Service Dogs

Learn more about service dogs

Imagine having a dog that could turn on lights, pick up dropped keys or open a door. Canine Companions for Independence service dogs are partnered with adults with physical disabilities to assist with daily tasks and increase independence by reducing reliance on other people. A service dog can pull their partner in a manual wheelchair, push buttons for elevators or automatic doors, and even assist with business transactions by transferring money, receipts, and packages.

A Canine Companions service dog not only assists with physical tasks, but also provides social support. During a two-week training session, participants learn how to effectively handle an assistance dog to maximize use of the 40 commands.

Disabilities served include, but are not limited to, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, arthritis and cerebral palsy.

In order to be eligible for a service dog, applicants must:

  • Have a physical disability
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be independent in mobility
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to safely and effectively control, manage and care for a dog
  • Have adequate vision to observe, intervene and manage a dog’s behavior (generally equivalent to DMV license requirements)
  • Be willing to attend a two-week Team Training class at a Canine Companions training center
  • Be willing to participate in on-going Canine Companions training and graduate support program

Canine Companions service dogs and follow-up services are free of charge.

The process to receive a Canine Companions assistance dog includes multiple steps. Click the button below to find out if an assistance dogs is right for you and start the process to receive more information.

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Please note: Canine Companions does not train or place dogs for the following; to do guide work for the blind, to do seizure or diabetic alert/response, to anticipate or detect medical symptoms, for the primary benefit of emotional comfort or social support, to recognize and/or manage undesirable human behavior, to provide supervision, navigation, or safety from environmental hazards, to respond aggressively, to provide personal protection, to assist with the management of mental illness as a primary condition.