I need a dog. What do I do?

Please refer to the Our Programs of our website and choose the program that suits your needs.  If Dogs with Wings does not train the type of Assistance Dog that you are looking for, please visit the website of Assistance Dogs International: www.assistancedogsinternational.org

I would like to make a donation to help Dogs with Wings. What do I do?

You can make a donation in several different ways.  Please refer to the Ways to Give Section of our website.

What is the cost for a dog?

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.

What breeds of dogs do you train?

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.

Where do you get your dogs?

We use our own in-house breeding program. We also partner with an international breeding network which helps to keep our bloodlines pure.

Do you accept dogs from the community/SPCA?

We do not use any dogs from outside our program; only the dogs we breed.

I have a really good dog I can’t keep. Can you use my dog in your program?

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.

I have a companion dog that I trained myself. Will you certify my dog?

We are unable to certify dogs trained by other people, or to offer training to dogs outside of our programs. 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 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 programs.

How long does it take to train a DWW dog?

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.

I want to know more about fostering a puppy or adult dog. What do I do?

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!

In our Puppy Raising Program, the puppy stays with the Raiser and you attend puppy training class once a week for approximately one hour. This program is available in Edmonton and area, Calgary, Red Deer, and Grande Prairie.

Our Adult Raising Program requires the Raiser to drop the adult dog off at our Edmonton Training Centre Monday through Friday (similar to dropping off a child for school or daycare). The adult dogs will 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 and area volunteers only.

I would like to offer a boarding home for one of your dogs. What do I do?

Please visit our website in the Volunteer Section.

I would like to volunteer my time to Dogs with Wings. What do I do?

Please refer to the Volunteer Section of our website, call 780.944.8011 ext 204, or email volunteer@dogswithwings.ca

What happens to dogs too old to work, or to dogs that do not graduate your Programs?

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. To inquire about adoptions, please call the office at 780.944.8011 email