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Since 1983, Lions Foundation of Canada has provided specially trained Dog Guides to people of all ages coast to coast.  Each Dog Guide costs approximately $25,000 to raise and train yet they provided at no cost to qualified applicants.  Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides does not receive any government funding and relies on the support of fundraising events and donations from service clubs, corporations, foundations and individuals across the country.

 

The training of a Dog Guide is an intensive four to six month period, training one-on—one with a qualified trainer.  Once fully trained, the dog is matched with its handler who then spends one to four weeks at the Oakville training facility, learning how to handle, trust and bond with their new Dog Guide.  Breeds commonly used are Labrador Retrievers, Poodles and Golden Retrievers.

 

Canine Vision Dog Guides help people who are blind or visually impaired.  The Dog Guides create an increased sense of mobility for their handler.  They are specifically trained to navigate busy streets, stairs, escalators and other obstacles that are found on most daily routes.

 

Autism Assistance Dog Guides help children with autism spectrum disorder.  Autism Assistance Dog Guides provide safety, companionship and unconditional love.  They provide calming relief for children in high anxiety situations and reduce the stress commonly experienced in public place.

 

Seizure Response Dog Guides assist individuals that experience frequent epileptic seizures.  They are trained to recognize and react to the onset of a seizure.  A Seizure response dog will bark for help, are able to activate an alert system and provide comfort after a seizure.

 

Service Dog Guides are trained to assist people with a physical disability, helping increase their sense of independence and mobility on a daily basis.  They can open and close doors, retrieve dropped items and get help when needed.

 

Hearing Dog Guides are trained to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  With an increased sense of security, clients are able to feel comfortable in their own home.  They are taught to alert their handler to important sounds, make physical contact with their handler and lead them to the sound.  They also respond to hand signals if their handler uses sign language.

 

Diabetic Alert Dog Guides assist people who have type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness.  They are trained to detect sudden drips in their handler’s blood sugar through scent and alert them so that they can ingest something.  A Diabetic Alert Dog will bark for help, are able to activate and alert system, can retrieve food and provide comfort after a hypoglycemic episode.

 

100 per cent of funds raised give the gift of mobility, safety and independence at no cost to Canadians coast to coast for the life of the service dog.

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