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Guide Dog Program

Is a guide dog right for you? If you are considering the guide dog lifestyle, you've come to the right place to learn more!

Three people kneel next to their guide dogs in Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver, British Columbia. Three people kneel next to their guide dogs in Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Why get a guide dog?

Guide dogs are far more than excellent mobility aids: they provide companionship, enhance confidence and independence, and further inclusion.

Choosing to live the guide dog lifestyle is a big decision, so finding the right partner to help you along the way is critical. Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) is dedicated to the success of our guide dog clients before, during, and long after the time you spend with us in class. No matter whether you're attending class on the Oregon or California campus, we are committed to ensuring your experience exceeds your expectations. Here's what you can expect:

  • All services are provided at no cost — this includes your guide dog, transportation to and from one of our campuses in California or Oregon, instruction, equipment, and more.
  • Our classes are two weeks long, minimizing disruption to your personal and professional commitments.
  • We provide highly customized instruction; classes generally have 6-8 students and the ratio of students to instructors is 2:1.
  • During your stay with us, you will enjoy a private hotel-style room. Our beautiful student residences have libraries, music, computer, and exercise rooms, and all meals are lovingly prepared by our kitchen staff. We also have a full-time nursing staff ensuring that our clients stay healthy while in class. 
  • Guide Dogs for the Blind provides our alumni with a lifetime of support. You will become part of a world-class Alumni Association and also receive the following benefits: financial assistance for veterinary care, as needed; in-person follow-up visits; access to a dedicated support center; and when the time comes for your guide dog to retire, we can discuss the potential for a successor dog.

There are no age requirements for our Guide Dog Program. However, since it takes a level of maturity, discipline, and commitment to work with a guide dog, the majority of our guide dog clients are 18 and older.

Guide Dog Program Details

A smiling man kneels and embraces his grinning Golden Retriever guide dog.

Read through our self-screening assessment questions to help determine if you're ready for a guide dog.

Guide Dog Self Screening
Sitting in an outdoor field of wildflowers, a guide dog mobility instructor chats with a woman whose guide dog lies at her feet.

Learn all about what our two-week, in-residence classes entail when you come to get a guide dog.

The Guide Dog Class Experience
A guide dog mobility instructor walks on a path with a client and her new guide dog on GDB's California campus.

Watch our Campus Life video to understand what daily life is like while you're in class to train with a new guide dog.

GDB Campus Life Video (YouTube)
A yellow Lab guide dog lies at the feet of a person sitting at a classroom desk.

Study the program coursework. All guide dog class lectures are available here on our website for you to access at any time.

Guide Dog Class Lecture Materials

Guide Dog Program Application and Admissions Process

When you apply to get a guide dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind, you're taking a big step. Throughout the admissions process, we'll have a chance to learn more about you: your goals, desires, and lifestyle. We'll help you understand your responsibilities in preparing for class training and in handling and caring for a guide dog. Upon acceptance, our professional staff will work with you to develop a course of training that is most relevant to your needs. The steps to our application and admissions process are outlined below.

We're here every step of the application process to help, so please feel free to reach out should you have any questions or concerns.

Need Assistance?

Call our Admissions Department at


Apply Today

Submit your online application for our Guide Dog Program.