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Assistance Dogs

Craig and Tracey Murray founded the not for profit charity Empower Assistance Dogs in late 2016 after initially offering assistance dogs from the year 2001 through to 2009 when the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dog Act came into place, and from 2009 until the inception of Empower Assistance Dogs.  All dogs done throughout that time were donated at no cost to any recipient.  


Empower Assistance Dogs enhance the quality of life and independence for people with disabilities by providing professionally trained and government certified guide, hearing and assistance dogs.  They are the first organisation that is government certified to train all three types of service Dogs.  The organisation achieves this through a program of selecting, raising and training dogs to assist people with a disability with everyday tasks.


Each dog is individually trained to meet the specific needs of the handler and ongoing support is provided to ensure the working reliability of the team remains current.  Each dog and handler are supported through the process of achieving government certification under the Queensland Government Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dog Act 2009 to gain public access and work safely without impinging on the rights and comfort of the general community.


These dogs can be trained to: guide their handlers throughout differing environments safely, alert to different sounds within the household and environment to inform the handler of the doorbell ringing, the kettle boiling, smoke or fire alarms, baby crying, to retrieve dropped or wanted items, open and close cupboards, doors or fridges, turn lights on and off, help with some domestic chores and even some undressing tasks, push lift, traffic light and alarm buttons, get help and much more.


Empower Assistance Dogs can work with individuals with multiple disabilities and the dogs can greatly enhance a physically and or mentally challenged person’s quality of life and public access enjoyment.  Due to the nature of Empower Assistance Dogs having the expertise to train in all three areas, we can provide dual disability dogs – i.e. assistance dogs with some guiding tasks to further help a person with multiple disabilities who is not as independent therefore not suitable for a dedicated guide dog.  Empower Assistance Dogs trains each dog to the individual and specific needs of their clients.

Empower Assistance Dogs - Assistane Dog Working
Empower Assistance Dogs - Assistance Dog In Training


Guide dogs are trained to enhance the mobility and independence of a person with a vision impairment by allowing independent travel throughout the general community.   A guide dog is a mobility aid that truely allows the handler to participate within society and realise their full potential. Each Empower Guide Dog is individually trained to meet the needs of the handler by providing safe and efficient independent mobility to visually impaired clients.


 Hearing dogs are specifically trained to alert their hearing impaired handlers to various noises within the household and general environment that you and I may take for granted such as a knock at the door, the kettle boiling, the phone ringing, an alarm of any kind including smoke alarms and baby crying just to name a few.  The Hearing dogs are an aid to assist their hearing impaired handlers with communication and again each dog is individually trained to meet the needs of their handler as every handler’s environment is unique so we have set tasks to teach each dog but also there may be additional training requirements for each handler.



Due to the broad range of disabilities, assistance dogs must be individually trained to the needs of each specific handler.  Assistance dogs can do seizure response, balance skills, and/or a range of retrieve or helping behaviours that are known as task work.  Some tasks that the dogs can do are picking up or retrieving dropped or wanted items, opening and closing doors, pushing traffic light or lift buttons, turning lights on and off, some help with getting dressed, taking off shoes and socks, activating alarms, get help and so much more.



Do you want to display to the wider community that you are a caring and compassionate company or business that supports enhancing the lives of others?  Our corporate support options may suit your needs.  There are various ways that you can get involved or support our cause.  You may choose to sponsor a puppy in training, organise workplace giving or host workplace fundraising events. 


If you are a retailer that has a product and you would like to align yourself with our program for a cause related marketing opportunity contact us with your enquiry.  It’s a good opportunity to build your brand and engage with customers.



Are you looking for an easy way to support Empower Assistance Dogs without a great deal of effort?  Contact us to order a donation tin for your business or reception area.  All donation tins are numbered for verification and listed on a donation tin register for accountability and collection purposes.



Attending one of our Empower Assistance Dog Events is another way to show your support for our wonderful cause.  Please watch our facebook page (@empowerassistancedogs) and website for announcements on upcoming events.



It costs at least $30,000 to raise and train Guide, Hearing and Assistance dogs.  Your donation will go directly towards the development and training and placement of one of our pups or even an older dog in training.  Every cent helps and unlike some of the larger organisations, we treasure every cent from even the smallest donation.  We feel that if everyone gave a little, we could achieve a lot!  Thank you for your generous donation, it will definitely change the lives of someone very special.

Watch how Empower Assistance Dogs changes the lives of people with disabilities
Empower Assistance Dogs
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