Guide Dog Program
Clients coming to Leader Dog to receive a guide dog complete a 26-day training program that includes country, city and nighttime travel, how to incorporate a Leader Dog into a daily routine, and dog care knowledge.
Upon arrival to Leader Dog, clients learn how to work with a guide dog, including commands, making corrections, proper praise and physically caring for a dog. On day three, clients are matched with a trained dog with consideration made to lifestyle, travel pace, physical size and stamina.
Leader Dog recognizes the needs associated with diversity and the demands of balanced lifestyles and careers. We strive to meet the special needs of our clients with accommodations such as Spanish-speaking instructors, late evening diabetic snacks and one of only two existing programs for individuals who are both deaf and blind.
Prerequisites and Requirements
- 16 years of age and older.
- Legal blindness, which is defined as a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correction or restriction in the visual field of less than 20 degrees.
- Good mental and physical health, including the ability to walk several blocks.
- Successful completion of a basic course in orientation and mobility.
- A short video demonstrating independent travel skills is required.
- Challenge Level: Moderate to difficult
- Class Length: 26 days
- Classes Offered Annually: 12
The guide dog program is offered free of charge at our residential campus in Rochester Hills, Michigan, including:
- expenses for public transportation to students traveling within North America
- room and board