Autism Assistance Dogs

Starting Local, Eventually National

It takes a particularly remarkable dog to work reliably with a child on the autism spectrum. A dog with the appropriate temperament and size is necessary for this program.  Ultimately, Dogs for Better Lives is excited about expanding the number of people they help and the lives they touch.

Southern and Central Oregon

At this time Dogs for Better Lives is actively seeking clients/families ONLY in the following Oregon counties: Deschutes, Lane, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath. We’re seeking applicants ages 4-11 for the Autism Assistance Dog program.  Over time we hope to expand the program across Oregon, then the western United States, and eventually across the country.

Autism Assistance Dogs are trained to:

  • apply deep pressure
  • act as an anchor to reduce or slow a child’s ability to bolt
  • provide companionship solely dedicated to the child

Some of the benefits of having an Autism Assistance Dog are:

  • a calming effect on the child
  • can help the child with the bonding process
  • bring public awareness
  • act as an anchor allowing the caregiver to react faster
  • can have a calming effect on the caregiver

Dogs for Better Lives – Parker & Ian from Dogs for Better Lives on Vimeo.

 Training:

  • Training generally takes four to six months of temperament evaluation, obedience training, and socialization. The dogs are taught using positive reinforcement.

Placement:

  • When ready for placement with an approved applicant, the trainer travels to the client’s home for one-on-one training with the client and all caregivers.
  • Placement training is generally five to seven days in length.

Follow up:

  • Dogs for Better Lives provides follow-up training for the life of the team. This training includes guidance and suggestions consisting of verbal contact, written contact, and in-home visits.

What does an Autism Assistance Dog cost?

There is a $50.00 application fee. When an applicant has been approved to receive an Autism Assistance Dog, we then require a $500.00 refundable Good Faith Deposit. This deposit can be refunded after the team has been together for one year. Once the dog is placed with the client, they are financially responsible for the ongoing care of the dog.

How do I apply for an Autism Assistance Dog?

At this time, Dogs for Better Lives is actively seeking clients/families ONLY in the following Oregon counties: Deschutes, Lane, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath. We are seeking to place Autism Assistance Dogs with children on the autism spectrum, ages ranging from 5 to 12 years. Over time we hope to expand the program across Oregon, then the western United States, and eventually across the country.

For inquiries, please fill out the below form.  You can also contact Client Services at (541) 826-9220 or email info@dogsforbetterlives.org.

Your Name*

Type of Dog (Choose Hearing, Program, or Autism)*

Your Email*

Mailing Address*

City, State & Zip*

Would you like to receive our eNewsletters?*
YesNo

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Phone*

Please enter phone number where you can be reached weekdays, 8am - 4:30pm Pacific Time

How did you hear about Dogs for Better Lives and our programs?*

I have a fenced yard that is secure & attached to my home*
YesNo

I understand that Dogs for Better Lives is unable to train personal pets as Assistance Dogs*
YesNo

I have other dogs in my household*
YesNo

I understand an Assistance Dog is a trained working animal, not a pet or a guard dog*
YesNo

I understand I will not be able to choose a specific breed, color, or sex of dog*
YesNo

I understand not all Assistance Dogs are certified for public access*
YesNo

I understand the wait time for a Hearing Dog certified for public access may be longer than the wait for a Home Hearing Dog*
YesNo

I understand I will be required to pay a non-refundable $50.00 application fee upon submission of my application*
YesNo

I understand upon acceptance of my application I will be required to pay a REFUNDABLE $500.00 Good Faith Deposit*
YesNo

I understand the REFUNDABLE $500.00 Good Faith Deposit can be returned to me after the dog & I have successfully been together one year*
YesNo

I understand I must be willing & able to physically, mentally & emotionally care for a dog without assistance*
YesNo

I understand I will be required to attend obedience training classes or hire a private obedience trainer*
YesNo

I understand there will be a steep learning curve for approximately the 1st year*
YesNo

I understand Dogs for Better Lives will be there to help me for the lifetime of my team*
YesNo

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