Where did ‘Tiddlespup’ come from?

Tiddlespup, the name came from our daughters nickname tiddles, and because her pup started us on this journey the name is a dedication to our daughter and her pup (now assistance dog) Tiddlespup formed as a partnership of mentor trainers, a husband and wife team, mentoring under Hans Van Heesbeen at Service Dog Training. Now we have branched out and created tiddlespup as a stand alone business partnership: where under trade Zeb and Karla as assistance dog trainers.

What type of assistance dogs do we train?

We specialise in autism assistance dogs and child handler teams, we also work we mental health assistance dog teams and mobility assistance dog teams. currently we do not have the means and knowledge to commit to medical alert dogs, guide dogs or hearing dogs.

What breeds do you recommend?

This one is a hard one, the top of the list is usually gun dog breeds, the bottom of the list is flat nosed breeds. we currently work with an Australian shepherd, a couple of border collies a couple of labradoodles, a mastiff mix, a labrador, a dachshund and a groodle. It’s somewhat about the breed but mostly about the temperament, not every dog is cut out for the role. The dogs welfare is high priority with us: First you dog’s safety and comfort, then your safety and comfort. Your dog will work a lot of extra hours and will needs frequent rest, preventative vet care, and premium food to flourish and give you the support you need. Shortcuts on the dog’s welfare will backfire.
– The right dog is so important, Queensland gets very hot and it will be hard on your dog so choose carefully. Talk to others, get feedback from breeders but that have had successful service/assistance dogs.

Please review the document {choosing a puppy here}.

How long does training take?

The entirety of your dogs working life. From the moment they come home they are in training, each dog is different and each team is different. the earliest we do “in training” jackets is 6 months, the youngest dog certified under SDT in our time with them was 11 months old. These are the exceptions.
Usually we are looking at 12-18 months, sometimes 2-3 years old, there isn’t an easy answer here.
Training doesnt end upon certification, you must maintain standards, you may even need to add tasks, over the working life of your dog training will be a regular necessity.

How do i apply?

contact us via the contact tab, email or facebook and we’ll discuss your needs and if you meet criteria before sending out an application form. please read all sections before requesting application.

How much does it cost?

The costs differ for each team depending on how much support they need. If we are having weekly hour long training sessions for 12 months then its going to cost more than a team that has a session each fortnight for 12 months. The costs are spread out over the months so there aren’t any large sums. If you factor for approx $5000 in training costs on top of the purchase of your pup and their cares then you should have a rough idea whether this is financially a viable option for you. Caring for your dog is costly – make sure you can afford what you about to commit to as this is not a free service. To maintain a large dog properly it is around $200 per month; for food, flea and worm treatments, annual vaccines, and bi-annual vet visits. These requirements are all part of your agreement with us.

Costs from 1/1/17 – Valid as at 31/6/18:
One off Application fee of $295.00 – $125 refundable if unsuccessful.
Monthly administration & membership fee of A$95 includes 1 hour each month of: Personalised support & communication face to face / email / phone / Skype or training if time permits. Extra Training time charged @ $65/hr or part thereof. In person training sessions incur $65 travel per hour plus extra fees as needed (e.g. toll)

What is a child handler team?

A child handler team is made up of 3 units, the disabled child, the canine and an adult parent/carer/guardian. A child is the primary handler, they can have 2 adult secondary handlers, both secondary handlers complete the training and the public access test with the child and canine. This aligns with Queensland governments guide hearing and assistance dog act public access test and accreditation.

What about other areas?

If you are not residing in the area we cover we are more than happy to point you towards someone closer to you. We are affiliated with, and have worked with a great team of trainers from all over Australia and are more than happy to share our recommendations with you, just drop us an email. If there’s no one in your area we may be able to work with you long distance.

what about therapy dogs?

We do not train therapy dogs. A therapy dogs role is to visit hospitals/nursing homes and provide therapeutic cuddles to help patients/residents. They do not have public access rights. They don’t have the right to accommodation or non pet friendly public places. Only guide, hearingand assistance dogs have public access protected. If you are after info in regards to therapy dogs please check out Delta