Career Change Dogs

Thank you for your interest in adopting a career change dog, however, due to high demand and the extensive waitlist, we are not accepting new applications at this time.

What is a Career Change Dog?

During Guide Dogs of America’s rigorous training process, which can take up to two years after the birth of the puppy, the dogs in our program are constantly reviewed to ensure they meet our stringent set of health and working standards.

During this time, not all of the dogs in the program are able to become guide dogs due to problems with health or temperament, e.g. allergies, hip or elbow dysplasia, overly friendly, cat or other dog distractions, etc. These problems can develop even after the dog enters formal guide dog training at approximately 18 months of age. While it is tremendously disappointing for all to remove dogs from the program, the safety and well-being of the students and the dogs is first and foremost.

The exact details of why a dog was career changed and made available for adoption will be explained when we contact you. Guide Dogs of America primarily has Labrador Retrievers available for adoption; however we occasionally have Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. Both male and female dogs are available.

  • A $1,000.00 fee is required for most dog/puppy adoptions.  Taking into consideration the dog’s temperament, medical history and needs, Guide Dog of America reserves the right to set donation requirements for all our career changed dogs. The adoption fee will help offset a small portion of the costs invested in these dogs. The non-refundable fee is due when you pick up your new dog.
  • Any shipping or transportation costs for the dog will be the responsibility of the adoptive family.
  • Dogs are matched with strong consideration for the needs of both the dog and potential adopting home. Because we receive many more adoption applications than we have dogs available, our selection and matching process is based on suitability rather than on a first-come, first served basis.
  • Adoption wait times vary and may be as long as 5-8 years.
  • You are required to personally visit Guide Dogs of America to meet the dog prior to adoption, in fairness to you and the dog.
  • While waiting to adopt, you must email our adoption department at annually to verify that you are still interested and update any information. Should you choose not to wait, rescue organizations are another good option for adopting a dog.