Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence® is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.

The assistance dogs we breed, raise and train aren’t just the ears, hands and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and often, their best friends. They open up new opportunities and new possibilities, and spread incredible joy. We unite people with dogs in a powerful program that leads to greater independence and confidence.

CCI trains four types of assistance dogs

  • Service dogs assist adults with physical disabilities by performing daily tasks.
  • Hearing dogs alert their partners, who are deaf and hard of hearing, to important sounds.
  • Facility dogs work with clients with special needs in a visitation, education, criminal justice or health care setting.
  • Skilled companions enhance independence for children and adults with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities.

From pup to assistance dog

Canine Companions breeds Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and a cross of the two to be assistance dogs. Volunteers care for our breeder dogs and nurture newborn puppies for eight weeks. Canine Companions puppies spend the next 14-18 months with volunteer puppy raisers who provide basic obedience training, socialization and care.