Canine Companions service dog with persons hand on their back

The concept of service dogs for people with physical disabilities began with Canine Companions in 1975 in a home office and a garage. In the 45 years since, thanks to the unparalleled generosity and dedication of our supporters, we’ve grown tremendously.

One in four Americans live with a disability and Canine Companions is here to help. As the leader of the service dog industry, we enhance independence for children, adults and veterans with disabilities through expertly trained service dogs. We use cutting-edge research and training programs to ensure the success and quality of our teams.

Canine Companions is the largest provider of service dogs in the world and all follow-up support is provided free of charge to recipients. Demand for our highly trained service dogs is ongoing and growing.

1975 – Canine Companions is founded in Santa Rosa, CA by Bonnie Bergin after seeing the benefit of burros helping people with disabilities abroad.
1976 – First service dog, Abdul, placed
1978 – First hearing dog placed.
1981 – Canine Companions moved into first training facility in Santa Rosa, CA.
1985 – Formal breeding program begins.
1986 – Canine Companions is a founding member of Assistance Dogs International.
1987 – North Central and Southwest Regions established.
1988 – Southeast Region established. The Labrador/Golden retriever cross is purpose bred as the primary service dog breed of Canine Companions.
1989 – Northeast Region established.
1995 – First Prison Puppy Raising Program started at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Oregon.
2004 – First criminal justice facility dog placement in the industry.
2007 – Canine Companions Veteran Initiative™ begins.
2014 – South Central Region established.
2014 – Canine Companions places first service dogs for veterans with PTSD.
2015 – Canine Early Development Center opened.
2018 – Paige Mazzoni begins as Chief Executive Officer.
2019 – Therapy dog program established.