Guide Dog Foundation

Our Programs

Program Overview

The hallmarks of the Guide Dog Foundation programs are the small classes and individualized instruction each student receives. A meticulous matching program ensures that each visually impaired person is paired with the guide dog that best suits that person’s personality, lifestyle, and physical needs.

A 12-day in-residence training program at our Smithtown, NY campus teaches our students the skills and commands needed to foster a successful working team with a guide dog. Upon completion of training, the newly created human and guide dog team returns home to start their new life together. They will have begun to master all of the techniques they need to be successful—from finding the checkout counter at a store, to maneuvering through a crowded train station, to passing through a revolving door. The team can travel confidently and independently on suburban routes or city streets, during the day or at night, alone or in rush hour.

Together, the working team is a partnership for independence.

To make our students’ stay as comfortable as possible, the student resident hall was renovated and expanded in 2002. The Residence Hall now features single rooms with private baths and individual climate control; all rooms have private telephone lines, and wireless internet hook-ups. A new student union features a spacious dining room, a snack area/lounge, smokers' room, living room, recreation room, fitness center, computer lab (with adaptive technology for student use), and outdoor patio.

Click here to download "Is a Guide Dog Right for me?" brochure. 

Click here for an overview of the application process. 

Click here to begin the application request process.