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


London, ON

Project F.I.T.
Helping youth “at-risk” and individuals with disabilities
Find Independence Together
through partnership with assistance dogs

At the core of our organization is an innovative therapeutic youth intervention program teaching teens deemed to be at high risk for continued behavioral and emotional challenges to train and place assistance dogs with individuals with
disabilities. This program has proven effective in settings such as children’s mental health treatment centres, youth detention facilities, high schools, and special education classrooms.

Countless billions are spent each year directly related to juvenile delinquency.
Indirect long-term costs continue to climb with each struggling teen lacking the skills, opportunity or assistance necessary to change the course of their life. By training assistance dogs, these teens gain many of the skills necessary to become productive and successful adults in our society.

    ON LIFE!

HSA kid with pup 2

While working with non-judgemental canines, student trainers acquire critical interpersonal skills, learning empathy, effective parenting skills, consistency and emotional regulation.  The power of the human-canine bond is instrumental in allowing these teens to gain social and emotional competence and develop leadership skills which, in turn, enable them to pass the gifts of increased independence, social acceptance and emotional well-being on to the assistance dog recipients.

Lacking a positive sense of purpose and belonging, youth are often driven to engage in negative behaviors. It’s difficult to maintain a tough exterior while experiencing the unconditional loving relationship a Golden Retriever puppy provides.

Once trained by our student trainers, our dogs are placed with individuals with physical disabilities relating to mobility, offering new levels of independence. Often acting as social lubricants, our dogs open more than just doors ... they open doors to opportunity!

Project F.I.T. provides a golden opportunity
to change not one life ... but two!

Who Benefits?

Both the youth who train the dogs and the people who receive them experience benefits that go well beyond the warm and fuzzy.  We could never possibly list them all, but here are just a few to give you a glimpse into the power of the human-canine bond to impact and change lives.

Benefits for the youth “at-risk”:

  • Increased emotional regulation
  • Learning responsibility/self-discipline
  • Development of teaching, management and vocational skills
  • Acquisition of effective parenting skills
  • Learning empathy and bonding
  • Disability awareness
  • Building self-esteem/confidence/consistency


Brenda at the Fair


Benefits for the Assistance Dog Partner:

  • Assistance with the activities of daily living conserves precious energy which can then be directed towards other activities and interests
  • Possible reduction in the number of paid attendant hours required
  • The dog acts as a social lubricant to enhance interactions with others
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence with an unconditionally loving partner by your side

Benefits for the Community:

  • Having a youth population with higher self-esteem, more emotional self-control and positive community involvement.
  • Increased participation and active involvement of local residents with disabilities in the community made possible by partnerships with assistance dogs.
  • Increased awareness, understanding and acceptance in the general population of individuals with disabilities and the role of assistance dogs through the local presence of Golden Opportunity Assistance Dogs and Project F.I.T.

Imagine the difference a dog could make!

Copyright 2007 © Golden Opportunity Assistance Dogs. All rights reserved.

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