Hounds4Healing Program

A Program of The Oasis Townsville

The H4H Program has been so successful that it is now oversubscribed. We have closed applications. We are working on a plan to expand operations. Thank you for your patience. 

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​Hounds 4 Healing has operated as an independent not for profit organisation for five years, founded by Matt Campbell and other Australian Defence Force veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 2020, Hounds 4 Healing came into The Oasis Townsville as a Special Program to allow the veterans running it to concentrate on what they do best and be supported and sustained by The Oasis Townsville.


We have been excited and encouraged by the positive results we have achieved. We have a diverse range of dogs as not one specific breed fits the mould for the perfect dog to train.  These dogs are at various stages of their training, with many dogs having been assessed for their Public Access Test (PAT) and successfully certified as assistant dogs.


Through the hard work of the handlers, a valuable and strong bond is created and developed with their dog through training and certification. 

The training and certification provided are intended to ensure both dog and handler are safe and can behave appropriately when in public, particularly on public transport and crowded places. 

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is that "dogs are our freedom". An assistance dog provides essential support and companionship to its handler to brave the world again. ​By creating a solid and reliable bond between dog and handler, veterans and other clients can regain independence ​and routine in their life. 

What does H4H do?


We offer the following for anyone who has served in the Australian Defence Force or any of the first-responder services:​

  • Training of a psychiatric assistance dog. You have the option to have your own dog assessed for suitability or H4H can offer support in selecting and obtaining a suitable dog.

  • We utilise a highly experienced trainer who is registered with the Queensland Government for training and assessing assistance dogs. We also have several assistant trainers who are being mentored by a qualified trainer.

  • We conduct weekly training through a six-week train timetable. Once your dog has gained their learner jacket, personal one-on-one training is arranged with your trainer in real-life situations: such as shops, cafes and public transport.

  • We train puppies, young dogs through to advanced level for learner jacket dogs. The trainer will determine what level is suitable for you and your dog.

  • Training is in line with the national accredited public access test through the Queensland Government Guide Hearing and Assistance Dog (GHAD) Act.

  • The Public Access Test (PAT) is designed to put you and your dog through a series of very achievable but demanding tests conducted in real-life situations. The PAT certification is completed under the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Canine Helpers for the Disabled Incorporated. H4H has worked closely with this Brisbane based organisation for many years.

  • Assistance with the costs of the public access test is possible through The Oasis Townsville upon seeking support through the Case Navigation process.

Steps to join H4H:

  • Complete the Application to Join the H4H Program.

  • One of our trainers will be in touch (email or mobile) to discuss the process.

  • You receive an invitation to attend an information session.

  • Our trainer arranges a time for your dog to be assessed

  • You start training at the appropriate class level in the next available 6-week training block. Please note: numbers for training are capped so you may be added to a waitlist.

What comes next?

  • When our trainer determines you and your dog are ready for advanced training, your dog will be issued a learner jacket and the trainer will then arrange personalised training for you both.

  • Your one-on-one field training for the PAT will be done during these training sessions.

  • Once you and your dog have passed the PAT, your dog will receive a full assistance dog jacket displaying the GHAD Badge to indicate that the dog is fully qualified.

  • And you will also receive a Queensland Government identification card.


​​Please note:

  • The suitability and progression of all dogs through the program is at the discretion of our trainer.

  • The duration of training and the assessment process will differ for everyone.