Graduate Services


Telephone Support

Graduates are welcomed and encouraged to contact Guide Dogs of America with any concerns regarding the team. If training staff is not available, the graduate should speak to someone in the Graduate Services Department who will take notes and have an instructor call the graduate back as soon as possible. 

For Guide Dogs:

Please call: (818) 833-6428, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Staff is available through the operator for after-hours life-threatening emergencies.)

For Service Dogs Please Call:

Please call: (858) 376-3141, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Training Follow-ups

If we are unable to resolve clients’ concerns over the telephone, we will make arrangements to visit them in their home areas. 

Veterinary Services

Graduates are welcome to come to the school for their veterinary services and may purchase flea and heartworm medications from Guide Dogs of America at cost.

Boarding

Graduates may board their guide dogs at Guide Dogs of America. For boarding reservations, please contact boarding@guidedogsofamerica.org or call our Kennel Department at (818) 833-6448.

Access & Advocacy

Guide Dogs of America is committed to advocating for its graduates in matters of access and discrimination to the best of its ability.  We encourage business and organizations to educate their staff and clients about service dog laws so they are prepared to comply with regulations when they meet a working team.  See our Advocacy page for relevant links.

Etiquette

Guide Dogs

There are guidelines people should follow when in the presence of a guide dog to allow for the safety of the dog and its handler.  Disregarding these guidelines can distract the dog, which can create a dangerous situation for the dog and its handler.  The harness is an indication that the dog is working.  A guide dog in harness is “on duty,” even when sitting or lying down. Please don’t touch, call out to, feed, or otherwise distract a working guide dog. Allow the dog to concentrate and perform for the safety of its blind partner. When you meet a guide dog team, be sure to speak to the handler, not the dog. If you would like to pet the guide dog, ask the handler first.  Some handlers will allow petting, but be sure to ask before doing so.  See our Advocacy page for relevant links.

Service Dogs

There are guidelines people should follow when in the presence of a service dog to allow for the safety of the dog and its handler. 

Do:

  • Do keep in mind the handler is just trying to live their daily life
  • Do offer help, but do not insist
  • Do use an encounter with a service dog team as an opportunity to educate children

Do Not:

  • Do not say the dog’s name or pet without permission
  • Do not talk to the dog
  • Do not feed the dog
  • Do not make kiss, barking or other dog sounds
  • Do not stare at the dog 
  • Do not be offended if a handler says no to petting the dog or is unable to chat with you about the dog.

Our Objective

Our objective is not only to provide excellent service dogs and quality instruction, but also to strive to maintain the true success of a team – longevity. Thus, lifetime support services, including telephone support, training follow-ups, veterinary care at our on-campus clinic, boarding, and advocacy services are available for each graduated team.