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Yvonne is smiling while holding a chocolate coloured poodle cross, Freya. Freya is wearing a yellow and blue coloured MindDog vest and an orange bow tie.

Psychosocial/Psychiatric Assistance Dogs

This is an area of training that is unfortunately increasing in need. The demand for psychosocial / psychiatric assistance dogs is at an all-time high, with many people choosing to train their own dogs under the guidance of a professional trainer linked with organisations that provide a framework, support and Public Access Testing (PAT) Certification. 
I am a preferred trainer for 3 such Organisations: MindDog, Assistance Paws and Whiskey’s Wish. I am also an assessor for these organisations.

As your trainer I can give you the skills and knowledge to achieve the training standard necessary to pass the PAT. Once you have passed the PAT you are able to take your dog anywhere with you, as you are covered under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. There are a few exceptions such as operating theatres and commercial kitchens.

What is a psychosocial/psychiatric assistance dog?


Psychosocial / Psychiatric Assistance Dogs act intuitively to give you support when needed. Many of the behaviours the dogs offer are not trained responses, but are a direct result of the change in your body’s regulation.  Their ability to react to you instinctively is what determines whether the dog is going to prove a suitable Assistance Dog.

If you are thinking about applying for an organisation such as MindDog, Assistance Paws, etc. and you would like your dog to be assessed for suitability, I can undertake a suitability assessment for you. This will minimise the chance of being advised that your application will not be processed at that time because your dog is exhibiting some behavioural traits that are inappropriate for assistance dogs.

​"Yvonne has worked with my dog, Rory since he was 10 weeks old. Yvonne eased my worries about his training and been the post I know I can lean on. She not only knows how to interact with the dog but understands the gentle balance between training and caring for the human. Her methods of force free and clicker training have been amazing for Rory, allowing him the independence to make good decisions. Thanks to Yvonne's guidance Rory is well on his way to becoming an assistance dog. I can’t thank Yvonne enough for walking into my life and steering Rory and I on the right course." 

Steph W.

Team flying
Travelling on the train
Public access training
Loose leash walking
Waiting for the bus


Mental Health First Aid Australia

  • Standard Mental Health First Aid


Robert Hewings

  • Train Dogs to Detect PTSD Nightmares

Cooperative Paws

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder - Service Dog Tasks

Service Dog Training Institute

  • Stress & the Owner Trained Service Dog

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