Buddy dogs

Building confidence through companionship

At Guide Dogs we believe that a dog can Buddy Dog With Childrenmake a remarkable difference in any child’s life by fostering a sense of responsibility and companionship through the human / animal bond.

Following a successful pilot, Buddy Dogs was launched as a full service in January 2012. The buddy dog service matches specially selected dogs and places them within a school or family environment for the benefit of children and young people who are blind or partially sighted.

Buddy dogs are guide dogs that haven't qualified to work as mobility assistance dogs but can improve the quality of life of children and young people who are blind and partially sighted by contributing to sensory and physical development, enhancing their confidence and self esteem, countering isolation and depression, increasing levels of exercise and improving their communication and mobility skills. In some cases a buddy dog can help to assess whether a young person could benefit from a guide dog in the future.

The buddy dog service relates to stage three of the mobility journey, preparing individuals for guide dog ownership and developing their confidence to move to stage four of the mobility journey. The buddy dog service also relates to maintaining our life long commitment to our clients and dogs.

Think buddy dogs might be for you?

To find out more about buddy dogs and how you can get involved, contact your local Guide Dogs Mobility Team


Buddy Dog Partnerships

This short video shows how Max, 9, and Millie, 13, have grown in confidence since having buddy dogs, Eliza and Verity. See how their partnerships work and find out how buddy dogs fit into family life.


The Buddy Dog Service is a new evolving service placing approximately 30 partnerships a year