I want to have a Mindful Dog…
The most important step to your companion becoming a Mindful Dog is ensuring your companion is suitably trained to behave like a Mindful Dog.
A Mindful Dog is able to demonstrate sensible and obedient behaviour in a rage of settings, environments, around other animals and children. A Mindful Dog is able to sit, stay and drop on command. They can also come immediately when called in any situation without becoming boisterous or over excited.
A Mindful Dog won’t demonstrate boisterous behaviour, nuisance barking, growling, show their teeth in aggression, lunge at other people or dogs, bite other people or dogs, act in an aggressive manner, show excessive fear of people or other animals, or inappropriately eliminate. If your companion shows these behaviours, they are not yet ready for public access work. If your dog shows these behaviours, they will not be able to be accredited as a Mindful Dog.
There are three ways to complete training with your companion.
1 – You can do it yourself, which we encourage
At Mindful Dogs, we encourage and promote building a healthy working partnership with your companion. This is done through working together through Positive Reinforcement Training. This means that when your companion exhibits desirable behaviour, they are rewarded with a pairing of praise and treats. This can eventually be worn down to only receiving praise every time behaviour is shown and the occasional treat.
There are plenty of helpful resources online or in book stores to assist you if you are unsure how to complete this training on your own confidently. We also have helpful guides on our resources page.
Positive reinforcement training will help and promote the bonding and partnership between you and your companion, to enable your best working relationship.
2 – You can join a local obedience club which is usually inexpensive
This is a fabulous way to train your companion. This allows you to create a working bond with them, whilst working in a structured environment. When in this setting, you will receive exposure to a range of scenarios, including being around other dogs and learning to behave around them, working around other people, as well as training in a new environment to the home. This is also a fantastic way to gain assistance and support while training your companion at home, outside of these classes. You are not required to state why you are training your companion at these clubs if you are not comfortable doing so.
3 – You can work with a professional trainer, in a one-on-one setting.
This is a more expensive option for training your companion. We recommend trainers from Sit Drop Stay, 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 etc are worked out between the two of you.
Trainee status lasts for up to 18 months. When you think your dog is ready during that time, you can choose to sit the Public Access Test.
Certification lasts for 3 years. Then we connect with you and check everything is going ok. We may retest your dog.
In addition to their exemplary behaviour, all Mindful Dogs must be registered with the ACT Government and must also be microchipped. Proof of these must be provided to Mindful Dogs upon application.
All Mindful Dogs must be at least six months old and be desexed before full certification can be granted. Your companion must also be fully vaccinated and in good health.
Please note, we are only able to certify one dog per person.
Under the Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 amended 2009 (hereafter DDA) all assistance dogs are guaranteed access to all public places in Australia. This is implemented by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The costs of becoming a Mindful Dog are as follows:
$200 upon application or $150 for pensioners. Once your application and payment have been received, you application will be reviewed, and if it is approved your companion will be awarded trainee status.
You will receive a ‘Welcome Pack’ containing an introductory letter, your dog’s ID, companion cards and a Trainee Jacket for your companion. This permits you to take him to any public space for the purposes of training. Your dog will need to be fully trained as per the guidelines. Advice on ways to train your dog are below, and we have plenty of resources to assist you in all options on our resources page, found here.
When your companion is ready and you believe they are sufficiently trained, you will need to complete the Public Access Training Test. Once your dog has passed the test, we charge a fee of $250, or $175 if you’re unemployed or receiving a pension. This covers the cost of his new Mindful Dogs vest and ID. He is now a certified Mindful Dog with all the rights that involves – ie. he can go anywhere with you.
Re-certification costs: employed $150 and pensioner $75. We may waive these costs if we think it appropriate to do so.
If you don’t already have a dog, depending on where you live, we may be able to assist you to find a suitable companion.