Ministry of Justice

Guide Animal Certification

Guide and service dogs help people who require assistance to avoid hazards or to perform tasks.  Guide dogs assist people with visual impairment while service dogs provide a variety of assistance to people with other kinds of disabilities (e.g. hearing, epilepsy, etc).  A guide/service dog can help a person to negotiate through public areas, alert a person when hearing a sound, or perform service tasks like opening doors.

Under the Guide Animal Act, a person with a disability accompanied by a certified guide/service dog has the same rights, privileges and obligations as a person not accompanied by a dog – specifically, they may enter and use an accommodation, public transportation, eating place, lodging place or any other place to which the public is invited. Dogs are the only type of animal that can be certified under the Act.

Please note:  The Ministry of Justice is currently undertaking a review of the guide and service dog program and legislation. As part of the review, the Ministry will confirm training standards and develop the appropriate training assessments. The timeline for this review is Fall 2014-Spring 2015.

Obtain Certification

To obtain certification (Guide Animal Certificate) under the Guide Animal Act, your guide/service dog must be trained by a training facility that has been approved by the Ministry. During the period of the review, the Ministry will only be certifying new dog and handler teams that have been trained by schools accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI), the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF), or by schools previously approved by the Ministry.

Upon successful completion of the program, the training facility will provide a graduation certificate to you. Send a copy of this graduation certificate to the Ministry of Justice, Security Programs Division (SPD). See the Contacts page for the SPD’s information. Upon verification of the certificate, the SPD will issue a driver's licence-sized Guide Animal Certificate that can be shown if any questions arise when using public transportation or entering an establishment with your dog.