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k-9 country inn Facility Dog program


A Facility Dog is a type of Therapy Dog trained for a specific workplace. Facility Dogs are trained in obedience and are taught cues to help individuals during times of stress and anxiety. Facility Dogs work with their professional handler/partner who has been trained to help motivate or calm specific clients or team members. The dog must be receptive to direction from the handler and have the ability to remain calm and polite in all situations. A Facility Dog must be willing to interact with many different people, men, women, and children. 

Facility Dogs are quite different from other K-9s utilized in police work. These dogs are not used to sniff out drugs or bring down criminals or find missing people or objects. They are integrated into police, and fire stations to help reduce stress, anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate. They help create empathy and compassion within teams and improve workplace morale. ​

Roles of a Facility Dog:

  • Stress Reducer: A Facility Therapy Dog can be used to help calm anyone, child or adult, who is experiencing a high level of stress. Just sitting with a dog will help the person reflect and develop better coping skills.  

  • Client Motivation: Therapy Dogs can help a client achieve goals by encouraging physical activity. Dogs are non-judgemental and love unconditionally. They listen and rarely talk back or give criticism. This creates an atmosphere that is pleasurable as well as productive.

  • Functional Outcome Goals: A facility Dog can be utilized to promote a range of motion, strengthening, balance and coordination, visual and cognitive goals. 

  • Wellness Days and Support Meetings: Facility Dogs are great helpers during wellness information days and support meetings. Their presence helps reduce anxiety and helps create a relaxing atmosphere, which promotes sharing. Facility Dogs can be utilized during debriefings or any time there has been a traumatic or stressful call. 

  • Public Ambassadors: They can be used to create a communication bridge to help connect with the community. They can go to schools and help promote EMS by attending community information sessions and events. 

  • Social Interaction and Language: Spending time with a dog can encourage talking amongst colleagues or simply to the dog itself. Many people who are not ready to speak to a therapist will open up to a dog.

  • Emotional Support: Many people are uncomfortable talking about or showing emotions, especially in the workplace. Dogs allow individuals to show their emotions with no fear of non-acceptance or judgement.


Q: What is the role of a Facility Dog? 


A: A Facility Dog is more than a Therapy dog and must be held to higher standards as the handler is doing double duty. In addition to having to focus on the dog's needs and behaviour, the handler must also put the clients first. The Facility Dog will demonstrate basic obedience skills by responding to voice and hand signals for sitting and staying in place, lying down for extended periods of time, walking (heeling) in a controlled manner, and coming when called. The certified handler is the only person allowed to handle the dog when out in public or in the workplace. The work setting must have a place for the dog to have a time out when not being used as a Therapy Dog. The handler will be provided with an ID card for themselves and their dog. The dog must be easily identifiable and must wear a K-9 Country Inn vest and logo while working.  

Q: How long does it take to get a Facility Dog?  


A: It takes 18 months to 2 years to fully train a Facility dog.  

Q: Will K-9 Country Inn certify the team for therapy dog work? 

A: If you have purchased a Faciliy Dog from K9CI we will ensure that the dog is ready to pass the examination. The new handler will be required to do the test with their dog to become a certified team. If you are in our self-train program you will be part of the process of learning with your dog. K-9 Country Inn will organize the testing with an evaluator from Pet Partners.


The qualities of a good handler include calmness, good social behaviour, and the ability to interact with many different types of people. The candidate must also be comfortable speaking in public. They will act as the dog's advocate in all situations and therefore must learn to be in control of the dog at all times, to read the dog's body language, and to respect the dog's needs while interacting with others.

Liability insurance will be supplied by Pet Partners once the team, dog and handler, have passed the certification exam. Recertification of teams is required every 2 years or anytime a new handler is placed with the dog.

Q: What if I don't live in Ontario but I am willing to travel to Ontario for training?

A: Currently, we place dogs throughout Canada. Training is completed in Ontario and New Brunswick. All teams are required to complete the Pet Partners examination in Ontario to certify as a facility/therapy dog team.

Q: What type of dogs do you use? 


A: We mainly use golden retrievers and labradors, but any dog can be used as long as they pass their evaluations.

Q: Once K9CI has placed the Facility Dog, will you continue to help? 

A: K9 Country Inn provides a lifetime membership and will continue to assist you for the lifetime of the dog.   

Q: Why is it important to have my dog certified as a therapy dog?


A: It is important to have liability insurance protection whenever you take your dog into a setting in which the dog may not be familiar.  

Q: How much training should a Facility dog have? 

A: K-9 Country Inn Facility Dogs are required to have 150 hours of obedience training and 150 hours of public access training.  Facility dogs required to pass their Therapy Dog test through Pet Partners, and are also required to have passed their CGN (Canine Good Neighbour ) test with the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club). 

If you are interested in apply for a Facility Dog for the workplace, please fill out an application below.

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