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Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides

How much have we raised so far for this cause?


How many times have we reached our goal? Almost-there!

$200 = “adopts” two future Dog Guide puppies, offsetting a portion of the cost of veterinary care during the puppies crucial first years, including regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations



In 1985, there was a need. That need, to train guide dogs for Canadians with visual impairments, was met by the introduction of the Canine Vision Canada program. Since then, as the need for other specialized service dogs has grown, so has the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides’ program. This is no small task and today, Lions Foundation provides service dogs trained in:

  • Hearing Ear
  • Service
  • Seizure Response
  • Autism Assistance
  • Diabetic Alert Dog Guides (newly introduced)

- all at no cost to Canadians. Dog Guides Canada, Lions Foundation’s national training school, can now proudly claim the title of being the largest school of its kind in the country with a current annual target of 160 service team graduates in all six programs. That’s a whole lot more impressive than sit, stay, and roll over!



Dog Guides Canada breeds approximately 90% of its Dog Guides, at its breeding facility in Breslau, Ontario. Some dogs are generously donated by breeders from across the country or other guide or assistance dog schools internationally. The most commonly used breeds are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and Standard Poodles and Miniature Poodles. These breeds exhibit the best combination of stability, intelligence and willingness to work.

It takes approximately 4 to 6 months to fully train a Dog Guide in one of the six programs. All Dog Guides undergo a training program with a qualified trainer. The Dog Guide is then matched with its handler and together they are trained with their handler at the Oakville, Ontario facility. Approximately 65% of foster puppies graduate as a Dog Guide. Dogs are disqualified based on temperament or health. Once disqualified, puppies are placed with suitable families.

The average cost of raising and training each Dog Guide is approximately $25,000, however they are provided at no cost to qualified applicants. This includes transportation as well as room and board for the handlers while at the training school in Oakville. To offset part of this cost, the Lions Foundation seeks sponsors for each graduating Dog Guide team. Lions and Lioness clubs contribute approximately 25% of revenue each year. The majority of funding is comprised of individual and corporate donations, foundation grants and service club contributions from across the country. Fundraising events such as the Purina® Walk for Dog Guides are essential to each year's funding.




All of the information found on this page was provided by The Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.