Guide Dog Foundation

Press and Events

Andrew Rubenstein
Director of Marketing


March 2014 – Smithtown, NY – The Guide Dog Foundation ( is excited to announce it will now offer its accredited guide dog training in a 12-day program. Beginning in February 2014, this new curriculum will offer a 2:1 student/instructor ratio and will focus on incorporating a blend of customized training formats to meet the specific lifestyles and needs of students while maximizing the training time in class for students and their dogs as they prepare for real-world situations. 

“We are implementing this new approach in order to meet the needs of our blind and visually impaired applicants while also being respectful of our students’ time to commit to training with a guide dog,” says Wells B. Jones, CEO of the Guide Dog Foundation. “This is an exciting change for the program. Our students will graduate with their dog in a shorter amount of time while gaining the real-world training targeted specifically to their lifestyles.”

The hallmark of the Guide Dog Foundation is its meticulous matching program to ensure that each applicant is teamed with the guide dog that best suits that person’s personality, lifestyle, and physical needs. This refined training program will now offer greater individualized training in concentrated sessions. While the student will spend fewer days on campus, the amount of practical training will increase. This represents a change from the Foundation’s previous four-week residential training. 

In addition, because of the lower student-to-trainer ratio, students and instructors will be able to cover their specific needs pertaining to their home environments by focusing on various training walks (urban, country and night walks); mass transit situations, including train platforms, subway, and bus travel; traffic area training and other types of conditions. 

Students in class will continue to participate in lectures on grooming and care for their dog, obedience practice, accessibility awareness and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and guide dog etiquette for non-guide dog users.

The Foundation will still offer home training if it is determined that a student’s needs will be best met by this type of intensive training; this decision is made on a case-by-case basis.  

For questions about the guide dog training program visit or contact the Guide Dog Foundation Consumer Services Office at 866-282-8047. 

About the Guide Dog Foundation 

For over six decades, the Guide Dog Foundation has supported the independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship a guide dog brings to its handler. Students come to its Smithtown, N.Y., campus from all over the United States and Canada for the quality of Foundation dogs and its innovative training techniques.   

There is never a cost to consumers for their guide or service dogs. The Guide Dog Foundation relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to support its programs. It does not receive government funding. 

In 2009, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind became the first assistance dog school in the United States to be certified by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. It was recertified by both regulatory bodies in 2013.

To learn more or to donate, visit