Guide Dog Foundation

Our Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for a guide dog?
Is a guide dog right for me?
How do I apply?
What happens next?
How long does it take to get a guide dog?
When do I meet my guide dog?
How do you choose the dog for me?
What is the training program like?
What will the training cost? 

Who is eligible for a guide dog?

To qualify for admission to our program, you must be:

What if I am not sure if a guide dog is right for me?

If you wish to know more about our program, please call the Consumer Services Department, toll-free at 866-282-8047. We can answer your questions. If you would like a first-hand perspective on our program, one of our graduates can answer questions you have about guide dogs and if one is right for you.

How do I apply?

Call our Consumer Services Department toll-free at 866-282-8047 and ask for an application packet. We can e-mail the application or send it to you via mail.

Click here to learn how to apply for a guide dog.

What happens next?

We will schedule an interview with you with a representative from our Training Department. This interview might be in person or by telephone. Its purpose is to help determine your needs and capabilities.

If I qualify, how long will it be before I get my dog?

You will be invited to a class when we are sure that we have a choice of dogs that would be suitable for you. The matching process is critical to your success. Priority is given to those who are retiring dogs from our program.

When do I meet my guide dog?

In the first few days of class, the training staff will further evaluate your needs and capabilities before selecting your dog. Once the selection is made, you will begin training with your dog.

How do you choose the dog for me?

We consider such factors as your overall ability to handle a dog, location and the type of conditions that you will encounter on a regular basis. Each person and dog is unique and we take this into consideration in every phase of training.

What is the training program like?

Classes have about 10 students, who come to us from all over the United States and many foreign countries. There are always two instructors per class, so there are never more than five students per instructor.

You will begin training on our 10-acre campus, learning basic skills such as leash guiding. After a few days, you will begin traveling to nearby towns, gradually working in more challenging areas. You will train in a wide variety of locales including country roads, city streets, shopping malls, stores, and public transportation. The training lasts 25 days. In the evenings there are lectures on care of the dog, grooming, and other relevant topics such as access laws.

What will the training cost?

There is no cost to you, and your travel within the United States, Canada, and Mexico will be paid. There are no fees for your room and board during the training.