Information about service dogs

How to get a service dog, what service dog organizations do, service dog training and travelling to Alberta with a service dog.

Overview

A service dog is a dog that has been trained and assessed for safety in public spaces and helps a person with specific tasks related to their disability. A service dog team consists of:

  • the service dog
  • the individual with a disability
  • the service dog handler, if the individual is a minor

The Service Dogs Act and Service Dogs Qualification Regulations (0.3 MB) complement the Blind Persons’ Rights Act by providing Albertans with disabilities, using qualified service dogs, the same right of access to public places.

Under the Service Dogs Act and Service Dogs Qualification Regulations (0.3 MB), qualified service dog teams must be allowed access to any location where the general public is allowed. This Act only applies to dogs and not any other type of animal.

Get a service dog

If you have a disability, you can get a service dog from a qualified organization.

Service dog organizations

Service dog organizations can provide dogs that are qualified under the Service Dogs Act, and can train and assess dogs for qualification.

Qualified List

The Qualified List contains the names of Alberta-based organizations which have been approved by government to:

  • produce qualified service dogs
  • provide training
  • conduct service dog qualification assessments

Schools accredited by, or holding candidacy status with Assistance Dogs International (ADI) are considered to be on the Qualified List regardless of where they are located.

Service dog training

If you have an owner-managed dog, you can get the dog trained to become a service dog.

Service dog identification cards

A service dog identification card provides proof that the service dog team is qualified by the government.  The card has:

  • the name of the handler and dog
  • a photo of the handler and dog
  • a validation number
  • a date of expiration
Example of a Service Dog Identification card

There is no cost to receive a service dog identification card.

Service dog teams that are pre-qualified can get a service dog identification card. All other teams can apply directly to get a service dog assessed for public access.

Service dogs in public

Service dog handlers, the public and businesses have rights and responsibilities regarding access and behavior of service dogs. Learn more about service dogs in public.

Report a concern about service dogs

You can report a concern about a service dog, service dog handler or service dog trainer.

Travelling to Alberta with a service dog

Service dogs that have graduated from a school accredited by, or holding candidacy status with, Assistance Dogs International (ADI) are covered under the Service Dogs Act and Service Dogs Qualification Regulations (0.3 MB). You must carry an identification card that displays a photo of the service dog team and the ADI logo.

If you are planning long term stays in Alberta or will be traveling frequently to the province, you should apply for an Alberta Service Dog Identification Card.

Handlers travelling with dogs with owner- managed training or that have graduated from a non-ADI school can apply for a qualification assessment.  Please note that the application process and assessment scheduling takes some time, so plans must be made well in advance of travel.

Contact

Service Dog Assessment Team
780-427-9136 (Edmonton)
310-0000, then 780-427-9136 (toll-free) 
servicedogs@gov.ab.ca

Mailing address:
Service Dog Assessment Team
Community and Social Services
3rd Floor Standard Life Centre
10405 Jasper Ave NW
Edmonton AB  T5J 4R7