The Process

The process below outlines how to get started:

Before your dog becomes a mindDog there are some fundamentals you both have to know.

  • How good is your dog at basic obedience?
  • Will he walk calmly beside you on a loose lead without pulling or lunging?
  • Will he do it on command before you get in the car for a long drive?
  • Does he sit on command?
  • Will he drop and stay?
  • How is she with kids or other dogs?
  • Does he lift his leg inappropriately?
  • If you are in a busy place with lots of distractions, does him come when you call him?
  • Does she bark frantically if she’s excited?
  • And how about toileting?
These are all things your dog will have to be able to do before you sit your Public Access Test. If your dog is not so good at some of them, then your mindDog trainer will help you. There is also a list of books and videos on our Resources page.

So how does it work?

To become a mindDog, your dog must already have some basic obedience training. He must sit, down, stay, come, wait, and so on. A dog that demonstrates boisterous behavior, nuisance barking, hackles-up, growling, showing teeth, lunging, biting, aggression, excessive fear or inappropriate elimination is not ready for public access work.

Please think about this before you apply.

Registration, Microchip & Age:


All dogs must have current registration with your local council and must be microchipped. All pups must be at least six months old and de-sexed. We only certify one dog per person.

Your dog:


Do you have a suitable dog? If you are unsure, find out more here.

At Home Assessment


Once we have received your payment and application you will receive a booklet, which is an introduction to mindDog and contains a six-week home assessment for you and your dog. You fill this out yourself and there are no right or wrong answers — it’s really just information for us.

Trainee Status:


When you send the assessment back we will provide your dog with trainee status. He/she will receive a trainee mindDog vest and ID. This permits you to take him to any public space for the purposes of training. Trainee status lasts for 12 months.



When you think your dog is ready during that time, we will come to you and administer the Public Access Test. Once your dog has passed the test, we charge a fee of $250, $175 for Pensioners/Concession. This covers the cost of his new mindDog vests and ID. He/she is now a certified mindDog with all the rights that it involves and they can go anywhere with you. Certification lasts for 12 months. Then we come and visit you and check everything is still going okay. Re-certification costs $150 for those who are employed, $75 for a pensioner and is free for those who are homeless. We may waive these costs if we think it appropriate to do so.

There are three ways of training your dog:

General Donations

– Yourself –


You can do it yourself, which we encourage. We do not endorse sending your dog away to be trained by someone else. The bond formed by training your own dog is vital to his effectiveness as a mindDog.
Mental Health

– Obedience Club –


You can join a local obedience club, which is usually inexpensive. You do not have to tell anyone at the club why you are training your dog.

– Trainer –


You can work with a professional trainer. This is the most expensive option. We recommend trainers from Pet Professional Guild as they use positive response methods and are generally sensitive to the needs of our clients. Once the initial contact is made, we do not get involved in the relationship between trainer and client. Fees, sessions, needs and other details are worked out between the two of you.
Clients also have access to an online training and support forum on Facebook which has training tips, advice and support. If you are a current client and would like to access this resource, let us know by sending an email to

Download this Info

Download this PDF
Standards for Assistance Dogs Partners