Accessing Canada's Service Dog Program

Sep 25,2020

Over the years, we have received numerous requests for information on service dogs in Canada. In contrast to the United States, where service dogs are defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Canada does not have a single legal definition of what constitutes a "service animal." The use of assistance animals is addressed by a wide variety of provincial, territorial, and federal regulatory systems.

Procedures for acquiring a service dog in Canada vary slightly according to the individual's stated need. So that we can address people's worries about service dogs, let's take a closer look at these.

Canadian law mandates the use of service dogs.

The following is something most people would agree with:

A service dog has undergone extensive, specialized training from an organization or individual committed to providing assistance to those who rely on them.

Helps a disabled person in some way by tending to their unique requirements

Despite the fact that several Canadian laws and regulations cover service dogs, the following are necessary for the ownership of a service dog:

Service Dog Requirements

Canada's service dog application process

1. Have a trained service dog provided by a nonprofit.

There are both nonprofit and for-profit businesses out there.

Long waiting lists are not uncommon at nonprofits. The high demand and low supply could make the wait longer than 2 years. While some organizations will only lend you one of their own trained dogs, others will assist you in getting your own dog certified.

While for-profit groups may make it easier to get a trained service dog, the cost can run from $25,000 to ,000.

Turn your dog into a service animal.

The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) states that any dog can be trained to become a specific type of service dog. If you're thinking about self-training a service dog, you might want to know a few things first.

The first step is to select a breed that is appropriate for your needs and way of life.

Choose a breed that will adapt to your needs and help you overcome your disability. Choose a puppy or adolescent with the right temperament if you plan to raise and train it for future service work. Another option is to adopt an adult dog who already possesses the desired characteristics from a good home.

Second, once you know the ropes, you can apply what you've learned to training any animal.

This may prove to be the toughest part. When trying to find a training structure or a solution to correct the dog's bad behavior in training, it can be difficult to find moral and local support. Many of the owner-trainers have had the unfortunate experience of spending countless hours on the phone gathering or receiving information only to realize that it provides only a narrow lens through which to view a highly nuanced and multifaceted subject.

The Online Certified Intensive Service Dog Training Course provides access to expert training resources and guidance from the comfort of your own home. You will learn everything you need to know to train your own service dog in this straightforward and comprehensive course.

service dog training

Third, a service dog handler's responsibilities when out in public

The dog must always be under the handler's supervision.

The service dog's owner is responsible for any harm the animal may cause.

If a service dog defecates or urinates in a public area, the owner or responsible party must remove the waste immediately or arrange for its removal.

Growing, barking, snapping, biting, or lunging are all unacceptable behaviors in a service dog.

The service dog team may be asked to leave if the dog becomes aggressive or causes problems for other people or animals.

Canada's service dog certification process, No. 3

Access laws for trained service dogs and service dogs-in-training vary by country, state, and province.

Canadian Laws Regarding Guide Dogs and Other Service Animals:


• The Service Animals Act

Pronunciation: [bk s

The Assistance Animals in Need of Training Act


Code of Human Rights

Protection of Service Animals Act

Province of New Brunswick

Act for Human Rights

Labrador and Newfoundland

Act for Human Rights

Territories of the North West

Act for Human Rights

Atlantic province of Nova Scotia

Act for Human Rights


Act for Human Rights


Ontario's Disabilities Accessibility Act

Code of Human Rights

Iconic Canadian Province, Also Known As:

Act for Human Rights


Disabled Persons' Rights Act

Rights and Freedoms Document (Charter)


Codification of Human Rights

Forms of Assistance Dogs

Disabled people rely on service animals for a wide range of assistance. A variety of terms, including "guide dog," "service dog," "hearing dog," and "service animal," are used to describe assistance animals in Canada.

There may be some overlapping categories, but generally speaking, service dogs are classified as one of the following.

Dogs that provide general assistance help their owners lead more autonomous lives.

When working with their human partner, guide dogs (also known as "Eye-seeing Dogs") help the visually impaired stay out of harm's way.

Dogs trained to assist those with hearing loss can guide them and keep them safe.

PTSD service dogs are trained to help their owners cope with the symptoms of the disorder by niggling at them and remaining calm during episodes of anxiety and panic.

Dogs trained to detect and warn their owners of low or high blood sugar levels.

Service dogs for autistic people help those with the disorder cope with stress and anxiety in public and other potentially stressful settings.

Dogs trained to detect seizures can warn their owners of an impending seizure.

Dogs trained to respond to the signs of an epileptic seizure, such as bringing a person their medication, can save lives.


Many people with disabilities have benefited greatly from the use of service dogs, which have been shown to increase their independence, social relationships, self-esteem, and life satisfaction while reducing their anxiety, stress, and loneliness. If you are a Canadian resident and are thinking about getting a service dog, please read the above and learn as much as possible about your options.

service dog training

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