We get a lot of inquiries about service dogs throughout the year. Acquiring a Service dog can be an extremely difficult journey since there are no national standards. There are various service dog organizations across the country both private and non-profit. All intake, including the management of waitlists, are conducted by the respective PTSD Service Dog training providers listed on our site.
Badge of Life Canada does not provide funding to train or purchase individual dogs.
The first step you need to take is with your own doctor - You will require a doctors note stating that you require the assistance of a service dog for personal medical purposes.
Any service dog organization you apply to will require this as well in their application process. The letter will also be requested if you have to fly etc along with your service dog qualification and vaccinations. Under the new flight protocols – dogs must be trained under a service dog program.
Many private companies charge an incredible amount for a service dog. However, non profit organizations have a very long waiting period (sometimes in excess of 2 years) as demand outweighs supply.
Some non-profits supply only their own dogs that have been trained by the organization. While other non-profits will screen your own dog and do the training with you that way for certification. Keep in mind most companies will source a dog that has proven service dog qualities.
For-profit organizations may have quicker access for a service dog - sometimes not all the times - but - the prices can be staggering pending the business - It costs anywhere from $20,000 and up to train a service dog (that is the cost regardless of profit or non-profit).
Obviously this scenario can be cost prohibitive for many first responders who are off work for OSI.
Watch service dog calm war vet's PTSD reaction
Erick Scott knows first-hand what it's like to suffer from PTSD. He was paired with a special service dog to help him combat his anxiety. He was amazed to see how his dog, Gumbo, reacted when he became agitated.
Where and How to Obtain a Service Dog
CFAS (The Canadian Foundation for Animal Assisted Support Services) receives ongoing calls about where to obtain a service dog, how to certify a pet as a service dog, how to train a service dog, and how much does it cost to get a service dog. Most service dog organizations have waiting lists and not all organizations train service dogs for every kind of disability.
Most service dog organizations have waiting lists and not all organizations train service dogs for every kind of disability.
First things first, there is no process for certifying a pet as a service dog. Service dogs are specially trained to support people living with visible and invisible disabilities in order to lead meaningful lives, and to participate in an inclusive society. There can be serious repercussions for passing a pet off as a trained service dog, as well as public safety concerns if the dog is not properly selected, socialized, and trained. As such, the following information is meant to provide some general guidance concerning service dogs.
National Standards of Canada
The Development of a National Standard of Canada for Service Dogs is long overdue. Until either a Canadian Industry Standard or National Standard is developed the Canadian Association of Service Dog Trainers (CASDT) has interim benchmark recommendations.
Service dog users are protected by law to have their service dog accompany them in public places under the following provincial laws.
Service Dog Organizations
Assistance Dogs for All (AD4A)
According to the Canadian Foundation for Animal Assisted Support Services, in 2009 Health Canada reported that over 3,300,000 Canadians reported some level of disability and the Canadian Press Report points out that with an aging population and growing awareness the number of people known to have disabilities is on the rise. In Canada alone, 9,000 requests and inquiries were made in 2009 by families, individuals, wounded soldiers, and others concerning their need for animal assisted support services. This need is on the rise, as conventional methodologies are not always effective or accessible.
Canine Support Services
Providing Service Dogs, including those specialized in PTSD and other mental health issues. Self training programs or fully trained dogs possible.
With over 30 years of experience, Wade is one of Canada’s most respected guide dog and service dog trainers. Wade began his career as a guide dog trainer/instructor in 1986 at Canine Vision Canada as a guide dog trainer and instructor, where he completed a three-year apprenticeship program.
Citadel Canine Society - Located in British Columbia
1. We often use rescue dogs saved from animal shelters, that otherwise might not have a very promising future, and,
2. We train and test these dogs, following strict and proven protocols, and then provide service or companion dogs at no charge to new veterans, police officers and we also provide them to children.
Cope Service Dogs
PTSD Service Dog support for those not a veteran or first responder.
To provide a remarkable education program that engages communities and empowers students and others in the training of service dogs that will transform the lives of people with disabilities.
K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs
Offering a unique trainer-assisted owner trained service dog and support program. The difference is, that our service dog training program and custom task training will meet each handlers individual needs.
National Service Dogs
NSD is currently offering this service to Veterans and First Responders in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta through Wounded Warriors.
Searchlight Service Dogs
Our mission: to train and provide high quality Psychiatric Service Dogs in order to better the lives of those who suffer from various mental health conditions. Searchlight Service Dogs is a Canadian registered Not-for-Profit Corporation operating in Ontario.
BC & Alberta Guide Dogs
The mission of BC & Alberta Guide Dogs is to meet the growing demand for professionally trained Guide Dogs and Autism Support Dogs for citizens of British Columbia and Alberta, and PTSD Service Dogs for citizens of British Columbia. At all times we meet or exceed international standards as established by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.
Les Chiens Togo
We transform abandoned dogs into psychological service dogs.
Do you want to adopt responsibly, educate someone to do the same or support the cause? Take a look at Les Chien Togo’s responsible adoption guide.
FIRE TEAM K-9's
FIRE TEAM K-9’s Inc. is a non-profit corporation. Our mission is to provide dogs, training, awareness, integration, evaluation, certification and employment in the Service Dog industry. The company sources dogs and donations to provide Service Dogs to Veterans, First Responders and their dependents, who would qualify and benefit.
Service Dog Articles
PTSD Service Dogs for Veterans and First Responders
Organizations that can assist you in finding out more about service dogs for those with PTSD.
Please note that we do not have personal experience with all these organizations so we cannot recommend them to you.
Please conduct your own research.
What support does a service dog provide? What makes a service dog different? What are the requirements for a service dog?
Legions pause funding PTSD service dogs over training concerns
Read article for clarification of information provided by Halifax reporter Molly Segal in a CBC radio broadcast on March 12, 2015.
Service Dog Videos
Enabling Change | Invisible Disabilities and the Use of Service Animals
Courageous Companions is a registered charity which provides quality trained certified Service Dogs to Military Veterans and First Responders who suffer with physical and/or psychological operational injuries as a result of their service.
Marcel and Teagan | Collar of Duty
After 22 years of being a paramedic, Marcel suffers from PTSD.
Julia and Stanley | Collar of Duty
Stanley is not your typical service dog.