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Our Story
In 1996, National Service Dogs pioneered the program of breeding, training and placing certified service dogs with children with autism. The service dog model NSD created was the first Certified Service Dog for Autism program of its kind in the world and has now become the international standard. Our dogs improve socialization, provide support in overwhelming situations to help suppress behavioural outbursts and increase the safety of children on the Autism spectrum by acting as an anchor when tethered to the child.

In 2011, NSD launched the Service Dogs for PTSD Program to assist veterans with long-term post-traumatic stress disorder which made us the first accredited service dog organization in Canada to have a program of this kind. Our comprehensive program helps clients deal with issues surrounding hypervigilance, anxiety and transitioning into mainstream society. In 2013 NSD opened the program to first responders with PTSD as well.

National Service Dogs’ first Canine Assisted Intervention (CAI) Dog was placed in 2013, making NSD’s Canine Assisted Intervention Program the first CAI program in Ontario, and one of only three in Canada. The dogs are matched with professionals from a variety of disciplines to work as partners in their therapy, to address Health and Wellness in our community. 

In 2002, National Service Dogs founded the Companion Dog program. This program recognizes the special bonds that develop between pet dogs and their families. These dogs are placed with children with various disabilities to provide support in the home environment. The Companion Dog Program has been instrumental in increasing our ability to assist more families in need and has allowed us to utilize over 90% of our dogs. 

Over the last 25 years, NSD has graduated over 555 Certified Service Dog Teams across Canada, helped many service dog organizations around the world start their own autism programs, and advocated for increased assistance dog legislation across the country. Everyone at NSD is dedicated to expanding the National Service Dog family of clients and quality of services: One Individual, One Dog, One Life at a Time.

To be Canada’s premier service dog provider, pioneering change in the lives of Canadians benefiting from our services.

To empower people to achieve their full potential with strategically trained and certified service dogs, catalysts for restorative change.


  • Always collaborating: We work across organizations, industries, governments and entities to inform the work we do in the best interests of the Canadians we are proud to serve.
  • Compassionate caring: We bring our hearts and industry-leading expertise to every conversation and solve problems with a “people-focused” approach.
  • Ethical treatment of our animals: Everything we do begins and ends with the dogs in our care. We loved them first and hold the responsibility for their well-being the length of their lives.
  • Innovative spirit: We believe in doing things differently – no status quo here. Building upon the pioneering spirit exemplified by the staff, volunteers and donors that got us to where we are today, we approach everything we do with a spirit of possibilities.

Our People