FAQ's

How can I help to support ADNZTrust?
You can support Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust by welcoming our dogs into your place of business. Assistance Dogs are quiet, well-behaved and clean at all times. If you are in the Hamilton or surrounding districts you can apply to support ADNZ by rearing a young puppy in your home - Puppy Development

You can support ADNZ assisting with fundraising activities, bequests, or by personal donation - Contact Us

If you are able to donate or provide sponsorship then please consider contacting us to discuss the benefits of sponsoring one of our puppies or supporting our programme - Sponsor a Puppy or DONATE NOW
Who can apply for an Assistance Dog?
Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust will consider an application from any person with a disability who would like to be considered for an Assistance Dog to provide assistance with their daily living, mobility and companionship. If you think that a dog would assist you with your disability then you are eligible to apply for an assistance dog. We will also consider applicants with multiple disabilities. Apply for an Assistance Dog Examples of Disabilities includes:
  • Autism/Asperger's
  • Down Syndrome
  • Developmental Impairment
  • Brain Injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Diabetes
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Neurological Disabilities
How do I go about applying for an Assistance Dog?
Part 1: Receiving the Application The first step in applying for an Assistance Dog is for the applicant to Apply for an Assistance Dog. An application package will be mailed or emailed to the applicant, who must complete all of the information required and return it.

Part 2: Initial Waiting List Once an application is completed and sent back, Assistance Dogs New Zealand will review the material to determine whether the applicant qualifies to progress to the second stage of the application process. If the applicant is suitable, notification will be sent and an interview scheduled.

Part 3: The Interview This interview and assessment will help the applicant and Assistance Dogs New Zealand to decide if receiving an Assistance Dog would be beneficial and appropriate for the applicant and or family. An opportunity for a personal meeting also allows for further discussion, greater understanding for both parties and more effective communication. (Please note that an interview does not guarantee acceptance)
How much does an Assistance Dog cost?
To socialise and train an assistance dog costs around $20,000, however additional essential parts of the service, including breeding, kenneling, client training, follow-up, veterinary and food costs mean that the total "Whole of Life" costs are around $48,000.
Where do we get our Funding from?
Community Donations. The majority of funding is received from community based donations received through public and charitable trust donations. Puppy Sponsorship: ADNZTrust run a puppy sponsorship programme to help support the cost of raising and training our pups. For only $5 a week anyone can contribute to the costs of the service and receive updates and ongoing information about the progress of the pups being sponsored - Sponsor a Puppy Client Support. We ask that each applicant helps support the programme by raising funds and awareness through friends, family, colleagues and local community groups.
Does Assistance Dogs New Zealand receive Government Funding?
Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust does not receive any Government funding. We rely on your donation, bequests and support. Donations can be made to Assistance Dogs New Zealand (ADNZ) Trust at any BNZ Bank Account No. 020 528 0138534 00 or posted to PO Box 198, Te Awamutu 3840. Our Registered Charity Trust Number is CC32920 and our Trust Incorporation Registration Number is 2144292. If you live in New Zealand your donation is tax deductible and a receipt will be issued - Make a Donation
How long does it take to train an Assistance Dog?
Puppies are placed on our Puppy Development Programme at around 8 weeks of age. They are then socialised and receive some initial obedience training. On occasion puppy raisers are asked to carry out specific training tasks relevant to the dog they are caring for. Each pup and the family responsible for them, receive regular visits from ADNZTrust staff to ensure they are being raised and socialised to the standards required by ADNZTrust. At approximately 12 months of age each pup begins more extensive training for the assistance role they are likely to perform. It takes around 6-8 months of intensive training before they are ready to be placed with an applicant.
Where does ADNZTrust source their puppies?
Puppies are sourced from local breeders and other service dog organisations. We are developing an ADNZTrust breeding programme to provide an ongoing supply of puppies, specifically bred for the Assistance Dog role.

ADNZ has recently received puppies from Guide Dogs for Blind Queensland and Maxgenetics which we hope will begin the foundation of our breeding programme.
What happens if an Assistance Dog doesn't work out?
Not all pups/dogs are successful and some are not suited to being an Assistance Dog. In these situations the dog is withdrawn from the programme and a suitable adoption home is found. If you would like to be considered to adopt a withdrawn dog then please see our Dog Adoption page. Dogs may be withdrawn for a variety of reasons:

Noise sensitivity and reactivity – sounds of machinery or cars back firing can disrupt some dogs ability to work effectively and happily in busier environments.

Visual suspicions – Working dogs have to deal with a variety of objects that may be unfamiliar – statues of animals and mannequins can often be viewed as threatening and cause extreme reactions in an unsuspecting dog that encounters such objects. A dog that displays a high level of ‘fear’ and fails to ‘recover’ within a short time span is likely to be withdrawn from the programme.

Willingness and motivation – the desire to work both for the pleasure of the job and for the handler are essential elements of Assistance Dog work. Dogs that do not find the job entertaining and enjoyable are less likely to be willing to promptly respond to commands and situations.

Temperament – dogs that are too submissive may also have trouble working as a service dog as the level of their anxiety is too high for them to comfortably take on the role. Dogs that are too dominant or assertive may also be withdrawn as gaining respect and obedience from these dogs is often more difficult for the average person who requires a dog for assistance.