Community & Social Services

Guide Dog Instructor

Guide dog or assistance dog instructors teach dogs to help people with physical disabilities and medical conditions.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Guide Dog Instructor do?

Guide dog or assistance dog instructors teach dogs to help people with physical disabilities and medical conditions.


Work activities

There are several types of assistance dog including:

  • physical disability service dogs
  • PTSD service dogs
  • Autism service dogs
  • educational support dogs.

As a guide or assistance dog instructor, you would:

  • work with volunteers who foster puppies that are potential assistance dogs
  • support dogs through their initial training
  • training dogs in advanced specific tasks
  • pair dogs and owners and then train them together
  • provide follow-up support for both dog and owner.

You might work with dogs and their owners in areas such as guide dogs for the visually impaired and blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, disability assistance dogs or seizure alert dogs.


Key skills and interests

To become a guide dog trainer, you would need:

  • a love of animals, and dogs in particular
  • an understanding of the behaviours of dogs
  • patience and dedication
  • excellent communication skills
  • a passion for helping people
  • the ability to inspire confidence in dogs and their owners.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a guide dog trainer you would usually work a standard number of hours per week, with evening and weekend work when necessary. Part-time work is possible.


This is a very active job, involving lots of physical work, and being outdoors in all types of weather.

You would need to have a current drivers' licence to visit dogs and their owners.


How to become an Guide Dog Instructor?

Entry Level Education

To become an guide or assistance dog trainer you have to complete a relevant degree such as social sciences, disability studies, human services, psychology, nursing or education. This is followed by a cadetship with Guide Dogs in your home state. As part of this cadetship you must complete a postgraduate qualification in orientation and mobility.

To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, biology and chemistry would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university. Entry to postgraduate courses requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Overall employment of assistance dog trainers is projected to grow about the average for all occupations.

Guide dog mobility instructors are employed by guide dog associations around Australia and internationally.

Job opportunities depend somewhat on the incidence of visual and hearing impairment in the community and the availability of funds for associations. There is a high level of competition for available positions.


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