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Matching Process & Team Training

Our training staff takes great care in matching our students with the guide dogs, taking into consideration walking pace, harness pull, lifestyle, personality, and more.

Our guide dogs are provided at no cost to students, including travel expenses, training, and more

The Right Dog

Guiding Eyes is known for our ability to find the right dog for each person. We are proud to offer a variety of programs so our students can receive the training that best suits their needs. During each program, our instructors refine their training further to meet each student’s needs – doing whatever it takes to ensure success.

handler kneels to hug his new partner on the sidewalk during trainingMatches take into account many criteria, including:

  • The student’s typical walking speed
  • The amount of pull that the dog exerts on the harness handle
  • The dog’s comfort level and confidence in the environment in which it will need to work
  • The working personalities of both the student and dog, including the amount and type of praise and support the student can provide, the patience of the student and the dog, and the level of firmness and consistency needed by the dog to maintain its work pattern
  • The physical match between the student’s height and the dog’s size
  • Breed requests

The Right Program

Guiding Eyes is dedicated to truly personalized instruction. Our commitment to addressing the individual needs of our students sets us apart from other schools, and programs to assist their special needs or situations are an integral part of our services. The professional commitment and expertise of our Guide Dog Mobility Instructors instills confidence while strengthening the guide dog and handler bond for increased independence.

On-Campus Training Program

Students travel to our Yorktown Heights, New York campus to participate in an immersive training program. Our training school facility is designed to be modern and comfortable – a home away from home as students train to become guide dog handlers. Students reside in one of our 18 single-occupancy rooms while they are matched and train with their guide dog.

Home Training Program

Our Home Training program is for students who are unable to travel to our Yorktown Heights campus due to work or personal obligations at home. One of our Guide Dog Mobility Instructors travels to the student’s home with their guide dog. While the instructor stays at a local hotel, the dog resides immediately at the student’s home.

Specialized Training Program

The first-of-its-kind Specialized Training Program was developed to empower people with vision loss who have additional challenges. This may include individuals with gait and balance issues, cognitive challenges, and individuals who are DeafBlind. Highly customized training ensures that each team can achieve maximum independence and mobility.

Running Guides Program

The Guiding Eyes for the Blind Running Guides Program is the only program of its kind in the world. These extensively tested and trained dogs enable people who are blind to run with only their guide dog as support. For the first time, runners with vision loss don’t have to be reliant on human guides or limited to the treadmill.

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