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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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Is a Leader Dog Right for Me?

A golden retriever in leather Leader Dog harness walks on inscribed bricks on a sunny day.

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 Douyon and Leader Dog Emma sitting on the grass.

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

A woman wearing a flowery button up shirt has her arm around the golden retriever in Leader Dog harness.

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