Providing Dog Guides to Canadians with Disabilities
Career Change/Retired Dog Adoption disqualified retired dogs

Please visit the link below to view our dogs that are available for adoption and are looking for confident, dog experienced homes.

Current dogs for Adoption

The Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides Career Change Program is currently accepting applications for individuals or families. To submit an application, please download the application from our website and email it to once completed.

Career Change Application

Career Change dogs are those which have been disqualified from our programs due to temperament and/or health reasons that we are looking to adopt to wonderful families. They may or may not have received some formal Dog Guide training. This is strictly dependent on what stage they were at when they were disqualified. All have been raised in volunteer foster homes where they have been socialized and house trained. Further obedience training is recommended once placed in a new home. We occasionally have dogs returned for adoption that are retiring from a working environment.

How does the adoption program work?
You will be sent a application to fill out and return to us. Applications are then placed on a general email list. All available dogs will be sent in email newsletter format on an as available basis (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly). If you're interested in a dog highlighted in the newsletter, there will be a final date listed for you to contact us to apply for adoption. After the final date, all applications will be reviewed and the best match will be chosen from those interested; all applicants will be contacted to let them know the outcome. The successful applicant will need to attend a meet & greet with the dog at our Oakville facility, bringing along any current pet dog(s) that will need to be up to date on vaccines (including Bordetella). There is a two-week trial period to ensure that the dog is a suitable fit with your family.

What is the adoption fee and what does it cover?
All dogs are spayed or neutered and vaccinations are updated. Each dog is unique and we support the future care of the dog by providing behavioural information about the dog and their medical records while they were in our care. A fee is charged for all dogs based on age, level of training and reason for disqualification. Fees range from $1,000-$1,500, although fees for dogs with medical issues or retiring dogs are assessed case by case. This fee helps cover the many costs associated with the care, veterinary expenses, etc. 

What types of dogs do you have available for adoption?
Approximately 75% of our breeding program is Labs, a small amount of those being Labs mixed with Golden Retrievers, and 25% is Standard Poodles. We do not have poodle mixes. 

Labrador Retrievers
Labs are a fun-loving and playful breed. They make excellent family companions and can range from moderate to high in both energy and size (24-35kg). They require a moderate amount of grooming to keep their coats fresh. As our labs tend to be younger at time of adoption their personalities lean towards being a bit goofy and they will require additional enrichment needs be it physical and/or intellectual. This can be done through obedience classes, food dispensing toys, hiking, playtime, etc. No matter the personality our labs are full of one thing, love!

Standard Poodles
Standard Poodles are a very high energy, fun-loving, and intelligent breed. While each dog we adopt is unique, as a general rule poodles require a confident handler that is willing to put in the time to meet their exercise, ongoing training, and socialization requirements. Standard Poodles range from medium to large in size (16-30kg) and require a high level of maintenance with their coat and ears, so if you haven't had a poodle before please ensure you research grooming costs. When their needs are fulfilled a Standard Poodle can be a loyal companion and a wonderful pet!

Retired Dog Guides
There comes a time when all great service dogs must hang up their harness, kick up their paws, and enjoy the golden years. Often these dogs are adopted by the handler or handler’s family/friends that they have worked so closely with; however, sometimes this is not possible. Retired service dogs range from ages 8-13 and are looking for a loving home that will care for them, age-related lumps and bumps included!

How long is the waiting list to get a dog?
Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question. The time it may take to receive a dog depends on how many dogs enter our Career Change Program, what you're looking for in a dog, as well as your family set up. Retired dogs are the longest wait as many are adopted by clients or their immediate family. Some people have received a dog in under 6 months, some wait for over a year. We only keep applications on file for 1 year, at which time an email notification will go out to notify you of the expiration. If still interested, you may reapply at that time. 

Canine Vision Dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired
Hearing Dog Guides for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
Service Dog Guides for people with a physical or medical disability
Seizure Response Dog Guides for people with epilepsy
Autism Assistance Dog Guides for children and their families living with autism spectrum disorder
Diabetic Alert Dog Guides for people who have diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness
Facility Support Dog Guides For use by professional agencies serving individuals in traumatic situations


Thank you for your interest in our career change dogs, your adoption application has been sent.

Dog Adoption Application


When will you be ready to adopt* (MM/DD/YYYY):
Full Name*:
Postal/Zip Code* (X1X1X1 / 11111) no spaces:
Home Phone:
Cell Phone:
Work Phone:


Have you ever owned a dog before? Yes     No
Please describe your dog experience:
How and where did you obedience train them?
Please list below dogs you own, or have owned in the past:
Type/Breed of Dog Activity Level Sex Fixed? Owned When? Owned for
how long?
Do you still have?
What happened to dog?

Do you have any other pets in your household?

Are there any special considerations you have in adopting a dog?
Many of the dogs that are disqualified from our programs have only had basic house training and obedience. Are you prepared to take the dog to training/obedience classes? Yes     No


Type of home:
Do you? Own     Rent
Are dogs permitted where you live? Yes     No
Fenced Yard?  Yes     No Would you be able to fence an area?  Yes     No

Please describe your yard and fencing:

Please describe how you would accommodate the dog's toileting and exercise needs? :
What type of area do you live in?
Where will your dog stay when you are at home?
Where will your dog stay when you are NOT at home?
Will someone be home during the day with the dog? Yes     No
Home many hours will your dog be left alone?
Will someone be home at lunch to let the dog out? Yes     No
How many people live in your household?
Any Pet Allergies?
Will the Dog be around Children?  Yes     No      What ages?

Please describe the type of dog you would like to adopt:

*Please note that specific requests may mean a longer wait until such a dog is available.
Male or Female   Male only   *Female only     *Wait time for female dogs is usually much longer.
Labrador Retriever   Standard Poodle   Miniature Poodle   Golden Retriever (not always avail)  
No Preference   Other (if avail)
Is there a particular colour that is your sole interest?   *Note, wait for yellow and chocolate labs is usually much longer as there tend to be fewer in our programs.
What Size? Large (50lbs+)   Medium (20-49lbs)   Small (up to 20lbs)  
What Age? Any age   Adult (~1-3 years old)   Retired (~8 years old+)  
What activity level are you looking for in a dog? Always calm   Somewhat active   Very Active  

What types of activities would you like to do with your dog?
Are you prepared to accept the responsibilities associated with adopting a dog that has special needs or health issues? (Such issues could include Allergies, Special Dietary needs, exercise restrictions etc.)      Yes     No
I have read the attached letter and understand that I will be contacted by Dog Guides Canada when an appropriate dog is available for adoption and I am fully aware of the associated adoption fees.

I agree that being a responsible dog owner entails a commitment to the well-being of the dog, and I am aware that the dog will need to visit a veterinarian on an annual basis. I understand that additional veterinary care may be required as a result of illness, accident, parasites or other medical conditions and that the associated costs will be my entire responsibility. I also understand that I am required to abide by all municipal dog-related by-laws and that I will be liable for any damages the dog may cause to people or property.