Navigating Assistance Dog Training Rights Under Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act

Balancing Rights and Responsibilities: Assistance Dog Training Under Australian Law

July 3, 2024

When it comes to assistance dogs in Australia, understanding their rights under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of 1992 is crucial for both trainers and individuals with disabilities. Let’s explore how the DDA provides protections for assistance dogs in training and what it means for their handlers.

Assistance dogs play a vital role in the lives of people with disabilities, providing invaluable support and companionship. But what about the rights of these dogs during their training phase? While the DDA primarily focuses on fully trained assistance dogs, it does extend some protections to dogs in training.


Under the DDA, discrimination against individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by assistance dogs is prohibited in public places. This can imply that individuals training assistance dogs should also be granted similar rights and protections. However, the extent of these protections may vary depending on the specific circumstances and jurisdiction.

It’s important to note that while the DDA offers some safeguards for assistance dogs in training, ensuring they behave appropriately in public spaces is essential. This not only promotes positive interactions between the dogs and the public but also ensures the safety and comfort of everyone involved.


Navigating the rights of assistance dogs in training under the DDA requires a clear understanding of the law and its implications. While the Act aims to promote inclusivity and equal access for individuals with disabilities, it’s essential for trainers and handlers to be aware of their responsibilities and to maintain a balance between training needs and public considerations.

In conclusion, while the DDA primarily focuses on the rights of fully trained assistance dogs, it does extend some protections to dogs in training. By adhering to the principles of the Act and ensuring proper behaviour in public spaces, trainers and handlers can contribute to a more inclusive and accommodating society for individuals with disabilities and their assistance dogs.

If you want more information on whether training an assistance dog is the best idea or not check out our webinar – If you are interested – shoot us an email with #earntherightad to [email protected]

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