Reclassified Dogs What is a reclassified dog?

Due to the exceptionally high standards required in successful Guide Dog work, some puppies are not suited to the intensive Guide Dog training process. These are known as ‘reclassified dogs’, or socialised puppies with different career paths.

Although some may not have the traits required of working Guide Dogs, socialised puppies take on all sorts of jobs and bring happiness to people in many different ways.

Guide dog puppy

Reclassified Dogs Pets As Therapy Program

Dogs can play an important role in the emotional and physical development of children and young adults with low vision. Puppies in our Pets As Therapy program offer a source of love and companionship, and an opportunity for children to learn about the responsibility of caring for a mobility service animal.

Additionally, many of the young people involved in the program may move on to use Guide Dogs in later life. The puppies can help lay important foundations for future interactions and relationships.

As with the Guide Dog program, Pets As Therapy dogs are carefully selected to meet the individual needs of each young person. Program coordinators visit each young person’s home to determine the best dog for that environment and to allow the person and their family to ask questions about the program.

To ensure each young person establishes a sense of responsibility, the ownership of the dog is transferred to the family upon permanent placement.

To find out more about the Pets As Therapy program or the application process:

The Pets As Therapy waiting list is currently open.

Reclassified Dogs Companion Dogs

Companion Dogs are paired with children, adolescents and adults with a physical or intellectual impairment. They provide friendship, support, happiness and calming stability.

Companion Dogs bring ongoing enjoyment to individuals and their families alike. They also offer the benefit of regular exercise through walking and playing.

Please note the Companion Dog waiting list is currently closed.

A group of five puppies - two blonde sitting on each side of a black puppy

Reclassified Dogs Finding family homes for Reclassified Dogs

A limited number of Reclassified Dogs are offered to the general public. They are usually aged between 12 and 18 months. They are also neutered. Every reclassified puppy offered to the public has been socialised by a volunteer Puppy Raiser to ensure they are well mannered and house-trained.

We prefer to offer these dogs to homes that are similar to their Puppy Raising environment. There is a strong possibility that dogs can become restless or overwhelmed if they receive significantly more or less stimulation than they have become used to.

Therefore, dogs are not offered to households where they will be left alone for long periods of time. Homes with very young children will also be considered on a case by case basis.

Please note that applications for reclassified dogs are currently closed.

guide dog Warren

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Dogs

Reclassified dogs may require additional training to further develop skills and traits that are identified during the GDV Guide Dog training program. This training may be provided by GDV staff or, depending on the potential opportunities for the dog, through an appropriate partner agency.

One such organisation is Integra Service Dogs Australia. Integra Service Dogs Australia work with Veterans and First Responders living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and their families by enriching lives through highly-trained canine guardians.

A not-for-profit organisation, Integra supports Veterans and First Responders through the provision of dogs that provide security, assistance and friendship to those with PTSD as a result of their time in service.

Once a dog is identified as showing potential for this work by GDV staff, Integra Service Dogs Australia carry out a more specific assessment of the dogs’ potential before providing additional training in readiness for matching with one of their own clients.

Contact Integra Service Dogs Australia via their website here for more information.

Mr Walker

Reclassified Dogs How do I apply for a Reclassified Dog?

Applications for reclassified Guide Dogs are currently closed.

Guide dog mum with 2 pups