How do I apply for a Guide Dog or Autism Service Dog?
We regret that we are currently unable to accept any new applications for Guide Dogs or Autism Service Dogs. We will re-open the application process once we have fulfilled our wait list of existing applications. We have taken this step in order to better serve the clients who are awaiting training at this time. We thank you for your patience as and regret any disappointment. Please check back again in the future. Applications for PTSD Service Dogs are open, please visit the VICD Service Dogs page for more information.
How do Guide Dogs help blind and visually impaired people?
Guide Dogs enable the recipient to move around safely and independently by helping blind or visually-impaired people navigate their surroundings. Based on the handler’s direction, dogs safely guide their partner around obstacles, through intersections, to stairs, doors and other landmarks.
How do Autism Service Dogs help children with autism?
Our goal is to improve the quality of life of children with autism and their family by providing a trained Autism Service Dog. It takes up to 2 years and costs our charity up to $35,000 to produce each certified dog. Our organization relies on the generosity of donors to serve citizens of British Columbia and Alberta so that we can provide these dogs free of charge to families.
What breeds of dogs do we use for training?
We use Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and crosses between Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers.
Where do you get your puppies?
We have an in-house breeding program and we participate at an international level with other guide dog organizations in the sharing of puppies and breeding materials.
Do the dogs ever get any playtime, or are they always working?
Once the dogs are home for the day and their jackets are off, they are pet dogs and are able to play and relax just like any other dog.
How much does it cost to produce a fully trained Guide Dog, Autism Service Dog, or PTSD Service Dog?
It takes two years and costs up to $35,000 to the organization to train each dog.
Do you train dogs for other purposes, like hearing assistance or therapy dogs?
Some of our dogs who do not qualify as Guide Dog, Autism Service Dogs or PTSD Service Dogs become Very Special Placements (VSPs) and may be placed with other individuals in need of a well-trained dog.
Is BC & Alberta Guide Dogs an accredited training school?
Yes. British Columbia Guide Dog Services has been fully accredited members of the International Guide Dog Federation since 2001 and Assistance Dogs International since 2008.
What happens to retired dogs?
Our dogs retire as pets at about 10 years of age. Most often our clients or a family member keep the dog for the remainder of their life. We occasionally need to find a home for a retiree, which would be a placement in a home where the caregiver is at home and they are prepared to take on the care and cost of a senior dog.
Can you train my dog?
We are sorry, but we do not do any third-party training of Guide Dogs or Service Dogs. If you are looking at getting your dog certified under the British Columbia Guide Dog and Service Dog Act, please visit the government website for information on how to get your own dog certified under the Act.
Can I train/apprentice to be a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor?
Please check our careers page for current opportunities.
What happens to dogs that don’t make it through advanced training?
When it is decided that a dog is released from advanced training (we call them non-qualifiers), we find each and every dog loving forever homes. They could be adopted by their puppy trainers, boarders or the dogs are sold to recipients on our non-qualifier list. At the present time our application list is closed due to the number of people waiting, and the lack of dogs available for adoption.
How can I donate to your organization?
Please look at our ways to donate page or you can DONATE NOW!
How do I sponsor a puppy?
Please check out our Puppy Sponsorship page for more information.
How can I volunteer to be a Puppy Training?
If you live in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, Victoria or Nanaimo area, or Calgary, please check out for information on our Puppy Training page.
How can I volunteer to board an adult dog?
Do you have volunteer opportunities other than puppy raising and boarding?
Please check our Volunteer Page for current opportunites.
Can someone from your organization come speak at our school/workplace/event?
Can I host a fundraiser?
Yes please! Check out our Organize a Fundraiser page for more information and ideas.
How can I get my Company involved?
Check out our Corporate Giving section for more information.
Can I sign up for email updates?