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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

decorative iconSince 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 Deaf-Blind.

What Clients Said About Guide Dog Training:

Juanita Lillie Testimonial
Juanita Lillie and Leader Dog Baylor

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 De Lima Testimonial
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 Testimonial
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 Testimonial
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 Testimonial
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
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Blind Enough

Black lab looking to the side in grass

After clients in Guide Dog Training have been with their new Leader Dogs for about a week, we interview them to find out about their experience with Leader Dog. In a recent interview I did, I asked the client, Angeline, if she could tell me a little about her new Leader Dog. Angeline began to cry. ... Read More

Meeting My Match: A Leader Dog Diary

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

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 and the trainers. ... Read More

Three Journeys with Leader Dogs

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.

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 ... Read More

Celebrate Someone Special

Celebrate or remember a special person, pet or moment for the holidays. We will send a card to the person or family to notify them of your generous gift.