About our Program
Canadians with sight loss often say having a guide dog is a transformational experience. Being part of a guide dog team provides mobility, safety and confidence, leading to increased independence and a sense of connection with the world around you.
At CNIB, we believe that everyone who would like to have a guide dog should have that opportunity. That's why we're proud to launch CNIB Guide Dogs, a new program to raise and train guide dogs exclusively for people with sight loss, with the range of choices, services and opportunities they need and want.
The goal of CNIB Guide Dogs is to expand the choices and opportunities for blind and partially sighted Canadians wanting to acquire a guide dog. We want to meet individual needs of the blind and partially sighted community by enhancing mobility and independence through the highest-quality guide dog teams.
At CNIB Guide Dogs, we raise our voices to ensure people who are blind or partially sighted have opportunities to live, work and play without barriers. We’re committed to ensuring social attitudes shift to universal acceptance and appreciation for guide dogs. To help transform our communities into beacons of accessibility and inclusion, our dogs have three career options:
Guide Dog - A guide dog is partnered with a youth or adult with sight loss. Whether it’s avoiding obstacles, stopping at curbs and steps or negotiating traffic, this dog fosters independence. The harness and U-shaped handle facilitates communication between the dog and the person who is blind. In this partnership, the person provides directional commands and the dog ensures the team’s safety – if necessary, the dog disobeys unsafe commands.
Ambassador Dog - An ambassador dog is partnered with a staff member to promote CNIB Guide Dogs at community events and raise awareness about the role of guide dogs. Whether it’s introducing someone to the benefits of guide dogs, recruiting volunteer puppy raisers for puppies-in-training or connecting with individuals who may be interested in sponsoring the program, this dog is an important member of the marketing team.
Buddy Dog - A buddy dog is partnered with a child who is living with sight loss. Whether it’s feeding, grooming or walking this well-trained family pet, this will give the child an opportunity to care for a dog and make it easier to transition into a guide dog partnership in the future.
CNIB will raise, train and match dogs exclusively for people who are blind or partially sighted.
A person-centric approach:
We'll provide all the support that’s needed, from the point someone with sight loss pursues guide dog training, to the placement of the dog and throughout the dog's working life. This includes a wide range of supplementary services and training, peer support, advocacy and more.
Flexibility and convenience, coast to coast:
We’ll provide a convenient and accessible option for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted in every part of the country. Our guide dog mobility instructors provide training in your home, or a central location, to support the guide dog partnership and maximize the potential for success.
Highest Quality standards:
We provide dogs that meet the highest standards in health and quality. Our dogs will come from expert sources with a proven record in producing guide dogs for people who are blind.
Positive training philosophies:
Expert training by qualified staff means our guide dogs have skills and social behavior that meets or exceeds International Guide Dog Federation standards.