A thorough interview and assessment is conducted for each applicant. This allows ADNZT staff to gain an understanding of the applicant's needs and circumstances, and also provides an opportunity for the applicant and their family to ask questions and gain a better understanding of Assistance Dogs.
It takes approxiamtely 6 months to train each dog, although the time may vary depending on the progress of each dog and the tasks required for the applicant. During the training process ADNZT staff are gaining a better understanding of the dog's temperament and begin looking for a suitable team match. The core training is then expanded to include tasks specifically required for that potential team.
Regular support and follow-up is provided to each working team to ensure they keep working well together. Over time, many trained behaviours can breakdown and other inappropriate behaviours or bad habits can surface resulting in a breakdown of the working teams' skills, respect and relationship. Therefore ongoing support is critical to support the team throughout their working life.