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A Dogs for Good autism assistance dog gives the parent and child real independence. It also provides a safer environment for the child so they feel more secure.

Having unlimited access to public places with the dog enables the whole family to do simple things such as shopping, which may have been impossible before.

The dog wears a special harness which connects it to both parent and child, and acts on instructions from the parent while the child is encouraged to walk alongside the dog.

This offers greater independence to the child and parent, whilst ensuring the child is safe and unable to ‘bolt’ if they become stressed or anxious. ‘Bolting’ behaviour is also combated by training the assistance dog to automatically sit should the child attempt to run off.

A fully-trained autism assistance dog can help change behaviour by:

  • Introducing routines
  • Reducing bolting behaviour
  • Interrupting repetitive behaviour
  • Helping a child with autism cope with unfamiliar surroundings.

Download the information guide to find out more

How to apply

We are currently not accepting new applications. Please keep checking the website to see if we are accepting applications from your region.

To provide fairer access to all potential applicants, we currently use a ballot style approach. This approach ensures that we can provide our services in a timely manner to our applicants within our limited resources. The ballot approach is delivered in accordance with the Dogs for Good Application Ballot – General Conditions of Entry.

Our enquiry management system works on a postcode basis. This enables us to deal with the volume of enquiries we receive in an efficient and fair way, based on the demand for our services in any particular area/region and the resources we have available in that area.

If you have any queries then please look at our frequently asked questions.

Pet dogs for autism

Our Family Dog service explores the benefits that a pet dog can bring to families with a child with autism. Find out more about our Family Dog service