Ontario York Region Heritage Lions Club

Lions Foundation of Canada - Dog Guide
Lions Foundation of Canada is a national charitable foundation created by Lions Clubs across Canada.  Its mission is to assist Canadians with a medical or physical disability by providing them Dog Guides at no cost.

Since 1983, LIons Foundation of Canada has provided specially trained Dog Guides to people of all ages from coast to coast.

Each Dog Guide costs approximately $25,000 to raise and train yet they are 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.  

1) Canine Vision Dog Guides
Canine Vision Canada trains Dog Guides to help people who are blind or visually impaired.  These Dog Guides help create an increased sense of mobility for their handler.
Canine Vision Dog Guides…
- Are specially trained to navigated busy streets. stairs, escalators and other obstacles that are found on most daily routes.

2) Hearing Ear Dog Guides
Hearing Ear Doug 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.  These Dog Guides are taught to alert their handler to important sounds, make physical contact with their handler and lead them to the sounds.  
Hear Ear Dog Guides…
- Respond to sounds such as an alarm clock sounding, ringing phone and fire alarm.
- Respond to hand signals if handler uses sign language

3) Service Dog Guides

Service Dog Guides are trained to assist people with a physical disability, helping increase their sense of independence and mobility on a daily basis.
Service Dog Guides…
- Open and close doors
- Retrieve dropped items
- Can get help when needed

4) Seizure Response Dog Guides
Seizure Response Dog Guides assist individuals that experience frequent epileptic seizures.  They are trained to recognize and react to the onset of a seizure.  Handlers feel secure going out knowing that their Dog Guide is always by their side.
Seizure Response Dog Guides…
- Bark for help
- Are able to activate an alert system
- Provide comfort after a seizure

5) Autism Assistance Dog Guides
Helping children between ages 3-12 with autism spectrum disorder, Autism Assistance Dog Guide Guides provide safety, companionship and unconditional love.  Bonding with the Dog Guide helps both the child and their family gain increased independence and social interaction.
Autism Assistance Dog Guides…
- Provide calming relief for children in high anxiety situations
- Reduce the stress commonly experienced in public places

6) Diabetic Alert Dog Guides
Diabetic Alert Dog Guides assist people who have type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness.  They are trained to detect sudden drops in their handler’s blood sugar through scent and alert them in the event of low.
Diabetic Alert Dog Guides…
- Bark for help
- Are able to activate an alert system
- Can retrieve food
- Provide comfort after a hypoglycemic episode

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 (for those who are allergic to dogs) and Golden Retrievers.

Foster Puppy Program
Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides operates its own breeding program.  At eight weeks of age, puppies are placed in foster homes for approximately one year.  Foster families house-train the puppies, teach them manners and basic obedience, as well as expose them to as many different situations, experiences and people as possible.  Foster families are the first step in the Dog Guide training process and everything that the puppy experience in their foster home will stay with them for a lifetime. 

Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guide
For more than 30 years, the Walk for Dog Guides has been an important fundraising activities for Lions Foundation of Canada’s dog guide service.  The Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is a national event that is held in more than 240 communities and in every province across Canada.  With the generous support of sponsors, 100% of the donations collected go towards providing the gift of mobility, safety and independence at no cost to Canadians from coast to coast.

Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guide Website: