Welcome and Orientation | Guide Dogs for the Blind Skip to main content

Guide Dog Class Lecture: Welcome and Orientation

Welcome to Guide Dogs for the Blind! 

Let’s review what is available to you while here for class training.

Religious Services

While here for training, you may wish to attend religious services.  Full information on services and transportation options may be available, self-research is encouraged.  

Psycho-Social Support Specialist
The psycho-social Support Specialist, who is also a guide dog handler, is available for peer emotional support and education throughout your relationship with GDB. They are available to work with clients and alumni on transitional issues surrounding their class training and relationships with their guide dogs. From the beginning of the relationship, through retirement, reapplication, and the grief process. Please call 800-295-4050 and asked to be connected to the psycho-social support specialist.  Early in class a group meeting will be offered and facilitated by the psycho-social support specialist, during this meeting more details will be provided on services offered. 

GDB Staff Nurses

GDB nursing staff are available to help you manage both acute and chronic health conditions. Their office is staffed from early morning until evening. As you arrive to campus and get settled in the nursing staff will meet with each class client and review services and schedules. Please report ailments or injuries to a nurse or instructional team member.

Daily Class Schedule

The general daily schedule is designed to provide consistency in feeding, watering and relieving a young dog, while introducing each client to their individual dog’s eating, drinking and relieving habits. There may be minor differences between campuses, as well as the inherent flexibility of the training program.

  • 7:00 am Water, feed and relieve dogs.
  • 8:15 am Relieve dogs.
  • Drive to training area, morning lesson(s).
  • 11:30 am Water and relieve dogs.
  • 12:45 pm Relieve dogs, afternoon lesson(s).
  • 4:30 pm Water, feed and relieve dogs.
  • 7:00 pm Water
  • 8:30 pm Relieve dogs.

Phone System

The class schedule and self-study topics are available as a menu option on the phone system for your reference. Additionally, selected staff numbers are programmed into the direct dial system. Communications regarding menu choices and building facilities are conducted in person.

Client Rooms

While we want you to feel at home while here in training, please maintain order in your room. The residence staff will help with this as well. Your floors are swept and mopped daily, and you will receive clean towels each day. Clean bedding will be provided weekly. To maintain our interior climate control and prevent insects or cigarette smoke from entering the building, please keep exterior doors and windows closed. Valuables can be kept in the keyed top drawer in the Oregon rooms, or in the personal safe in the California rooms.  

Long Canes

We encourage you to use your canes in the building and on the grounds to become familiar with your environment. You may also use your cane when heeling your dog.  


  • Sundays are a day of rest for humans and dogs and can be viewed as non-work days. You are free to engage in other activities after seeing to your dog’s needs (examples might be: laundry, visiting, resting, massage, religious services, reading, watching TV, T-Touch, or an exercise workout).  
  • You may visit with your guests in the public areas of the residence building, your room, or on the campus grounds. When choosing where to visit with your guests, please be considerate of your classmates who choose to keep Sunday a day of rest. As much as possible, keep your dog with you while visiting with your family or friends.
  • Please inform a resident advisor if you plan to leave campus. Your Guide Dog will stay on campus on tie-down or in a crate while you are away.     
  • Use of our facilities and services (computers, exercise equipment, laundromat, meals, yoga class or massage therapy) are reserved for client use only.

House Rules

“House Rules” provide a safe and predictable learning environment for all.  

  • Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on campus.
  • Smoking is permitted only in designated smoking areas outside of all buildings, including the downtown lounge. 
  • With permission, clients are permitted in each other’s rooms between 8:00 A.M. & 9:00 P.M.   
  • At 10:00 PM each evening, everyone is asked to keep the noise level to a minimum in observance of “quiet time”.

Code of Conduct

All clients are expected to comply with our Code of Conduct, which is included in your acceptance packet.  A breach of the Code of Conduct can result in the early termination of training without a dog.  While classmates and family members would know that the individual’s training ended due to a breach of the Code of Conduct, the details will not be revealed. 

Using Social Media to Post Photos, Video or Audio Recordings.

Technology affords many different options to document an individual’s class experience. Blogs and social networking sites are commonplace. Clients may share their personal impression of the class experience from moment to moment. Phone cameras capture and send still photos or video routinely, and these and Victor Reader Streams allow for easy access to audio recordings. If during class you plan to keep, make audio or video recordings of yourself or others to post on a social media site, please consider the privacy of others and use discretion in your posting. We will cover the posting of identifying information about yours or classmate’s dogs during class.   

Cell Phone Etiquette

With the intention of maximizing everyone’s class experience, we have the following policy: Please do not have phone conversations where they have the potential to disturb your classmates (class vehicles, dining room, common rooms, during group meetings, on route, during leash relieving.) Texting also has the potential to be disruptive and/or distract the user from hearing instruction. If you are expecting an urgent call or text, and need to be immediately available, please set your phone to “vibrate” so you can leave the group setting and attend to the call or text. Additionally, when traveling with your new guide dog, it’s safest to refrain from any cell phone use (hands-free, text, or hand-held) to pay full attention to your dog and your surroundings. Thank you for your cooperation. 

Fire Evacuation Procedure

The residence building was built with fire-resistant materials and is equipped with heat sensors and automatic sprinkler systems. The fire alarm is a loud, high pitched, steady tone. The evacuation procedures will be covered upon your arrival.  

During a fire drill or actual evacuation, our designated area to meet is in a centrally located area between the residence and administration buildings. If you do not know how to get to this location, please remain near an exit. A member of the instructional team will greet you and provide human guide to this meeting location. If you are with your dog when you need to evacuate, bring your dog with you. Otherwise, leave your dog and a staff member will retrieve any dogs left behind.  If you would like the opportunity to practice the evacuation process, a staff member can provide you with additional orientation.    

Earthquake Procedure

In case of an earthquake get under a solid piece of furniture or stand under a doorframe, facing away from windows, if possible. Building walls tend to fall outwards, seek inner walls for protection. Remain in this position until the shaking stops, and then evacuate the building following fire drill procedures. Do not turn any electrical devices on or off.  

Audio Streaming

You can stream the audio of the class lecture here, via a Soundcloud widget. If using a screen reader, please select the "Play" option below.