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An older woman wearing a purple t-shirt and light green ballcap leans over while sitting on a park bench to hug the golden retriever standing in front of her. The dog is wearing a Leader Dog harness and has its mouth slightly open as if smiling.

Guide Dog Training

White bordered green circle that contains a white pictogram representing a Labrador-like guide dog walking in harnessSince 1939, Leader Dogs for the Blind has operated one of the world’s most respected and innovative guide dog programs. Our free training 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.

Training 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 their 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.

Guide Dog Training 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 Training 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 Deaf-Blind.

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

Photo of a man in a white button up shirt sitting in front of a gray backdrop. Next to him is a yellow lab in leather Leader Dog harness with her head tilted toward Francisco

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

Photo of a woman wearing a red dress smiling and facing the camera. She is sitting in front of a gray backdrop with her left arm around a yellow lab/golden retriever cross in leather Leader Dog harness

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

Photo of a woman in a pink button up shirt sitting in front of a gray backdrop and smiling at the camera. Her arms are around the black lab seated to her left

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

Photo of a man in a purple polo shirt with the Lions Clubs logo on it. He is smiling at the camera and sitting in front of a gray backdrop with his hands on the black lab in harness seated next to him

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

Is a Leader Dog Right for Me?

A golden retriever in leather Leader Dog harness walks on inscribed bricks on a sunny day. A person is walking next to the dog and is only visible from the waist down

In this webinar, members of our training team give insight into working with a cane vs. a guide dog, discuss admission standards for our training programs, and cover the application process, among other topics. ... Read More

"Guardian Angel"

Gui sits on a brick path outdoors on a sunny day. In one hand he holds the leash of the yellow lab and golden retriever cross lying beside him in harness, Emma. With his other hand, he pets Emma

During his sophomore year of college, GuiAlix Douyon decided it was time to apply for a Leader Dog. “[Leader Dog] Emma has changed every aspect of my life,” Gui says. “She looks out for me and I don’t ever have to worry about my blind spots.” ... Read More

Hidden Disability

Photo of a woman sitting with her face toward the camera. She is wearing a flowery button up shirt and smiling. She has her arm around the golden retriever in Leader Dog harness sitting next to her.

Before I got [Leader Dog] Tulip, when I walked in my neighborhood, I walked the same path. I could tell you where the manhole covers were, where the dips were in the pavement, where the drains were and if there were potholes. These are things that a sighted person never thinks twice about ... Read More