Life After Graduation

Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides will provide follow-up support to our graduates for the entire working life of the Dog Guide.

Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides will provide follow-up support to our graduates for the entire working life of the Dog Guide. Our comprehensive follow-up support includes phone/email communication, in-home visits, community education, and community networking.

  • Trainers will visit all of our graduates in their home after they return home from class.
  • Our training team will contact all of our graduates once per year by telephone or email.
  • Our training team is available all year long for our graduates when you have questions or issues that arise from your Dog Guide and your specific needs. If a phone/email consultation does not fix the issues, then a trainer will arrange for an in-home visit when one of our trainers is in your area.

Regardless of the challenges that you face in regards to your Dog Guide, Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides is committed to supporting our graduates in their communities. Some of the common challenges include:

  • Emergency veterinarian care- This can be a very difficult and expensive time for our graduates. Our client services department will help you access some of the community supports available throughout the country to help offset the cost of emergency care for your Dog Guide.
  • Access and Discrimination Challenges- Despite provincial laws and human rights in place throughout Canada that protect your rights as an individual with a Dog Guide, there may be times when you are discriminated against. Support is always available to you from our training team, specifically client services, when you have been denied access or discriminated against in other ways. We are able to explore the laws that protect you and the options that are available to you moving forward.
  • Travel- Whether you are travelling within Canada or internationally, our training team can help prepare you for travelling with a Dog Guide. We will help you explore and solve issues that may arise around travelling, accommodations, environment, and other travel related challenges.

To update your address or to request equipment, please contact client-services@dogguides.com

Health Forms by Program

Autism Assistance (download)

Canine Vision (download)

Diabetes Alert (download)

Facility Support (download)

Hearing (download)

Service (download)

Seizure Response (download)

Retiring a Dog Guide

All of our Dog Guides must one day hang up their harness and retire from being an active Dog Guide. Lions Foundation of Canada does not have a pre-determined age at which a Dog Guide must be retired, however most Dog Guides will work until they are 8-10 years old. Every Dog Guide is in a unique situation, and so our training team will work with you and your veterinarian to determine when it is time to retire your Dog Guide. Typically a Dog Guide is retired due to health issues or slowing down, however there can be other reasons as well.

When it is time to retire a Dog Guide, it can be a very emotional and difficult time as the reality that your working life together is coming to an end. Our training team will help you through the steps of retirement and easing the transition.

Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides will make every effort along with the graduate to find great homes for all of our retired Dog Guides. If applicable, retired dog guides will live in the homes of their former handlers, or family and friends of their former handler. Some of the retired Dog Guides will be placed with their former foster families, while others will be adopted out by our staff to applicant families in our community.

We urge you to contact us if you feel your Dog Guide is slowing down or you feel that it may be time to talk about retirement. Our staff will work with you along the way, and look to help both you and your Dog Guide into retirement. Once retired, many of our graduates will apply for a successor dog when they feel they are ready. Obviously our graduates will never be able to replace a retired Dog Guide, but will instead travel a new journey with a new companion. When you are ready for a successor Dog Guide, please call or email client-services@dogguides.com