A new canine hero!

Guide Dogs Tasmania is excited to announce that a partnership with Hobart’s Southern Support School has resulted in a new canine hero! 

Through the “Southern Hero Program”, two Guide Dogs in Training have been visiting the purpose built school, located in Howrah on the Eastern Shore, on a fortnightly basis. Designed to give the students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with dogs, the Program is also allowing students to develop skills that will help them contribute to their local community.

Principal of Southern Support School, Kate Wilson, is excited about the partnership and the longer term benefits it will have on the students:

“Seventy per cent of our students are living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, which can make interacting with other children very challenging. Dogs have such a wonderful effect on people, and have proven to make a significant difference to children with a disability through their calming influence and ability to facilitate social interactions.”

Taylor, a Golden Labrador, gets a pat from student.

Guide Dog in Training, Taylor, meets new friend Dom. Image credit: Ron Franks












A win-win situation.

It’s not just Southern Support School that has gained benefits from this new partnership. For us at Guide Dogs Tasmania, it’s a fantastic opportunity for our Guide Dogs in Training to further develop their socialisation skills. This is particularly important for those dogs that are unsuitable for guiding work and reclassified as Therapy or Companion Dogs.

Kim Ryan, Coordinator of Guide Dog Services at Guide Dogs Tasmania, said “Southern Hero Program” is giving the dogs a wider variety of social interactions:

“Southern Support School provides a great environment for our dogs. They’re being exposed to something different than their daily lives, which makes them more adaptable. What’s even better is that through the Program, we’re able to start changing lives before our dogs have even graduated.”

Currently, Ms Ryan visits the School fortnightly with Guide Dogs in Training Archie and Taylor. They’ve become a huge hit with both staff and students!

To make sure you don’t miss any photos or news from “Southern Hero Program”, ‘like’ our Facebook page here: Guide Dogs Tasmania – Puppy Love

Every so often, a dog comes through our training program that is simply not suitable to be a Guide Dog. At Guide Dogs Tasmania, we want to make sure that each and every one of our pups ends up in a role that will ultimately change the life of someone with a disability, whether it be as a Guide Dog, a Companion Dog, or a Therapy Dog. If you are interested in applying for a Companion or Therapy Dog, please download, complete and return our Companion & Therapy Dog Application Form.


Young boy smiling and walking a black Labrador on lead

Dom takes the lead with Archie. Image credit: Ron Franks

Guide Dog in Training, Taylor, surrounded by students, all giving him a pat.

Taylor is the centre of attention! Image credit: Ron Franks