Helpful Resources

Useful Sites to Visit

Information from Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dog Queensland website. 

Approved Trainers and Training Organisations –

Choosing a Guide, Hearing or Assistance Dog – 

Completing the public access test and certifying your dog –

Obtaining a Handler Identity Card –

Accessing Public Places –

Traveling with a Guide, Hearing or Assistance Dog –


You can find information on state and federal government here –

Public Access Test

Example of a Public Access Test –

Different Australian State registration and accreditation of an Assistance Dog. 


WA –



No offical registration or legislation for the following states currently – NSW, VIC, NT and TAS. Please contact your local state government for information on your states public access rights for an Assistance Dog. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Assistance Dogs

We don’t have waiting lists that are years long as we don’t like to put our handler families under the pressure of waiting for years to gain their guide, hearing or assistance dog.  We will make an announcement on our social media platforms and website when we are ready to take on new applications for handlers.  We then go through the process of selecting then conducting face to face interviews with potential clients to ensure that we will make a great team working together as we will be connected for the working life of the dog. We never lose our service dogs when we transition them across to their handlers, we just gain another family into the Empower Assistance Dog community.  We also believe in quality rather than quantity so we concentrate on a select number of clients at each intake.

It costs between $25k to $35k to breed, select, raise, train, and transition an assistance dog across to a handler to undergo the public access test for their government certification.  The range in cost really depends on the amount of tasks that each individual dog will be required to do for their handler.  We have a breeding program that uses service dog lines that we access from a geneticist that supplies service dog training organisations all around the world, ensuring we start our training with the best possible candidate dogs that are purposely bred to do this job.

No, we train our dogs to be placed within the home of a person with disability to help enhance their quality of life and independence.  We would never wish to have to take a dog away from a person that has loved and bonded with that dog.  Empower Assistance Dogs retains ownership of the dog’s jacket or harness.  If the handler does not maintain the dog’s behaviour to the level that is required under the Qld Government Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dog Legislation 2009, Empower Assistance Dogs will cancel the dog and handler’s certification under the Act, and request that the jacket or harness be returned to the organisation.

Therapy and Facility Dogs

A Therapy Dog is a dog that has undergone training with its owner to ensure it has the correct social skills to provide safe interaction with students, clients, or patients, possibly in a variety of different environments.  The handler is a volunteer that wishes to use their dog to provide an emotional interaction for the purpose of helping others.  Therapy Dogs do not have any public access rights under legislation other than having private agreements with the sites that they are required to visit with their handler.

A Facility Dog is usually a dog that has undergone training to ensure it has the correct social skills to provide interaction with students, clients, or patients of the handler.  There is usually an agreement for the dog to work in a particular site, but this dog does not have any public access rights under legislation other than to access the facilities or sites where they are required to work.

For any enquiries regarding Therapy or Facility dogs, please email and we will respond to your email within 48 hours. 

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