VIRN Position Statement On Draft Service Dog Standards

Photo of yellow lab guide dog under the picnic table sitting by his handler's leg.
Too Onerous for Handlers

Although we understand the importance of establishing standards for the training of guide and service dogs, VIRN cannot support the draft Service Dog Standards as they currently exist. It would not be practical and it is too onerous for a handler to comply with the documentation requirements. VIRN stands in support of the standards already established by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. VIRN does not want to put any barriers in place that would prevent schools and any other training facilities that match service dogs with handlers outside of Canada to exclude people from our community.

it is important to recognize the fact that a guide dog is not the same as a service dog. Requirements and training is different for a guide dog to work with a person who is vision impaired.