Guide dog service

There is no upper or minimum age for guide dog ownership. People in their seventies, eighties and nineties have become successful guide dog owners.

In February 2014, an 11-year old became our youngest ever guide dog owner.

You do not need to have lost all your sight to become a guide dog owner. Most people who own a guide dog still have some vision.

Guide Dogs is the largest breeder of guide dogs in the world. We breed more than 1,400 guide dog puppies each year.

It takes 20 months of specialised training to transform a new-born puppy into a confident guide dog.

There are more than 4,900 guide dog partnerships in the UK.

It costs Guide Dogs around £52,700 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement.  This includes the cost of breeding, puppy walking for the first year, early and advanced training, training the guide dog owner with the guide dog and on-going support throughout the life of the working partnership.

Guide dog owner and dog walk through shopping centre

Breeding a guide dog puppy: £3,200

Puppy walking: £4,800

Early training: £16,200

Advanced training: £12,300

Partnership training: £3,200

Supporting a partnership: £13,000

We aim to provide new guide dog owners with a dog within six months of their application.

The average working life of a guide dog is six to seven years, although some dogs work for up to eight years.