Can Do Canines

Rating: 4.79 stars   71 reviews


9440 Science Center Drive New Hope MN 55428 USA


Can Do Canines is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs. We envision a future in which every person who needs and wants an assistance dog can have one.


More than 470 people with disabilities have received their own fully trained assistance dog, free of charge.

Target demographics:

people with disabilities

Direct beneficiaries per year:

32 people with disabilities by pairing them with their own assistance dog.

Geographic areas served:

Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin


Our assistance dogs fetch amazing things. They provide the gifts of freedom, independence, and peace of mind to our clients and their families. These wonderful canines are often adopted from local animal shelters and are specially trained for our clients who live with disabilities that involve mobility challenges, hearing loss or deafness, seizure disorders, autism, or diabetes complicated by hypoglycemia unawareness. Dogs, training and supplies are provided to each client free of charge thanks to the work of dedicated volunteers and contributions from generous individuals, corporations, foundations and service groups like the Lions.

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Can Do Canines

Rating: 5 stars  

Where do I even start with this amazing nonprofit that completely changed my daughter's day-to-day living? Can Do Canines literally GAVE Samantha's life back to her.

There are so many amazing ways they've done this. Samantha's mobility assist service dog, Obie, is by her side every minute of every day. He picks things up off of the floor so that she doesn't have to bend down, risking a severe and immediate drop in her blood pressure which causes her to pass out without warning. Before Obie, she knocked out her front teeth and has sustained several concussions. He helps her up or down the stairs, braces himself to assist her when she needs to get up from sitting on the floor, opens doors (he's a real gentleman), brings things to her from another family member, brings her credit card up to the counter to pay a bill, and even delivers laundry downstairs to the laundry room. Now if we could just train him to fold it and put it away. ;0)

Obie can go get help if Samantha needs him to. He can retrieve her phone if asked. He also carries her medical information in his vest pocket in case of an emergency. As a parent, those are three of the most comforting things I could've ever hoped for. I used to worry about her non-stop, to the point that I couldn't focus on anything else. Now I know that Obie has her back, whether that's at college (which she's been able to go back to) or at the grocery store-wherever. They've become an inseparable team!

Can Do Canines not only provided Obie free of charge, but also food and supplies to get started, amazing trainers so that the two of them learned how to work together, lots of client education, and a lifetime of support. If Samantha needs Obie to do a task that he wasn't originally trained for, she can contact Can Do at anytime and they with assist her with training him to perform the new skill.

Last, but far from least, Obie has vastly improved Samantha's emotional health. She feels safe again, able to trust (and even push) her body a bit more knowing that Obie will be there to help when needed. This has resulted in fewer doctor visits and days spent in bed not feeling well. He even motivated her to be active again and go for a walk or to the dog park because she knows he enjoys them so much. She wants to take care of him as well as he takes care of her.

Thank you Can Do Canines for not only changing my daughter's life, but ours as well. You've FAR exceeded any expectations we could've even imagined. I would have never dreamed that a four-legged angel could enter our lives and make such an incredible difference. May you always have the funding to bless others' lives as you've blessed ours!

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a child, we have dreams that cannot conceive boundaries. As an adult, we often find that those very dreams are not the reality that we may live. Try as we may, life has its own plan for each of us; moments that can define who we may become. At the time, I was in my early thirties, boundaries began to shape my life. Limitations that had become a daily struggle that ultimately became the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Those boundaries that I could not even conceive as a child had, indeed, become my reality.

A defining moment occurred when I learned about Can Do Canines. I had not even thought of the possibility of a mobility assistance dog, let alone how a four-legged angel could, and would, change my life.

The list of skills that Justeen does daily for me has given me the gift of reengaging in life. The challenges are still there, and always will be, but Justeen makes accomplishing the everyday tasks possible and with less pain. She opens drawers and doors, picks up and retrieves all of the items that my rigid hands drop constantly, carries bags in and out of stores for me, empties my grocery bags, and tugs my laundry basket to where I need it to be. She has given me peace of mind by being able to get the emergency phone when I have needed it. Justeen has become my ambassador in stores; just having her at my side verifies that I do need extra assistance and I no longer have to search for help. This angel has truly given me my life back, simplified my life with her extensive skills, and returned my independence. Justeen has also given my husband peace of mind for when he is not at my side. This sweet, kind, gentle angel has literally become my life-line, partner, and ambassador.

Without an extremely dedicated staff and volunteers none of this could be possible. There are now over 500 partnerships that Can Do Canines has willingly and freely given. I am grateful that I was one of those "furever " teams.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Losing Sandy, my first hearing dog of ten years, was not only heartbreaking, but with her went many normal securities of life that many take for granted. Knowing when the alarm clock is going off, when the phone is ringing, or someone is at the door....knowing when the oven timer is beeping, the teapot is boiling, or if my husband needs me in another room....and being alert to the fire alarm or carbon monoxide alarms blaring, or an intruder are all things I miss. I'm severely hearing impaired, about 80% deaf. Without my hearing aids I can't hear a dog bark.

It took about two years of missing these things before I was ready to give my heart to another "Sandy". My second hearing dog was a gift. An American Eskimo, which I began training when she was 14 weeks old. I am so very thankful that CanDoCanine accepted her to complete her training and be certified through their nonprofit organization. CanDoCanine provided my first hearing dog, so I was fully confident that they would send me off with the needed security and the best obedience for public access.

If you are interested, our story along with a photo is in the fall of 2015 newsletter on CanDoCanine's website. My new hearing dog's name is Shiya. It means "Snow at Dawn". Her white fluffy body gently lays across my chest (with an added lick or two) as she awakes me each morning when she hears the alarm clock. She loves working. I've caught her sitting on the end of my bed just waiting for the alarm to go off!

Through the support of individuals and organizations, CanDoCanine has provided the restored confidence and peace of mind to live daily life at home or elsewhere. Shiya and I are a team now....just like Sandy and I were for all those years. Thank you CanDoCanine, and Dora our trainer. What a blessing these dogs have been.

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Rating: 5 stars  

They are the best!!! I can't imagine my life without my service dog.

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have a dog from Can Do Canines.
I expected my dog to do work for me but never did I for a moment realize the change she would make in me.
After having a few falls in public before her I had decided to stay in my home as much as possible and because of the depression that came with my disability I cut off as much outside contact as possible. I even refused to see my own family and spoke to them only on holidays.
Then along came my assistance dog Camille. I wasnt too sure at first about trusting her but after being awaken from a fire starting in my home I had little doubt I could trust her.
With Camilles help we are truly a team and she makes sure I get out of the house everyday and visit with people and she LOVES to see my nephews and even cries in the car as we get closer to seeing them. :)
THANK YOU Can Do Canines and all those involved in bringing Camille into my life she really had saved my life!

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Rating: 5 stars  

My wife received Diabetic Assist dog Hailey several years ago. My wife was at a very critical point in her life because she has had diabetes for nearly 50 years. We were house bound and I could not turn my back on her as she would just pass out in a matter of moments. Sleeping all night without a very low and dangerous blood sugar episode was impossible. Hailey has changed everything. She catches the low blood sugars before they become a problem and has certainly saved my wife's life dozens of times. Please take the time to go to Can-D0-Canines website and check them out. Try and make it to one of their events. I promise it will change your life.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My husband, Frank, received his mobility assistance dog Diva 2 years ago and she has been a Godsend. I know I can go to work each day and not worry as much because she is there when he needs her. Diva will hop up on my side of the bed after I leave and will stay next to Frank if he didn't sleep that night until he is feeling rested and ready to transfer into his wheelchair.
Can Do Canines is a wonderful agency and is staffed by people who sincerely want to be of service to those that need the love and help from a highly trained dog.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I received the most loving, crazy, intelligent, life saver from Can-Do-Canines on 10/03/2013!!! Bubba is a Schipperke that alerts me to dangerously low blood sugars before they become to low to correct on my own or cause me to have a seizure or pass out. He does this all for love and treats. He keeps me safe everyday at work, at home, at hockey games, and everywhere else we go. He had the best training, I hear quite often "I didn't even see your dog". When we are at home is a typical Schipperke, but when we are at work or out in the public he is all business. Can-Do-Canines has been there for me every step of the way, they have made Bubba and I a great team! I can never thank them enough. Can -Do-Canines has done all of this for me for free. The love have for their dogs and their clients is priceless!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a client of Can Do Canines for 20 years and during that time had the honor of having 3 hearing assistance dogs. Each dog was well trained and provided me with invaluable service. The staff at Can Do Canines is responsive and sensitive to my needs and the needs of my assistance dogs. I strongly recommend Can Do Canines. Their work with training assistance dogs for people with a wide variety of disabilities is top notch.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Can Do Canines is a fabulous organization! I was blessed and accepted into their program, and received a diabetes assistance dog that has changed my life. I have regained my independence, and am so grateful for their mission. The entire process was so smooth- they are very professional. I especially love the sense of family that the organization fosters for past graduates.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The work this organization does has changed my life. I was blessed with an assistance dog in January and I have already been able to improve my sugar control and my life. They are professional, so helpful, and they make such a significant difference in their client's lives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand it and serve more people! Of course, that is dependent on those who support non profits. This one is a fantastic opportunity to help change someone's life for the better.

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