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An older woman hugging a golden retriever standing in front of her. The dog is wearing a Leader Dog harness.

Guide Dog

Since 1939, Leader Dogs for the Blind has operated one of the world’s most respected and innovative guide dog programs. Our free program welcomes clients who are legally blind, at least 16 years old, have good orientation and mobility skills and are able to care for a dog.

The program is personalized for each client. Thanks to sophisticated breeding, puppy raising and dog training programs, we are able to match clients with a dog that best fits your lifestyle, travel pace, physical size, stamina and other considerations. Clients have the opportunity to train with their guide dog in a wide variety of situations to fit current and future needs, including urban, suburban and rural locations; college campuses; busy stores and malls; public transit and other environments.

The Guide Dog program at Leader Dog is available for people who are:

  • Legally blind
  • At least 16 years old
  • Able to care for a dog
  • Efficient with orientation and mobility skills

We offer our Guide Dog program in a variety of formats: on-campus training (our most popular option), in-home delivery, flex training, urban training, warm weather training, and training specifically for individuals who are DeafBlind.

What Clients Said About Guide Dog Training:

Close-up photo of a woman wearing a flowery shirt next to a black lab in leather Leader Dog harness. The woman is smiling and her arm is around the dog. The dog is licking her cheek

Just graduated from the guide dog course and I loved my experience. Trainers are so supportive and resident assistants are caring. I met so many volunteers and employees from Leader Dog and the passion is evident. And not to mention I made some new friends from my class and my Leader Dog is absolutely amazing!

Juanita Lillie and Leader Dog Baylor

Francisco with a yellow lab

Really cool her name is Freedom because that's what it means to have a guide dog. The cane was freedom for 30 years but the dog changes that freedom dramatically!

Francisco De Lima and Leader Dog Lady Freedom

Jackie Hollenbeck and Leader Dog Willow

I have had a fear of stairs for as long as I've been going blind. [Leader Dog Willow] actually gave me the courage to take on a double flight of stairs after having a major panic attack trying to go down one step. So hooray for Willow and me! Thank you LDB for everything you stand for and do.

Jackie Hollenbeck and Leader Dog Willow

Dawn Rudolph and Leader Dog Lady

Leader Dog is a great place! I did more of my O&M training in March 2015 and today I'm leaving with my Leader Dog Lady! The staff, instructors are all great! Thanks Leader Dog! This place is the best place to come if you are blind or visually impaired! Now that I have Lady, I can walk with confidence and independently!

Dawn Rudolph and Leader Dog Lady

David Chase and Leader Dog Shadow

Changed my life. To be able to reclaim independent, safe travel is great. Can't imagine my life without my new Leader Dog Shadow.

David Chase and Leader Dog Shadow

A man in jeans and a dark jacket and gray knit hat walks down a leaf-covered sidewalk with a yellow lab in harness

Meeting My Match: A Leader Dog Diary

By Joey J., Guide Dog Client Day 1 If anyone is interested and wants to see my daily activities or training I am going to try and update every evening and post any pics I am able to take. Each pic will have a description. So, after breakfast we had a meeting to introduce ourselves … Read more

Mark sits on a park bench with flowers and greenery behind him. Yellow lab Leader Dog Izzy sits in front of him on the cement in her harness.

Three Journeys with Leader Dogs

Fifteen years ago I began my journey to receive my first Leader Dog, Callie. [Guide Dog Mobility] Instructor Sue guided me through the new experience of learning the commands, what the dog is capable of in times of any difficult path that was before me. Callie was very curious and loved to smell the fresh … Read more

Black lab looking to the side in grass

Blind Enough

By Outreach Services & Community Engagement Manager Leslie Hoskins After clients in our Guide Dog program have been with their new Leader Dogs for about a week, we interview them to find out about their experience in the program. In one interview I did, I asked the client, Angeline, if she could tell me a … Read more