History

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.

See our Growth

  • 7,020 graduate teams placed since our founding in 1975
  • 183 teams graduated in 2021 to date
  • 378 teams graduated in 2020
  • 367 teams graduated in 2019
  • 337 teams graduated in 2018
  • 403 teams graduated in 2017
  • 366 teams graduated in 2016
  • 309 teams graduated in 2015
  • 2,667 active graduate teams nationwide
  • 1,031 puppies currently being raised
  • 121 breeder dogs
  • 4300 active volunteers nationwide
  • First member of Assistance Dogs International to earn full accreditation
  • Several hundred Canine Companions release dogs currently functioning in such human services roles as bomb searching, border patrol, customs, and therapy and guide dogs.