The Global Authority in the Assistance Dogs Industry

Who we are

Assistance Dogs International, Inc. (ADI) is a worldwide coalition of non-profit programs that train and place Assistance Dogs. Founded in 1986 from a group of seven small programs, ADI has become the leading authority in the Assistance Dog industry.

The objectives of Assistance Dogs International are to:

  • Establish and promote standards of excellence in all areas of assistance dog acquisition, training and partnership
  • Facilitate communication and learning among member programs
  • Educate the public to the benefits of Assistance Dogs and ADI membership.

ADI Summary Overview, Vision, Mission and Governance

Assistance Dogs organizations that pass ADI’s accreditation process become ADI Accredited Member programs, and are regularly assessed to ensure they meet the highest standards in the industry.


Learn More Become a Member

Looking for Assistance Dogs?

We can help! Our Member Search tool will assist you in finding ADI Accredited Programs across the world to fit your needs.

Start Your Search

Where do I start?

If you’re brand new to the world of assistance dogs, it can be quite overwhelming.

Try starting with one of these:


Can I get my dog certified?

There are a few Accredited Members that will consider working with owners and their privately trained/personally owned dogs. Accredited members do not offer board and train services for personally owned dogs.  Use the Accredited Member’s Member Search to look for a program that services your area, and contact them directly to learn more.

Search Participants

Why should my organization become accredited?

Assistance Dogs International membership provides the opportunity to belong to a worldwide organization of assistance dog organizations that share a mission of training and placing the highest quality of trained assistance dogs to individuals with disabilities to improve their quality of life.

ADI facilitates the exchange of best practices, knowledge of industry trends, further education of its members and the public, and the opportunity to be involved in the development of the highest standards in the assistance dog industry. ADI offers support to new and existing assistance dog not-for-profit programs that wish to improve their quality of operations.

Accredited membership benefits include:

  • An accreditation and evaluation process that ensures that all ADI Standards are implemented, maintained and current to the highest standards around the world.
  • Immediate credibility is awarded to our members due to the outstanding reputation of ADI as the leader in the industry.
  • Ability to state they are meeting "ADI Standards", which are the highest standards in the assistance dog industry.
  • An invitation to attend all regional and international ADI Conferences to share best practices, education and facilitate information.
  • Opportunity to network and build relationships with staff and other programs that meet ADI Standards and share similar values and ethics.
  • Opportunity to submit nominations for leadership positions for regional and international board positions and participation in board committees.
  • Listing in the accredited members Program Search on ADI website for individuals seeking an assistance dog.
  • Access to the “Members Area” on the ADI website for access to confidential information and resources including detailed information on public access laws.
  • Placement of available employment opportunities on our ADI website.
  • Participation in Trainer’s Registration Program (currently under revision).
  • Receive ADI E-Newsletter.
  • Networking with other accredited and candidate programs via closed Facebook Group Pages (Directors, Training Directors, Puppy Raiser Managers, IWDR Database Group, etc.)
  • Opportunities to be involved with regional legislative advocacy to address issues and access laws related to the rights of individuals partnered with assistance dogs.
  • Display ADI Accreditation Logo on their letterhead, website, marketing materials instrict coherence to the ADI Style Guide.
  • Participation in American Airlines Puppies in Flight Program. (ADI North America)
  • Opportunity to apply for the ABC Breeding Cooperative Program. (ADI North America)
  • Accredited member graduates fly with ease on international airlines with appropriate documentation.
  • Accredited member graduates USA military veterans may receive Dog of Record benefits from the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) for veterinary expenses.
  • Accredited member graduates have access to all United States VA facilities and military bases
  • Ability to participate in CEN Working Groups.
  • Ability to participate in regional groups such as Assistance Dogs UK and others.

Interested in becoming a member?

The Assistance Dogs International Impact


Accredited Member Programs


Candidate Programs


Assistance Dogs Placed in 2019


Total Active Assistance Dogs Team in 2019


Volunteers assisting ADI Accredited Member programs

Do you know the difference between Assistance
Dogs vs. Other Types of Dogs?

Assistance Dog

A generic term for guide, hearing, or service dog specifically trained to do more than one task to mitigate the effects of an individual’s disability. The presence of a dog for protection, personal defense, or comfort does not qualify that dog as an assistance dog.

Guide Dog Icon
Guide Dog

A dog that guides individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The presence of a dog for protection, personal defense, or comfort does not qualify that dog as a guide dog.

Hearing Dog Icon
Hearing Dog

A dog that alerts individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to specific sounds.

Service Dog Icon
Service Dog

A dog that works for individuals with disabilities other than blindness or deafness. They are trained to perform a wide variety of tasks including but not limited to; pulling a wheelchair, bracing, retrieving, alerting to a medical crisis, and providing assistance in a medical crisis.

Other Types

Therapy Dog

A dog trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to many people in many different settings. Therapy dogs are not covered under the American Disability Act (ADA), and therefore do not have the same public access rights as an assistance dog and its handler.

Facility Dog

A specially trained dog that is working with a volunteer or professional who is trained by a program. The work of a facility dog can include visitations or professional therapy in one or more locations. Public access is permitted only when the dog and handler, who is a trained volunteer or professional, is directly working with a client with a disability.

Emotional Support Dog

A dog that provides only emotional support to an individual with a mental health condition or emotional disorder. An emotional support dog is a companion animal that by the presence of the dog provides comfort to an individual with a disability. The emotional support dog does not perform tasks to mitigate a person's disability. Emotional support dogs are not covered under the American Disability Act (ADA) and therefore do not have the same public access rights as an assistance dog and its handler.