Guiding Eyes for the Blind is an internationally accredited nonprofit that provides guide dogs to people with vision loss, as well as service dogs to children with autism.
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General Information

  1. What does Guiding Eyes for the Blind do?
  2. How does Guiding Eyes help blind people?
  3. How can I help Guiding Eyes do its fine work?
  4. I’ve seen Guiding Eyes dogs at work in my community. Can I pet the dogs?
  5. How can I assist a person with a Guiding Eyes dog?
  6. How many people use guide dogs?
  7. What is the difference between having a cane and having a trained guide dog?
  8. How is Guiding Eyes for the Blind different than other guide dog schools?
  9. Is Guiding Eyes for the Blind a 501(c)(3) organization? 
  10. What’s the difference between the Canine Development Center and the Training School?

What does Guiding Eyes for the Blind do?

Guiding Eyes for the Blind works to enrich the lives of the blind and visually impaired by providing them with superbly bred and expertly trained guide dogs.

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How does Guiding Eyes help blind people?

Guiding Eyes breeds, raises, and trains guide dogs and trains students to work with guide dogs that have been carefully selected to match their individual needs. Our training programs and life-long follow-up support are completely free of charge and are made possible through the generous support of individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations.

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How can I help Guiding Eyes do its fine work?

There are many ways to help. You can make a contribution every donation is important, regardless of its size. You can participate in one of our special events. You can become a volunteer puppy raiser, brood or stud foster, or early or home socializer. You can volunteer to do administrative work at our Headquarters and Training Center in Yorktown Heights, New York or our Canine Development Center in Patterson, New York. Click here for additional information.

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I’ve seen Guiding Eyes dogs at work in my community. Can I pet the dogs?

It’s fascinating to watch a person work with a guide dog, but remember, a guide dog in its harness is focusing on work. Do not to pet, talk to, or distract a guide dog in a harness. The dog must direct its full attention to the well-being of the blind person it is guiding.

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How can I assist a person with a Guiding Eyes dog?

Sometimes, if a person doesn’t know how to get to his or her destination, your offer to help may be welcome. Before assisting a guide dog user, be sure to ask, “May I help you?” Allow the person you’re helping to tell you what he or she needs. Remember that grabbing the guide dog, the leash, harness or the person’s arm may confuse him or her, and could even place the guide dog team in danger. Should the blind person accept your offer, accepted practice is to offer your left elbow for the person to hold with his or her right hand.

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How many people use guide dogs?

Although there are no precise numbers available, it is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 guide dog teams currently working in the United States. Another frequently cited statistic is that only about 2 percent of all people who are blind and visually impaired work with guide dogs. Guiding Eyes is committed to raising awareness about guide dogs and the profound differences they can make in people’s lives.

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What is the difference between having a cane and having a trained guide dog?

The method by which a blind or visually impaired person travels is a matter of personal choice. Those who choose to work with a guide dog often discover a new sense of freedom, an increased level of confidence, and a feeling of safety, along with the warm companionship of their new canine friend.

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How is Guiding Eyes for the Blind different than other guide dog schools?

Besides having an outstanding staff of instructors and an internationally admired corps of guide dogs, Guiding Eyes prides itself on small class size (average 12 students per class) allowing for plenty of individual attention, and a casual, friendly, home-like atmosphere throughout the school.

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Is Guiding Eyes for the Blind a 501(c)(3) organization?

Absolutely! Our tax identification number is 13-1854606. Your contributions are fully tax deductible.

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What’s the difference between the Training School and the Canine Development Center?

The Canine Development Center (CDC) in Patterson, NY is where life for a Guiding Eyes puppy begins. Through careful selection, broods and studs are bred to create future generations of guide and service dogs. These pups are born in our whelping kennel (WK) and spend the early part of their lifetime learning important socialization lessons with staff and trained volunteers. As they get older, they’ll move across the property to the breeding kennel (BK), where their learning continues through Guiding Eyes’ STEP program (Successive Training and Enrichment Program). At 8 weeks of age, the pups are tested and those that pass are placed with puppy raisers.

The Training School in Yorktown Heights, NY is also home to many major milestones in the life of a Guiding Eyes dog. The In-For-Training (IFT) evaluations happen here each month. Following IFTs, dogs destined for guide work will be spayed and neutered and then begin work with their professional instructors. They’ll live in the Training School Kennels, where the enrichment program will make their days both stimulating and relaxing.

Our guide dog and autism service dog students live with us at the Training School while they learn to work with their new dogs. At the conclusion of training, each program has a graduation celebration.

Each facility has its own veterinary hospital.

Training School and Canine Development Center staff work together closely. All of us are dedicated to the same goal – providing the world’s best guide and service dogs that continue to enable freedom in peoples’ lives.