Can I train with Guide Dogs for the Blind to get a diploma or certificate in guide dog training?
The primary purpose of our three-year apprenticeship program is to provide a pool of experienced instructors who are seeking long-term careers with Guide Dogs for the Blind.
If I already have dog training experience, can I start as an Apprentice?
People interested in becoming Guide Dog instructors all begin their careers as apprentice instructors. The apprentice job not only provides potential apprentices with an insider's view of our program, it allows us to see how new employees handle responsibility, demonstrate reliability, accept instruction and show initiative.
What if I don't have much dog training experience?
If you don't have significant hands-on experience training or working with dogs (or other animals), consider ways to get some practical dog training experience prior to applying for a position in our Training Department. We recommend that you try to gain experience working with as many different dogs as possible (e.g. different sizes, breeds, personalities, etc.). Consider volunteer opportunities to gain hands-on experience:
- Assist with a local obedience club or dog trainer.
- Complete an obedience course with a dog (friends' and neighbors' dogs are great subjects!).
- Volunteer at one of our campuses for a host of dog-related positions.
What if I live outside of the United States?
If you do not currently live in the U.S. or are not a U.S. citizen, you'll need to have a permanent resident visa or green card from the United States Department of Immigration before we can consider hiring you for any position at Guide Dogs for the Blind. Of course, if you should immigrate to the United States permanently, you are welcome to apply for employment at that time. For information about guide dog training programs throughout the world, please visit the International Federation of Guide Dog Schools' website; there may be a facility near you!