Service Dogs

Acquiring a Service dog can be an extremely difficult journey since there are no national standards. 

We get a lot of inquiries about service dogs throughout the year.

There are various service dog organizations across the country both private and non profit.

Many private companies charge an incredible amount for a service dog. However, non profit organizations have a very long waiting period as demand outweighs supply.

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. 

There are various types of organizations out there for service dogs. Unfortunately, the process can be frustrating and take a long time - generally over 2 yrs if you are placed on a waiting list. 

Some organizations are non-profits while some are for-profit. 

Non-profits can have extremely long waiting lists - sometimes in excess of 2 yrs - since demand drastically 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. 

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 - as they can charge anywhere from $25g - $60g. 

Obviously this scenario can be cost prohibitive for many first responders who are off work for OSI. 

Enabling Change | Invisible Disabilities and the Use of Service Animals

Click here to watch the Collar of Duty Excerpt with Marcel and Teagan

Click here  to watch the Collar of Duty Excerpt with Julia and Stanley

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? Findout

100+ Examples of Service Dog Tasks

Watch a Service Dog Calm a Veteran with PTSD
VAC Responds Psychiatric service dogs for Veterans

Read article for clarification of information provided by Halifax reporter Molly Segal in a CBC radio broadcast on March 12, 2015.

Lynne Rusk B Sc, Ret PC(12)

Where and How to Obtain a Service Dog

CFAS 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.

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. See more

National Standards of Canada

The Development of a National Standard of Canada for Service Dogs is long overdue. CFAS is pleased to announce that this gap is finally going to be addressed. It took over 20 years to raise awareness, while promoting viable solutions, finally someone listened.

Consumers are vital contributors to Canadian standardization. They help ensure that the products and services that are manufactured, imported and sold in Canada are as safe as possible. Feedback from consumers provides an important perspective on consumer interests to the standards community. This input is actively solicited and greatly valued.Consumer feedback provides much-needed information from Canadians about the products and services that they use every day. Input from consumers contributes to the integrity of Canada’s standardization system and its efforts to preserve the safety and well-being of the nation, its citizens and the environment.

The Standards Council coordinates Canada’s standards activities through a vast standardization network, which comprises organizations and individuals involved in voluntary standards development, promotion and implementation in Canada. Stakeholders within the network include representatives from business and industry, government, as well as consumers.

See more development-of-a-national-standard-of-canada-for-service-dogs

To request a copy of the draft standard and comment form please call the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) at 819-956-0425 or 1-800-665-2472, fax at 819-956-5740 or send an e-mail to

The HTML links of the draft standard are enclosed for your convenience.



Should you have any questions regarding this process, or require assistance with respect to reviewing and commenting on the draft standard, kindly contact the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) at 819-956-0425 or 1-800-665-2472, fax at 819-956-5740 or send an e-mail to

Service dog users are protected by law to have their service dog accompany them in public places under the following provincial laws.

Assistance Dogs for All (AD4A)

Canine Support Services

Providing Service Dogs, including those specialized in PTSD and other mental health issues. Self training programs or fully trained dogs possible.

Citadel Canine Society- Located in British Columbia

Mission statement:
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

K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs

K-9 Country Inn offers you 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.

Paws Fur Thought

Searchlight Service Dogs

Searchlight Service Dogs is a Canadian registered Not-for-Profit Corporation operating in Ontario.

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.