K9 Buddy Program | Guide Dogs for the Blind Skip to main content

K9 Buddy Program

Matching people who are visually impaired with specially selected dogs to be their pets and companions.

A teen girl sits next to her black Lab K9 Buddy on a green lawn.

Guide Dogs for the Blind's K9 Buddy Program matches select dogs, who were not suited to become guide dogs, as wonderful pets and buddies to people who are blind or visually impaired, including children and their families, and adults of all ages. 

We believe that a dog can make a remarkable difference in any person's life by fostering a sense of caring, companionship, and responsibility through the human/animal bond. For a child, a dog can contribute to sensory development, motivate learning, and enhance self esteem. Adults may benefit from companionship and increased confidence by having a dog by their side. The K9 Buddy program connects clients with our larger GDB community of volunteers and supporters, including agencies and organizations for the blind. K9 Buddy dogs are offered free-of-charge, and are included in our Veterinary Financial Assistance Program

    Please note: 

    • At this time, K9 Buddy dogs are placed with clients throughout the United States. We hope to ultimately extend to Canada, to increase the number of clients who can benefit from the companionship of one of our amazing dogs and the supportive GDB community.
      • K9 Buddy dogs are not qualified to work as mobility assistance dogs; K9 Buddies are not trained to perform a service and are not considered service dogs as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Therefore, people who have K9 Buddy dogs are not granted access to public places (restaurants, shopping malls, grocery stores, hotels, public transportation, etc.) with their dogs under the ADA. K9 Buddy dogs are considered pets.

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      A young girl with a Golden Retriever K9 Buddy dog.

      K9 Buddy application for youth (under 18 years of age)

      K9 Buddy Application-Youth
      A man with a black Lab K9 Buddy dog.

      K9 Buddy application for adults (ages 18+)

      K9 Buddy Application-Adults

      K9 Buddy Resources

      Check out all of the helpful resource materials available to K9 Buddy clients.