Guide Dogs for the Blind uses yellow and black Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and Lab/golden crosses as guides. The puppies are born at the Guide Dog kennels and placed in the homes of volunteer puppy raisers at around two months of age. The puppy raisers socialize the pups by housebreaking them, teaching them to be good canine citizens and introducing them to new experiences.
The pups are returned to Guide Dogs for formal guide training when at 14 to 18 months of age. The trained dogs are then matched with blind students enrolled at the school. The new person-dog team completes an intensive in-residence course culminating in a graduation ceremony at which the raiser formally presents the dog to the new partner the dog will guide.
Guide Dogs for the Blind has been creating lifelong partnerships in the community by providing skilled dogs and training in their use free of charge since 1942. The organization receives no government funding but depends entirely on private donations. To get involved, call Guide Dogs for the Blind at 800-295-4050 or visit www.guidedogs.com.