News and Events

MHC fills a training need in the service dog and canine industry

Young girl and service dog sit with an elderly woman
November 9, 2021

Medicine Hat College (MHC) is positioned to be the first post-secondary institution in Canada to offer a Service Dog and Canine Studies Management diploma.

Launching in Fall 2022, this two year program prepares students for a variety of careers ranging from owning and operating a kennel, dog grooming business or training operation, to training dogs that assist individuals living with autism, dementia and diabetes or requiring emotional therapy.

Work integrated learning will be an integral part of the experience, providing students on the job training.

“This program is designed for people who enjoy working with animals and see the benefits and impact that these canines can have for the wellbeing of others,” says Timothy Spielman, dean, School of Business and Continuing Studies. 

Learners will have an opportunity to work directly with the dogs, which will be placed with an actual client at the end of their schooling.

Spielman mentions that one of the advantages to this program is the business knowledge that students will receive.

“We have been working with industry to get an idea of the career paths related to both the private canine industry and service area, and by adding the focus on business we are able to accelerate a graduate’s career outcomes,” says Spielman.

Business classes range from entrepreneurship and financial accounting to marketing and organizational behaviour.

“We are very excited for this program. We are partnering with other organizations in the sector to ensure that our students gain the work experience and knowledge required to be successful upon graduation,” says Dr. Vicky Roy, vice-president, academic and provost. “A lot of passion and work went into developing this diploma and we can’t wait to accept our first cohort.”

For more information on the Service Dog and Canine Studies Management diploma visit, or connect with an academic advisor at