Golden Opportunity Assistance Dogs
Impacting lives ... one dog at a time!


London, ON


How much does it cost to train an assistance dog?

The cost to raise, train and place an assistance dog is between $20,000 and $25,000. This includes things like breeding fees, veterinary costs, food, equipment, transportation, training expenses and ongoing support throughout the life of the team.

What method of training is used?

The dogs in our program are trained with positive reinforcement methods using praise and treats as our motivators.  We believe strongly in the power of the human-canine bond which increases the dog’s willingness to work and ability to learn. Our goal is to train the dog’s mind and not simply his body.

How long does it take to train an assistance dog?

Early puppy training begins between four and seven weeks of age when the “pages are blank” in their young minds and, like sponges, they soak up every new and exciting experience. By the age of eight months, our dogs have learned as many as
90 commands. As their bodies and minds are still growing, we continue to reinforce the skills they have learned until they are ready to be placed.  Typically, this is around 18 months of age.

Is it OK to pet an assistance dog?

Always ask the handler before petting or interacting with an assistance dog. These are working dogs, and distracting them from their job could endanger their partner.  In many instances, handlers are happy to talk with you about their dog but will often want the dog to sit first and possibly “shake” your hand which will be a cue to the dog that it is temporarily “off duty” and permitted to socialize.

How can I apply for an assistance dog?

If you are a person living in London or the surrounding area with a mobility disability, you may contact us by writing, calling or emailing to request an information package.  After reviewing this package, if you feel an assistance dog would benefit you, we will be pleased to send you a formal application form.

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