Assistance / Service Dogs
General Info / Articles of Interest
Service Dogs are trained to assist people who have a wide variety of mobility impairments and other disabilities, such as seizures, psychiatric disorders, life threatening medical problems, or chronic pain. These dogs provide services to disabled individuals helping them function with greater self-sufficiency; prevent injuries; and summon help in a crisis.
Service Dogs receive approximately six months to one year of training on learning to perform various tasks, obedience, and public access manners.
- My Dog Is My Peace: An Autistic Boy's Story A trained companion dog offers both assistance and friendship. An autistic boy's parents share their touching story of how a dog changed their child's life. (Added: 4 Oct 2012)
- Assistance Dog Tasks by Joan Froling
This report identifies over one hundred possible tasks that guide, hearing and service dogs can master to assist with daily life activities and safety concerns.
- A Helpful Friend: Dogs and autistic children
- IAADP Says Konnichiwa to Japan by Devon Wilkins
- Monument Honours Assistance Dogs by Devon Wilkins
- Seizure Alert Dogs Helping People with Epilepsy by Wayne Tuttle
- It's a dog's life on the job News Canada
- Exceptional dogs with jobs News Canada
- Assistance dogs are four-legged wonders News Canada
- Assistance Dogs: Special Athletes' Best Partners (NEW 25 April 2012)
Courtesy of: Copperstone Reg'd Labrador Retrievers
- Cancer detecting dog
Photo courtesy of:
Trailrunners K9 Training Center and Labradors
Canada's first team of Labrador Retriever cancer detecting dogs
- see www.cancerdogs.com
Associations & Organizations:
(Listed in alphabetical order)
- Autism Support Dogs
A not-for-profit organization that provides support dogs to autistic children aged 4 to 12, at no cost to the family. The dog helps prevent the child from bolting and may help reduce the child's anxiety. Autism Support Dogs are certified assistance animals and may therefore accompany the child and his/her guardian in any public space.
Toll-free number: 1-877-940-4504
- BC & Alberta Guide Dog Services
Dedicated to the further development of the Guide Dog movement in British Columbia. B.C. Guide Dog Services holds the aims and objectives of improved availability, and increased level of service/support through the provision of professionally trained Guide Dogs, for the visually impaired residents of British Columbia and Alberta.
- The Canadian Foundation for Animal-Assisted Support Services
P.O. Box 279
Winchester, Ontario, K0C 2K0
Website address: www.cf4aass.org
Vision Statement: Our vision is to support the innovation, coordination, and integration of Animal-Assisted Support Services.
Mission Statement: Our mission is to receive and maintain a fund to build the capabilities of individuals facing physical, intellectual, emotional, behavioral, developmental, social and spiritual challenges through the use of animal assisted therapy and related services.
Goals: To unite Animal-Assisted Support Services Stakeholders to identify core values and common priorities to stimulate collaborative action in the spirit of cooperation and inclusiveness. To inspire and ensure a consistent level of quality, safety, and End-user satisfaction.
- C.O.P.E. Service Dogs
Located in Barrie, Ontario
"Through the training and subsequent placement of special service dogs, Canine Opportunity, People Empowerment (C.O.P.E.) helps people with disabilities, challenged youth, children and people in the community achieve positive changes and growth in their lives."
- Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society
Mission: To provide highly skilled guide and assistance dogs, and ongoing training to persons with various disabilities.
11343 - 174 Street, N.W.
Edmonton, Alberta, T5S 0B7
Phone: 780-944-8011, Toll Free 877-252-9433
- Golden Opportunity Assistance Dogs
"Helping youth 'at-risk' and individuals with disabilities find independence together through partnership with Assistance Dogs." Serving Southwestern Ontario, we train highly skilled service dogs for children and adults with mobility impairments (wheelchair assistance). We also offer fully trained facility dogs to work alongside professionals such as Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and Psychologists with their patients and clients. Part of our work involves working with youth-at-risk in a therapeutic intervention program teaching them to train service dogs for wheelchair assistance.
- Handi-Dogs, Inc.
A Service Dog Training Organization located in Tucson, Arizona. "At Handi-Dogs, Inc. we help people with physical disabilities to achieve an improved quality of life through the training and use of service dogs."
- International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP)
A non-profit, cross-disability organization representing people partnered with guide, hearing and service dogs.
- Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides
Lions Foundation of Canada is a federally incorporated charitable foundation founded by the Lions Clubs of Canada. Its mission is to provide service to physically challenged Canadians in the areas of mobility, safety, and independence.
- Mira Foundation
Objective: To bring greater autonomy to handicapped people and to facilitate their social integration by providing them with dogs that are fully trained to meet the needs of each individual, including Guide Dogs.
- National Service Dogs Training Centre Inc. (NSD)
NSD specializes in breeding, raising, training, and placing Autism Service Dogs with families and children living with autism.
- Pacific Assistance Dog Society
PADS' mission is to raise and train dogs for people who are facing the daily challenges of life with a disability other than blindness, in order to provide a greater level of independence and an enhanced quality of life. Serving people in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
- Thames Centre Service Dogs
22636 Purple Hill Road
Thorndale, Ontario, N0M 2P0
We provide highly trained service dogs to qualified individuals.
- Therapeutic Medical Alert Service Dogs
Nova Scotia, Canada
TMA Service Dogs provides service dogs to people in Eastern Canada - with a specialty of PTSD dogs
- Trailrunners K9 Training Center and Labradors
Big River, Saskatchewan
Trailrunners is home to working Labrador Retrievers, puppies, and, at times, trained adults. Our dogs also include Canada's first team of Labrador Retriever cancer detecting dogs see www.cancerdogs.com. We train gun dogs, rehab aggressive dogs, and do cancer and other detection training as well. For details, visit our websites at www.trailrunners.ca and www.cancerdogs.com.
- West Coast Assistance Teams Society
West Coast Assistance Teams is a non-profit organization that trains and certifies dogs for people with physical and psychiatric disabilities. We also certify therapy dogs for medical and social professionals who are using there dogs in the realm of their therapy treatments.
Serving communities of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
- Worldwide Welcome Waggin' Home of International Puppy Raisers
Members of this organization are people who raise puppies that will serve as Assistance Dogs, including Guide, Service, Hearing and Seizure Response Dogs. Includes an e-mail list for members to communicate.
Photo courtesy of: Bralex Perm. Reg'd. Labrador Retrievers
Reference Books & Magazines:
Excellent selection of books available from Dogwise.com on the subject of Therapy and Service Dogs.
Note: We are always in need of articles, stories, poems, etc. for the Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website. Submissions are welcome and encouraged. Please feel free to contact us.
If you are part of a working dog group and would like to be listed here, simply email us with the details at email@example.com and we would be pleased to include your information.