There are a maximum of ten clients in each class, working with three instructors. The make-up of the class is varied – men and women, first timers and retrainees, college students and seniors. The first few days of instruction provide our training staff with an idea about the pace, strength, personality, and needs of each client.
The three-week client training course focuses on weekly development goals.
Week 1: Basic handling and fundamentals
Week 2: Building a relationship and understanding of handler and guide dog’s communication
Week 3: Preparing for the transition to home
On the third Saturday of class, a graduation ceremony is held on our campus to acknowledge all those who have been involved in the guide dog teams’ success. Clients and their guide dog’s puppy raisers meet before the ceremony to trade stories about their wonderful dogs.
A Typical Class Day
7 a.m.: Breakfast is served
12 p.m.: Lunch is served
5 p.m.: Dinner is served
Each private client room has its own bathroom, full-sized bed, small refrigerator, easy chair, desk, built-in dresser and closet, and patio, which is used for relieving the dog. The student snack room has soda and candy vending machines, a refrigerator and a microwave. Hot and cold beverages, fresh fruit, popcorn and trail mix are available at all times.
The dormitory has a snack room, TV room, washer/dryer room, and dining room. The dorm also has several common areas outdoors for visiting, relaxing or smoking (the building is smoke-free).
The food served at GDA is fresh and hearty. Our chefs takes great pride in preparing meals to accommodate our clients tastes and dietary needs.