The search has begun to find new Puppy Educators at Assistance Dogs Australia as Asta a Black Labrador and first-time mother has given birth to 12 puppies in the fifth litter of their in-house breeding program.
Second-time mum Ruby who gave birth recently to a smaller litter is also lending a helping hand with the feeding of so many little mouths.
A helping hand is exactly what Engadine based Assistance Dogs Australia is looking for too.
Puppy Educators are urgently needed — individuals or families in the community who will raise the puppies for the first year of their life.
These people play the crucial role of caring for and socialising the pups, teaching them to how to be calm and confident in all settings.
Puppy Educators don’t need to be experienced dog trainers, or even to have owned a dog before.
They just need an open mind, a safe and loving home, and the willingness to have lots of fun, and learn along the way. And the great news is that the organisation pays for all the pup’s food and vet bills.
“Our little L-plater Senna, has brought so much joy to my whole family,” First time educator Gaby Khouri said.
“With the help of Assistance Dogs Australia, we have been teaching him the basic cues such as ‘sit’, ‘wait’, and ‘down’.”
Puppy Educators find that they quickly attract attention when out in public with a pup wearing an L-plate jacket and feel much more connected to their local community as a result.
"Puppy Educating is dynamic, challenging and lots of fun,” second-timer Puppy Educator Yinna Toos said.
“Being out and about with an Assistance Dog-in-training is the closest I get to feeling famous (actually, it’s the puppy that gets the attention, not me) and It’s such a rewarding journey
CEO of Assistance Dogs Australia Richard Lord said the organisation was hugely appreciative and supportive of people like Gabby ,Yinna and Gary.
“Quite simply, without them, we couldn’t do what we do,” Mr Lord said.
In 2017, the organisation placed 34 dogs in all their programs around Australia, but there are still over 140 people on the waiting list for a dog.
If more suitable families volunteered to educate a puppy, more dogs could be trained and placed with those who desperately need them.
Details: assistancedogs.org.au or free call 1800 688 364.