Canine Development Center

Our Vision for the Future—A Redesigned Kennel

Our dogs travel a long and challenging path to become Leader Dogs. This is only fitting because Leader Dogs are entrusted to guide our clients on their own journeys through life. At work, crossing a busy street or maneuvering a college campus, our Leader Dogs have the immense responsibility of being the eyes of their human companions.

We know that a dog’s environment has a huge impact on its ability to develop the skills and characteristics necessary to handle this responsibility. Stress and anxiety, which can be common in the kennel atmosphere, interfere with a dog’s ability to learn and develop a calm disposition.

It is with the importance of the environment in mind that we developed the plans for the Canine Development Center. Every aspect of the redesign will positively impact the health, well-being and training of all future Leader Dogs. Our goal is to develop the ideal environment for our dogs—one that reduces stress, maximizes human interaction and best prepares every dog for its remarkable work.

Campaign for Leader Dog

Our kennel facility is at the heart of everything we do at Leader Dog. This project is essential to our mission, our capacity to develop quality Leader Dogs and our ability to serve our clients. In celebration of Leader Dogs for the Blind’s 75th anniversary and in support of our $14.5M Canine Development Center project, we are undertaking a historic campaign. Through this campaign we seek to engage our leaders, supporters and closest friends in securing the funds needed to upgrade the facility that is at the heart of our mission. It is because of our supporters' belief in our mission that we have been able to help change the lives of thousands of people who live in darkness. Our success in the years ahead will be significantly impacted by your involvement at this critical time. 

The Campaign Creates Possibilities

  • Develops the best Leader Dogs for our clients
  • Increases the capacities of our training programs
  • Creates an environment with the potential to positively impact our graduation rates
  • Creates a space specifically designed to develop the kind of dogs that our clients need

Canine Development Center Project Overview

Our Canine Development Center will create the ideal learning and living environment for our dogs, which means that we can better serve our clients by providing the best-trained and highest quality guide dogs possible.

  • A renovated training and kennel area with spacious and open housing villages. Enrichment areas throughout the facility will ensure that our dogs get ample stimulation and human interaction.
  • A centralized veterinary clinic to streamline circulation, increase staff effectiveness and help us deliver the best care.
  • An expanded puppy area that is better suited for the health and socialization of puppies. Due to their capacity for learning and developing skills, it is important to provide the right environment for the puppies during this critical time.
  • Space for our dedicated campus volunteers to interact with our dogs throughout the kennel to ensure that our dogs receive adequate enrichment time.
  • A new intake area for our breeding stock hosts bringing breeding dogs and litters of puppies to and from Leader Dog.
  • A new breeding area to support our growing breeding colony and ensure that we have enough Leader Dogs to meet demand.
  • An enhanced welcome lobby with a veterinary waiting room, adult dog intake, retail space and a puppy area viewing room for the general public.

Rendering of Canine Development Center exterior

Rendering of new Canine Development Center exterior

Rendering of Canine Development Center lobby

Rendering of new Canine Development Center lobby showing a bright, open, modern space with a receptionist area, a viewing area for puppies and padded bench seats for guests

Rendering of new kennel area

Rendering of new kennel area showing bright, wide open spaces and large suites for dogs

Rendering of new puppy area

Rendering of new kennel area showing bright, open spaces with low wall partitions for separate areas for puppies

Rendering of new vet clinic

Rendering of new veterinary clinic showing a bright, spacious room with counters and an island counter for vets to work

Learn More

Want to find out more about the Canine Development Center project? If you have questions about how the changes will impact Leader Dog, how the redesign plans were determined, the timeframe for the campaign and more, check out the frequently asked questions.