Our Training Program

How do our puppies become life changing autism assistance dogs?

At just 3 days old...

The litters that we breed are reared in the home of one of our dedicated volunteers under the supervision of our team. They will stay with their mammy, siblings and foster family until they are 8 weeks of age. This is a very important period and at 3 days old they begin their journey to becoming an assistance dog with early neurological stimulation. But this is just the beginning...

Every day I am learning...

At 8 weeks of age our pups enter our puppy foster care programme. They are placed with a volunteer foster family who, with the support and guidance from our puppy supervisor, socialise the puppy and provide a good foundation of training. In the early days this may include crate training, house training and socialisation training. As the puppy gets older they will learn obedience skills i.e. lead training, recall, wait, stay etc. They will also be encouraged to develop a good work ethic and to work under distracting situations. Above all, the main focus is to ensure the puppy experiences as many places and situations as possible in a positive manner so they will be prepared for all the enviroments that they will need to visit with their future child companion.

Please do not touch...

When people see one of our gorgeous autism assistance puppies in training, it is really important that they are not rubbed or distracted from their learning. This is because we are all working to teach them how to focus on concentrating on the person who is holding the lead, and eventually, the child with autism who will be attached with the dog.

Meeting my teacher and doing my homework...

Apart from winning hearts with my cuteness, I am working hard to pass each of my 'puppy in training' certificates. I meet the puppy supervisor with my foster family regularly. The puppy supervisor gives me homework to do. I have to go to puppy classes so I can move through each stage of my 'task specific' training. I am destined for great things, but my foster family, the AADI staff and I have to put in a lot of hard work so I can be a super autism assistance dog someday.

It's ALL about positive reward based training...

All of our training is done using positive reward based training. People sometimes think that a pet dog will make an impact for a child with autism, but the truth is that it takes us up to 2 years to get our dogs to the standard that is critical to change the world for a child with autism.

You can support and follow the journey of a puppy in training by sponsoring a puppy. All of our amazing puppy sponsors recieve regular updates and insights into their chosen puppies unique journey to becoming a life changing support for a child with autism.

Sponsor a Puppy