When the pup is 14 to 18 months old, he or she should be ready to start formal guide dog training and join us at our school. You’ll bring him or her into the Guiding Eyes Training Facility in Yorktown Heights, NY, for the In-For-Training (IFT) assessment. At this time, the progress and health history of the dog is reviewed, and the dog is put through a variety of practical tests. If the dog is successful at its IFT, then formal guide dog training will begin.

This can be a very emotional time for puppy raisers as they come to terms with the realization of parting.

People often ask whether the first puppy is hardest to give up. It seems that each puppy assumes a special spot in your heart that holds the love, joy, and challenges you experienced together.

There is great pride and responsibility in knowing the puppy you’re raising is on a path towards making a profound difference in someone’s life. Our puppy raisers are key to providing quality guide dogs.