At our state-of-the-art facility, guide dogs are born and receive early and vital training for their important futures.
The Canine Development Center in Patterson, NY provides a joyful environment for the early socialization of future guide dogs by nurturing the human-animal connection. This is an exciting place where the first steps are taken toward producing a successful guide dog team: breeding, birthing, socializing, screening, and placing high-potential puppies in loving, nurturing puppy-raising homes.
Our beautiful 30-acre Canine Development Center includes a full-service veterinary hospital as well as indoor and outdoor recreation areas, including the famous Big Dog Area – fenced-in woods where adult dogs can run and play off-leash on mulched paths.
The Cryogenics & Reproduction Suite is home to our breeding program, which maximizes the qualities required for a working guide dog and minimizes health problems that could disrupt or shorten a guide dog’s working years. Our breeding program is built upon best-in-class analyses of genetic and behavioral data from every step of a dog’s life, helping us improve the next generation of guide dogs with every new litter.
Whelping, the process of giving birth, is one of the most exciting events at the Canine Development Center. The staff of the Whelping Kennel works in close cooperation with Guiding Eyes veterinarians to provide obstetrical and general medical care to the broods, while paying close attention to the physical and socialization needs of the puppies and broods.
At age 6-9 weeks, our puppies transition to spacious kennels adjacent to the Hockmeyer Puppy Pavilion. In this fun, stimulating, toy-filled indoor and outdoor environment, pups continue to build upon the progressive lessons taught by staff and volunteers such as self-control when getting fed or picked up, settling during crate-time, and how to problem-solve and develop skills such as climbing stairs or mastering underfootings.
Two kennels, one for males and one for females, house our adult dogs in comfortable, spacious quarters, whether on-site for breeding purposes, or if under breed evaluation, awaiting the decision to join the elite breeding colony or advance into guide dog training. Each kennel includes a Living Room to allow the dogs to relax among the staff as they work for several hours during the day. A kennel kitchen provides our dogs with nutritious, measured meals.