Facility Dogs

Learn more about facility dogs

Facility dogs are expertly trained dogs who partner with a facilitator working in a health care, visitation or education setting.

Canine Companions facility dogs are trustworthy in professional environments and can perform over 40 commands designed to motivate and inspire clients with special needs.

Facilitators are working professionals responsible for handling and caring for the facility dog. Additionally, facilitators are committed to long-term employment where they directly serve clients with special needs a minimum of twenty hours per week.

One of the most valued qualities of the facility dog is the unconditional love and attention it gives to the clients and patients with whom it interacts.

In an educational setting, a facility dog helps engage students in schools and special education classes.

In a health care environment, activities such as grooming, feeding and playing fetch with a facility dog can aid patients in medical rehabilitation and psychiatric programs.

A well-mannered and highly trained facility dog encourages feelings of calm and security for clients in a visitation setting such as a courtroom.

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

  • Be employed working a minimum of 20 hours a week with a marginalized population
  • Have approval from their employer for the use of a facility dog
  • 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 facility 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.