Get a Guide Dog
The Guide Dog Foundation welcomes people who are blind or visually impaired into our community. From our compassionate and skilled instructors, to our exceptional dogs, to our meticulously constructed curriculum, we support our students and graduates with an uncompromising commitment to excellence. In order to apply for a guide dog, applicants must be legally blind and can demonstrate the need for a guide dog to help them remain safe and effective in their everyday travel. We also look for clients that can independently travel practical and purposeful routes with their current mobility device.
Guide Dog Foundation dogs learn how to lead a person in a straight line, find and follow a clear path, maneuver around obstacles (both on the ground and overhead), and stop at changes in elevation, such as curbs and stairs. They are also trained to be extremely well behaved when in public places. We use Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador/Golden crosses. Standard Poodles are available for individuals or their immediate family member's with documented allergies. However, there is an extended wait time for this breed.
The decision to work with a guide dog is a transformational event that extends into every area of a handler's life. It’s crucial that each student is teamed with a dog that best suits that person’s mobility, personality, lifestyle, and physical needs. As each applicant is accepted to our training program, we carefully match and train a dog that’s right for them. Once matched, students will attend our innovative two-week training program, with a 2:1 student/instructor ratio, which allows for a blend of customized training formats to meet a student's goals and objectives.
On a case-by-case basis, we offer cross-trained guide dogs to perform service dog tasks through the help of our related service dog organization America's VetDogs. These service dog tasks can be added to a training program for qualified students. Tasks can include providing balance, retrieval and hearing assistance.