Our Dogs

Canine Companions dogs can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, and we place our dogs in teams that will utilize their training and celebrate their spirits. Scroll down the page to learn more about the different types of service dogs we train.

Canine Companions service dog doing step command

Service Dogs

Imagine having a dog that could turn on lights, pick up dropped keys, open a door or alert to sounds. Canine Companions service dogs are partnered with adults and children with disabilities to assist with daily tasks and increase independence by reducing reliance on other people. A service dog can pull their partner in a manual wheelchair, alert to the sound of a doorbell, push buttons for elevators or automatic doors, and even assist with business transactions by transferring money, receipts, and packages.

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Canine Companions facility dog Barboza resting on lap of patient in wheelchair

Facility Dogs

Facility dogs are expertly trained dogs that are partnered with a facilitator working in a health care, visitation or education setting. Canine Companions facility dogs are trustworthy in professional environments and can perform over 40 commands designed to motivate and inspire clients with special needs. Facilitators are working professionals responsible for handling and caring for the facility dog. Additionally, facilitators are committed to long-term employment where they directly serve clients with special needs a minimum of twenty hours per week. One of the most valued qualities of the facility dog is the unconditional love and attention it gives to the clients and patients with whom it interacts.

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Canine Companions service dog resting on lap of black american veteran sitting on wooden bench in a park

Service Dogs for Veterans

Canine Companions recognizes the urgent and growing need for programs that provide support to veterans with disabilities. Many of the brave men and women returning home from combat with disabling injuries experience a litany of new challenges. Often, they face difficult transitions back to civilian life as well as uncertain futures with new disabilities.

Canine Companions service dogs can help veterans regain independence, pride and hope. Beyond much-needed physical assistance, the love, loyalty and positivity of a canine partner can make a profound, lasting impact on someone dealing with difficult emotions that are hard to communicate.

To support veterans with PTSD, dogs are trained in tasks including anxiety and nightmare interruption, turning on lights, retrieving items, and supporting their handler in crowded public situations that might provoke anxiety for individuals with PTSD.

“She’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Violet is amazing and so well-trained.”- Victor and Service Dog Violet

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Canine Companions service dog sitting

Therapy Dogs

A therapy dog is a pet that accompanies their owner into specific settings for the benefit of the residents or clients in the setting and/or as part of a therapeutic intervention. Studies have shown that interacting with therapy dogs as part of an animal-assisted intervention approach yields both physical and psychological benefits to humans and the dog.  The therapy dog pilot program will provide formal therapy dog certification and ongoing support for a small group of eligible teams near our headquarters in Santa Rosa, California, with the goal of expanding the program more broadly in the future.

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