Australia’s first assistance dog program to help people and their families live with dementia.

Expressions of Interest have now closed

Thank you for your interest in the Dogs 4 Dementia program. Applications have now closed. If you require dementia-related support, please contact The Dementia Centre on (02) 8437 7355. If you have further inquiries about service dogs, please call Assistance Dogs Australia on 1800 688 364.


Through special training an assistance dog is taught to respond to cues in ways that promote confidence and independence in a person living with dementia. They devotedly offer a paw of support and companionship when in the home or out-and-about accessing the community.

Video kindly sourced from Dementia Dog



Approximately 70% of people with dementia in Australia live in the community.


More than 400,000 Australian's are expected to be living with dementia by 2020.


Assistance dogs are capable of learning up to 50 different cues.

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A person’s daily routines can be easily disrupted as their dementia changes. Well trained dogs can support the maintenance of routines that promote health, independence, and social activities.

The dogs become a working member of the family and share responsibility with all the members of the household of keeping routines on track.


Routine & Reminders

Routine can become difficult for those with dementia. Dogs are creatures of habit and can be trained to support daily routine, responding to timed alarms to remind owners of essential daily tasks.

Social interaction

Dogs can act as a bridge to local communities - encouraging conversation and friendship that does not rely on memory. Focusing on the dog can help friends old and new start and maintain relationships with someone with dementia.

Emotional support

Dementia can be a very lonely and frightening experience. Dogs are loyal companions void of any human prejudice providing 24/7 comfort and reassurance.

Out & About

Dementia can lead to isolation through lack of confidence in leaving one’s house. Walking with a dog provides a companion who can reassure and a means of exercise that feels safe.


For a person with dementia dogs can act as a physical anchor: allowing a carer to focus elsewhere, and an emotional anchor: helping one feel safe when alone.

Family Carer Support

The role of the carer is often lonely and stressful, dogs can provide joy and companionship to the whole family.

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The dog has made an absolutely tremendous difference. He calms my husband down and he’s had a calming effect on me as well. It’s been a wonderful change.

He would have another being to love and care for, to talk to, to walk and groom. And to pick up poos for.

Walking with a dog is much more fun than walking alone.

I do not leave him at home even for short periods as he becomes anxious... It would be reassuring to leave him with the dog.