Yellow Lab Service Dog laying down

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Dog FAQs

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 OSI-PTSD Service Dogs are open, please visit the OSI-PTSD Service Dogs page for more information.

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.

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.

Is BC & Alberta Guide Dogs an accredited training school?

Yes. BC & Alberta Guide Dogs 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 I train/apprentice to be a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor?

Please check out the careers section of our team page for current opportunities.

Donation FAQs

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.

Puppy Sponsorship FAQs

Is my puppy guaranteed to become a Guide Dog or Service Dog?

Like humans, each dog has its own personality and talents, and not all dogs are suited for a career as a service animal. The safety and health of our dogs and clients is always our top priority. Both Guide Dogs and Service Dogs must meet testing standards set out by International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International respectively. We find suitable homes for dogs that do not qualify. If your puppy becomes a non-qualifier, we will transfer your sponsorship to another dog, often of a similar age (sometimes, it is a brother or sister of your puppy).

If I give a sponsorship as a gift, what will the gift recipient receive? 

We will send your designated recipient a letter (customized for the gift occasion), explaining the details of your gift. The Canadian income tax receipt will be sent to you, the gift giver.

Can my company/foundation/school co-sponsor a puppy?

Of course! We welcome individuals and groups alike to sponsor a puppy.

Can I choose to co-sponsor a future Guide Dog only? An Autism Service Dog only? An OSI-PTSD Service Dog only?

All of our puppies learn the same basic obedience skills, and it is only once they enter advanced training at about 15 months that we get a true sense of the best career for each dog. For that reason, it is impossible for us to tell if your puppy will become a Guide Dog or Service Dog. Although we realize that one of the programs might be particularly close to your heart, we hope you will understand that your sponsorship will make a positive, life-changing difference either way.

Can I name a puppy?

For donors who contribute $5000 or more, we extend the special privilege of naming a puppy.

In which community will my dog be placed after graduation?

Currently, we match dogs with adults and children throughout British Columbia and Alberta. Although we understand that donors may prefer to sponsor a dog that is placed in their own community, our first priority is to match a client with the most suitable canine, regardless of geographic location.

Can I stop my monthly sponsorship at any time?

Yes, you may terminate your sponsorship at any time with 15 days notice. Please call us at 1-877-940-4504 to discontinue your monthly sponsorship.

Volunteer FAQs

How can I volunteer to help with 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 section of our Volunteer page.

How can I volunteer to board an adult dog?

Connect with your local representative listed on the Adult Dog Boarding section of the Volunteer page. Please review our Boarding Home FAQs section for more information.

Do you have volunteer opportunities other than puppy raising and boarding?

Please check our Volunteer Page for current opportunites.

Boarding Home FAQs

Do I have to live in South Delta?

No! Dog Boarders can also live in Edmonton and Qualicum Beach. Contact us for more details.

Do I need dog experience?

No, but having prior experience with dogs is preferred. You must be strong enough to control a large, energetic dog. If you have no prior dog experience you may be asked to attend some puppy obedience classes to gain some extra experience prior to getting a boarding dog.

Do I get trained?

Yes. Our staff will explain all of our rules and regulations to you prior to getting a dog. Upon receiving a dog you will get further instruction from staff. Then each day at pick up and drop off times you have a chance for a quick chat with your dog’s trainer. You dog’s trainer is happy to schedule longer times to chat or troubleshoot with you as well.

When is the dog picked up and dropped off?

The dog is generally picked up between 9:00-10:00 am and then dropped off around 3:30-4:15 pm. We do require that a house key and/or alarm code is given to our trainers so they can pick up or drop off if you are not home. For Boarders located in Qualicum Beach and Edmonton, this schedule may be different – please contact us directly for more information.

Can I leave the dog at home alone?

Yes, but with restrictions. Our dogs are used to being with people constantly. We do not allow the dog to be home alone longer than 3-4 hours, and this should be infrequent. Leaving the dog alone outside in a fenced yard is not permissible. Because we may need to pick up or drop off a dog when you are not home we do require a house key and/or alarm code to be given to our staff.

What if I want to go away on vacation?

We will find home for the dog while you’re away with another trained family in the area. We ask that you do not go away more than about three weeks total during the 5-6 month time period you will have the dog.

Can my child walk the dog?

As a safety precaution, we do not allow children to walk our dogs by themselves. They are allowed to walk with you when your walk the dog.

What age are the dogs?

The dogs are generally between 18 and 22 months old when they come into advanced training and need a boarding home. Prior to this they have been living with a volunteer Puppy Raiser.

Can I have another pet?

Yes. You can have other pets. You are limited to having only one other dog, who must be relatively well behaved and show no aggression towards other dogs. Any dogs or cats you have must be on preventative flea and tick medication. If you have a dog, one person is not allowed to walk both your pet dog and the boarding dog in training at the same time.

Do you provide food and vet care?

Yes. We provide food, vet care, monthly flea and tick medication, and general dog supplies (a bowl, leash, brush, etc.). We also provide a note on letterhead to waive the Delta licensing fee. The only cost to boarders is if you want to buy the dog a bed and/or toys.

What if the dog doesn’t go training for a day?

Occasionally our trainers cannot take the dog out training. They try to prevent this if at all possible, and it is rare, but if it happens you must be able to have the dog with you at home or your work for the day. The dog cannot be left home alone while you are at work.

Is the dog house-trained?

Yes. The dogs are fully house-trained prior to coming to a boarding home.

Can the dog sleep in my bed?

No. Our dogs are not allowed on any furniture at any times. We do ask that the dog sleeps in its own dog bed in your room.

Other FAQs

Can someone from your organization come speak at our school/workplace/event?

If you would like to inquire about a speaking engagement, please contact communications@bcandalbertaguidedogs.com in BC or nicole.langton@bcandalbertaguidedogs.com in Alberta.

How can I get my Company involved?

Check out our Corporate Giving section for more information.

Can I host a fundraiser?

Yes please! Check out our Organize a Fundraiser page for more information and ideas.

Can I sign up for email updates?