Guide Dog & Service Dog Certification

Guide and service dogs help people with disabilities avoid hazards or perform tasks. Guide dogs help people with visual impairments while service dogs help people with other kinds of disabilities such as hearing impairments and epilepsy. They can help a person navigate through public areas, alert them to sounds, open doors and do other tasks.

British Columbia’s Guide Dog and Service Dog Act and regulation govern how guide and service dogs and their handlers are certified. Certification increases public safety, raises training standards and improves public access for dog and handler teams.

There are two ways to be certified:

  1. Receive a trained dog from an accredited school
  2. Pass a public safety test

Training and testing ensures only dogs who behave well in a variety of environments are certified.

See Guide Dog & Service Dog Team Certification and Dog-in-Training, Trainer & Retired Dog Certification for more information.

Visitors to British Columbia

To enjoy access under the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act, we encourage visiting dog and handler teams to get certified. Apply for certification by submitting an Application for a Guide or Service Dog Certificate form (pdf) to Security Programs.

Other Service Animals

Therapy and emotional support animals, including dogs, are not eligible for certification.

Offenses

It is a Guide Dog and Service Dog Act offence to represent a dog as a guide or service dog when it is not. A conviction carries a fine of up to $3,000.

It is a Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act offense to interfere with or harm a guide or service dog. A conviction may result in a fine or ticket.

Contacts

Security Programs personnel are available during regular business hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.

Telephone: Toll free - 1 855 587-0185 (press option 5)

Direct number: 250-387-6414

Fax: 250 387-4454

Email: guideandservicedogs@gov.bc.ca

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