Application Process

Should you be interested in acquiring a service dog from the CSTDA, the following is a typical process:

  • An interested participant completes the application form.



  • Initial characterization of the participant and his/her requirements by a multidisciplinary team. Factors that are considered include the general health, physical condition, age, communication ability and lifestyle of the client.

  • An interview with the support team / family may be conducted for participant who are cognitively challenged, to determine the families expectations of acquiring a service dog, how having a service dog might affect other family members and if there are any lifestyle or health factors that would determine the suitability of breed of dog.

  • Exposure of the participant to a number of dogs to assess his/her fitness level, limitations and how he/she relates to dogs. A contract is signed and a suitable dog identified for the participant family. Dogs may be sourced as puppies or from dogs currently in training.

  • An individualised training program is designed for the dog, in consultation with psychological and medical personnel to ensure that the dog meets the participant’s needs.

  • Training the dog (general behaviour, basic training, advanced training)

  • Training the participant to utilise the dog effectively after initial training is complete.

  • As it takes time to train a replacement dog, an application for a replacement service dog should be placed as soon as retirement is considered for an existing dog.

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© 2013 The Centre of Service and Therapy Dogs Australia

In the spirit of Reconciliation, CSTDA acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their connection to land, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures and customs, and to Elders both past and present.