10 Amazing Autism Assistance Dogs:

The Healing Bond Between Dogs And Kids

10 Heartwarming stories of autism assistance dogs & kids

Happy International Assistance Dogs Week!

We are always touched by the many ways the Human-Animal bond can heal. Through our research for our TV documentary “Dogs Make A Difference“, we met many families who are grateful they welcomed a dog into their home.  Scientists have shown that looking at, talking or reading to, caring for, walking and patting a dog can improve mood and lower stress. Nowehere is this more evident than with autism assistance dogs.

A team of psychologists and animal behavior experts at the University of Lincoln, UK, teamed up with charities, Dogs for the Disabled and the National Autistic Society. They discovered a significant decrease in parental stress in the families of children living with autism who acquired an assistance dog.

Routines plus Emotional and Physical Support

An assistance dog can give the children and parents emotional support, physical support, and confidence. They can help children cope, both within and outside the home, and increase independence. They can help develop routines and a sense of responsibility and security.

Ease Sensory Overload and Improve Communication

A solid, non-verbal, non-judgemental and reassuring companion can help ease sensory overload and stress for the children according to Project Chance.  (Project Chance provide clinically prescribed and professionally trained service and therapy dogs with the specific skill sets needed to aid children diagnosed with autism and developmental disabilities).

Bolting Behaviour and Outbursts

Families with autistic children often feel isolated due to unmanageable outbursts or “bolting” issues the child may experience at any time.  Some children with autism have no concept of personal safety, and can wander or run away. They can also have tantrums or demonstrate inappropriate behaviours in public places like shops or restaurants. The dogs are trained to help with this. They can sleep with the child and watch over them at night. A child can be tethered or taught to hold onto the dog’s harness or vest to prevent bolting. Often, the children enjoy holding on so much, problems are greatly reduced. In the event of problem, a strong service dog can be trained to plant and hold firm against the child like Chester whenout on a walk. They can also be trained to lie on or next to the child and relieve outbursts and stress like Basil in Toronto. They can also be trained to interrupt repetitive or destructive behaviour safely.

10 Amazing Autism Assistance Dogs Helping Children

Autism Assistance Dog Keats

We feel privileged to have created this tribute to Braydon and his Dog Guide Keats. Thank you to Mom Tracey for her beautiful poem and photos and to the Lions Foundation of Canada/Dog Guides Canada for all they do.

NSD Chester

Thank you to the National Service Dogs Canada and Carefoot family for opening their home and sharing their heartwarming story. Thank you to NSD Chester “their healing balm” and young Max.


In September of 2012 Xena was brought into Dekalb Animal Services in Georgia after someone called regarding a stray puppy found in their yard.  With lots of love and medical attention the little puppy made a full recovery.

Xena is now safe and with a wonderful family (human and canine alike). She has the special task of providing comfort to her autistic human brother Jonny. She is our hero and proves that rescue dogs can be trained and have the ability to make a difference.


This is a touching story or a letter from a daughter to her father about her child’s life with autism. The video tells a beautiful story about a girl and the loving and healing bond with her dog, Muffet from Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs.


Yori is a service dog from Canine Companions for Independence that is making a world of difference in the lives of non-verbal autistic students at Hope Elementary in Carlsbad, CA. The full touching story can be read at https://patch.com/A-c49z

A 5-year-old boy met his best friend by being part of an Adelaide trial by Guide Dogs SA/NT that’s providing real hope for children with autism


Henry, the Golden Retriever was adopted into a family with a severely Autistic boy named Dale. His autism was so severe, he had stopped speaking and his tantrums worsened. Thanks to Henry’s help and unconditional love, Dale had a life-changing breakthrough.

This beautiful moment captures the patience and unrelenting love and support a dog can offer an autistic child.

Assistance Dog Sophia

After months of uncertainty, 8-year-old Sean was able to attend the first day of grade three with his assistance dog Sophia. His story and so many others will hopefully open the door to more children being allowed to bring service animals into schools.

Autism Service Dog Bumblebee

Sinaia who has Coffin-Siris Syndrome and her Autism Service Dog, Bumblebee show us what a typical day looks like when you have a best friend by your side.

The family received Bumblebee from 4 Paws or Ability, who enrich the lives of children with disabilities by training and placing quality, task-trained service dogs.

Service Dog Basil

Beautiful black lab Basil provides physical and emotional support for his boy in Ontario at our early auditions for Talent Hounds.

Share your stories of amazing assistance dogs in the comment below!

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  • One of the tasks the dogs can be trained to do, that is unique to 4 Paws For Ability is the ability to track a child that has wandered away, even if the child has been missing for quite some time! When a child with Autism disappears their life is in danger, and an adult looking for them may begin their search in the wrong direction; while a 4 Paws Autism Assistance Dog trained in search and rescue never takes the wrong path and quickly leads the adult to the missing child!