Our Program Overview
Finding the Right Partner
At Guide Dogs of America, we believe that a well-trained service dog partner offers new opportunities for greater independence, enhanced mobility, and social interaction. Our 7.5 acre campus in Southern California is home to all of our programs and our services are provided free of charge, including:
• A professionally trained, highly qualified, expertly matched service dog
• Personalized instruction in how to care for and work with that dog as a team
• Public transportation to and from our school
• Room and board during the in-residence training program
• Veterinary care at our clinic
• Extensive post-graduate support services
Finding the right partner, forming a strong bond, and maintaining a solid support system are the keys to a successful service dog team. Guide Dogs of America’s program embraces all of these.
Lifetime of Support
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 training follow-ups, veterinary care at our on-campus clinic, and boarding services are available for each graduated team, at no cost.
The Right Partner: Our trainers are experts at pairing students with the right canine partner, with special consideration given to their personalities and unique characteristics, work and home environments, physical abilities, and a variety of other factors.
Personalized Instruction: Students enjoy private rooms in our dormitory, three meals a day in our dining room, and many state of the art amenities. Our program covers training in a wide variety of locations. As the instructors train the teams to work together, they learn to trust and rely on one another and develop a relationship based on mutual respect and cooperation.
Visually Impaired: 21 Day in residence training program.
Veteran, Autism and Facility: 3 week online instruction followed by a 7-day in-residence training program
Our guide dogs for people who are blind/visually impaired become trusted companions, bringing new opportunities for life experiences and social interaction. These highly trained canines help our clients travel safely from one destination to the next, avoid obstacles, stop at changes in elevation and for all oncoming traffic, and they can remember common routes.
Our service dogs for veterans help them gain greater independence and reintegrate into society. They are task trained to respond to PTSD-related triggers. They carry or retrieve objects and provide balance assistance for veterans with mobility limitations. These highly skilled service dogs can also remind our veterans with traumatic brain injuries to take their medications.
Our service dogs for children with autism help them gain confidence and independence. Together, they will experience newly found social interactions, encouraging communication. Our service dogs assist our clients with activities of daily living. In the presence of triggers (e.g., loud noises) our dogs perform grounding behaviors.
Our facility dogs provide intervention and therapy to people with disabilities, victims of crime, and other vulnerable
individuals. Facility dogs can motivate children to stay engaged in educational settings as well. In healthcare settings, our dogs can help facilitate the healing process. Our facility dogs can also help individuals feel calm and secure during a difficult courtroom trial or testimony.
We Are Assistance Dogs International Accredited
We are an Assistance Dogs International accredited organization. All of our dogs are trained to ADI standards for public access and service dog cues, and we follow ADI guidelines for placement of our dogs.
The International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) is the industry-elected body responsible for the development, monitoring and evaluation of the standards applied within all IGDF-member organisations, and to which all Enquiring and Applicant organisations aspire, in order to ensure equity of high-quality service to guide dog users and Handlers around the world.