Employment Opportunities


Join Our Team

Founded in 1948, Guide Dogs of America has long been a leader in providing guide dogs to individuals who are blind and/or visually impaired. Regardless of where you work at Guide Dogs of America, you will contribute to fulfilling our mission. We recognize and support employees’ efforts to develop, expand their knowledge, improve their skills, and assume added responsibility. Yet, the greatest reward comes from knowing that you have a role in assisting blind and visually impaired individuals pursue their goals of greater independence and mobility.

Service Dog Trainer

Reports to: Service Dog Training Manager.

Location: San Diego

Job Purpose: To support GDA | TLC’s service dog program by training dogs, instructing incarcerated trainers in the service dog prison training programs located in the San Diego area, and training clients.

Essential Functions:

  • Transfer dogs from inside the prison to and from the training van
  • Handle and train dogs during weekly dog training outings, socializing & desensitizing dogs to public environments in preparation for becoming a service dog
  • Instruct weekly classes located inside the prison
  • Support/answer questions that inmate trainers may have regarding training or canine health
  • Order supplies needed for the program
  • Assist in matching dogs to potential clients
  • Instruct clients during team training
  • Assist in planning classes and outing locations
  • Maintenance of program van, organizing equipment and taking inventory as needed
  • Transporting dogs to appointments as needed
  • Assist in testing and training evaluations of dogs
  • Gathering and filing documentation to ensure compliance with accreditation standards
  • File training log reports and veterinary documentation electronically
  • Take photos and videos of training sessions as needed
  • Must pass a prison background check to enter the prison, attend an annual orientation and abide by the policies and procedures of the prison as well as follow directions from Correctional Officers and other prison staff in order to ensure everyone’s safety
  • Working within a prison environment
  • Adhere to all prison standards of behavior and dress code
  • Travel, nights, weekends may be required
  • Other duties as assigned

Essential Physical Requirements:

  • Stand, walk long distances outdoors in all weather conditions
  • Ability to bend and kneel to the floor for extended periods of time
  • Ability to lift 60 pounds and up to 80 lbs. with assistance; must possess the physical strength to lift healthy, potentially strong, large breed dogs
  • Ability to exert 20 to 50 pounds of force including pushing or moving objects
  • Ability to push, pull, and reach overhead
  • Ability to wear protective gear including masks, gloves, goggles, boots
  • Visual acuity required for ability to see and read dog’s reaction to environment and distractions, ability to read forms, documentation and computer screen
  • Hearing ability required to interact with dogs, trainers, students and volunteers
  • Ability to tolerate elevated noise levels – barking dogs
  • Working in a kennel environment with multiple dogs
  • Working in a prison environment 

Qualifications:

  • 18+ years of age
  • Valid driver’s license and insurable
  • High school graduate or GED
  • 3+ years training dogs using reward-based training
  • Must be comfortable walking through a prison yard and interacting with prison inmates
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Working knowledge in MS Office365 (MS Outlook, Excel and Word), experience with data entry and CRM database management programs such as Salesforce preferred
  • Must work well as part of a team and in a team environment

Qualified candidates, please send cover letter and resume to: kdwallace@guidedogsofamerica.org

Full-Time Trainer

Essential Functions:

  • Follows GDA techniques for dog care and kennel maintenance. 
  • Consistently provides an entire string of specially trained dogs to be partnered with clients.  
  • Trainers will provide clear and accurate reports on the progress of their assigned in-for-training dogs. 
  • Implements and organizes the training for students in class and effectively teaches students to utilize their guide dog. Guides Apprentice instructors in all aspects of class work and teaching students in the use of their guide dog. 
  • Applies GDA training techniques and the correct procedures for documenting their dogs’ progress, giving class lectures and students critiques.  
  • Provides assistance in the class setting which includes assisting students with general instruction, dog care and matters that arise. Managing any critical situations requiring immediate intervention and reporting incidents to class instructors.
  • Conducts effective graduate follow-up visits, applicant interviews and graduate assist. 
  • Ability to travel as well as work nights, overnights and weekends as needed. 

Essential Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift a minimum of 40 lbs. and 70 lbs. with assistance. 
  • Must be able to bend, squat, stoop, etc. 
  • Ability to walk long distances (@ 8 miles each day) in all weather conditions.
  • Ability to lift up to 60 pounds; must possess the physical strength to lift healthy, potentially strong, large breed dogs.
  • Ability to handle and control a large breed dog.  
  • Ability to exert 20 to 50 pounds of force including pushing or moving objects.  
  • Ability to stand, push, pull, reach overhead and bend to the floor.
  • Ability to wear protective gear including masks, gloves, goggles, boots.  
  • Visual acuity required to see and read dog’s reaction to environment and distractions, ability to read forms, documentation, and computer screen.
  • Hearing ability required to interact with dogs, trainers, students, and volunteers.    
  • Ability to work indoors and outdoors in all types of weather.  
  • Working within a prison environment.  
  • Working with all sizes of dogs. 
  • Ability to tolerate elevated noise levels – barking dogs. 

Qualifications:

  • 18+ years of age 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Work well as part of a team and in a team environment. 
  • High school graduate or GED 
  • Instructors must have completed a 3-year apprenticeship under licensed instructor at an accredited guide dog school.  
  • Excellent interpersonal, teamwork and communication skills. 
  • Ability to train a broad range of dog temperaments. 
  • Strong initiative and problem-solving skills when working independently 
  • Proficient in Microsoft, Word, Excel and Outlook. 

Qualified candidates, please send cover letter and resume to: kdwallace@guidedogsofamerica.org




About Guide Dogs of America

At Guide Dogs of America, all of our volunteers, donors, clients and staff share a belief that we don’t just train guide dogs, we inspire others to live their lives. Guide Dogs of America places more than 50 dogs each year, serves more than 300 graduates across the U.S. and Canada and has been enriching the lives of others for 70 years.

Guide Dogs of America is a Four Star Charity of Charity Navigator and a “Best” award recipient of the Independent Charities of America and earned the 2022 Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guide Star. Our guide dogs are provided at no cost to our clients and our program receives no federal, state or local government funding. Guide Dogs of America is an accredited member of the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dog International.