Frequently Asked Questions
Please refer to the Our Dogs Section of our website and choose the Program that suits your needs. Please note we DO NOT specialize or train our dogs for clients with Anxiety, PTSD, Hearing Problems, Seizure Alert or Diabetic needs.
The cost for DWW to breed, raise, train, place and provide follow-up care is approximately $40,000 per dog. The cost to our clients is $1.00 for a finished dog. As we do not receive any sustainable government funding, we rely solely on donations from our community and corporate partners, as well as dog sponsorships.
You can make a donation in several different ways. Please refer to the Get Involved/Support Us Section of our website.
We breed yellow or black Labrador Retrievers. We have found this breed is an ideal size and temperament and has a willingness to work making them ideal Assistance Dogs. They are robust in health and have the ability to form deep bonds with their human partners.
We use our own in-house breeding program. We also partner with an international breeding network which helps to keep our bloodlines pure.
We do not use any dogs from outside our program; only the dogs we breed.
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept dogs outside our program. At any time, we may have up to 50 dogs at various stages of training. The training schedules are all carefully planned out in advance and we are unable to take in additional dogs.
We are unable to certify dogs trained by other people, or to offer training to dogs outside of our Program. Our dogs are almost two years old before they graduate. During that time, our Instructors have had an extended opportunity to assess the dog’s temperament and fitness to be an Assistance Dog. Our Instructors also develop a detailed training program for each dog to ensure an “exact fit” for a particular client. This is an involved process which is why we are unable to use dogs from outside of our Program.
Our puppies enter the Puppy Program at eight weeks of age, and are with their Puppy Raisers until they are approximately twelve months old. During this time, they are taught basic obedience and are exposed to many different situations within the community. If they have met basic criteria for health, temperament and skill, they enter the Adult Program. This program will take another six to eight months during which time they perfect their obedience skills and learn many specific skills useful to our clients. Finally, the dog is matched to a particular client and further training ensures the dog will be able to assist this client with their specific needs. The total training program is typically complete by the time the dog is between two or two and a half years of age.
The first thing to do is to review the information on our website found in the Volunteer Section. Our Puppy and Adult Dog Raisers are some of our most dedicated volunteers!
We have two Puppy Raising Programs in Edmonton. The first is our traditional Puppy Raising Program, where the puppy stays with the Raiser, and you attend puppy training class once a week for approximately one hour. This program is also available in Calgary and Grande Prairie.
The second Puppy Raising Program is our PEEPs Program (Puppy Early Education Program). The Raiser would drop the puppy off at our Training Centre Monday through Friday (similar to dropping off a child for school or daycare). The PEEPs puppies work with our Trainer daily for basic obedience training. PEEPs Raisers are required to attend 50% minimum of our monthly training classes. This Program is available to Edmonton Volunteers only.
Our Adult Raising Program requires the Raiser to drop the adult dog off at our Training Centre Monday through Friday (similar to dropping off a child for school or daycare). The adult dogs would then work with our Instructors daily for specialized training. Raisers may be asked to attend special training sessions two or three times throughout the year. This Program is available to Edmonton Volunteers only.
Please visit our website in the Volunteer Section.
Please refer to the Volunteer Section of our website.
Retired dogs are usually kept on by our clients, who may then receive another finished dog to replace the retired dog. Dogs that do not graduate from our Programs are typically released and offered to our Puppy Raisers or Adult Raisers for adoption. If neither of these volunteers adopts the dog, we typically offer this dog to the public for adoption.