Photograph of Mona, a mature retired Guide Dog.Retiring A Guide Dog: A guide dog’s working life is about 6 to 8 years (they begin working at about 2 1/2 years old.) When it is time to retire a guide dog, the guide dog user has the choice to keep the dog as a pet, give it to a family member, or return the dog to Guide Dogs of America. Sometimes it is difficult on the retired guide dog to keep it as a pet because it may become jealous or depressed over the new guide dog partner.

Retired guide dogs returned to Guide Dogs of America are put into our Adoption Program. We first contact the dog’s original Puppy Raisers and ask if they wish to adopt the dog. If they do not, the guide dog is given to a prescreened individual from our adoption waiting list who wishes to adopt the dog. Currently there is a 4-6 year wait to adopt a ‘career change’ dog or retired guide dog.

Apply for a Guide Dog
Raise a Puppy Adopt a Dog
Give Later

International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers


ADI Accreditation

Use of graphics, images, information or any other content of this web site and its pages is expressly forbidden without permission from Guide Dogs of America. Guide Dogs of America does grant permission to use information from this site for educational and informational purposes only as long as information is not altered and is properly cited..