formed and the child's quality of life improves dramatically