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, the Buddy Dogs Service was launched in full in January 2012 and matches specially selected dogs and places them within a school, organisation or family environment for the benefit of blind or partially sighted children and young people.

Buddy dogs are guide dogs that haven't qualified to work as mobility assistance dogs but can improve the quality of life of blind and partially sighted children and young people 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 service was launched in January 2012, following a successful year-long pilot.