History

The concept of assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities began with Canine Companions for Independence in 1975 in a home office and a garage. In the more than 40 years since, thanks to the unparalleled generosity and dedication of our supporters, we've grown tremendously.

The finest assistance dog instructors staff six Canine Companions training centers across the country. These professionals possess hundreds of years of cumulative experience in both assistance dog training and instruction to people with over 60 different types of disabilities.

Canine Companions is the largest provider of assistance dogs in the world and all follow-up support is provided free of charge to recipients. Demand for our highly trained assistance dogs is ongoing and growing.

See our Growth

  • 5,457 graduate teams placed since our founding in July 1975 in Santa Rosa, California
  • 184 teams graduated in 2017 YTD
  • 366 teams graduated in 2016
  • 309 teams graduated in 2015
  • 289 teams graduated in 2014
  • 254 teams graduated in 2013
  • 255 teams graduated in 2012
  • 262 teams graduated in 2011
  • 2,210 active graduate teams nationwide
  • 1,244 puppies currently being raised
  • 147 breeder dogs
  • 3000+ active volunteers nationwide
  • First member of Assistance Dogs International to earn full accreditation
  • Several hundred Canine Companions release dogs currently functioning in such human services roles as bomb searching, border patrol, customs, and therapy and guide dogs