Is a guide dog right for me?

Here we share how we work with you to decide if training with a guide dog is the right step for you, including the information we'll need from you, the assessments we do with you, and what happens next.

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The assessment process

It’s important that we get a clear picture of your home circumstances – including your vision, general health, and current and future mobility. 

Gathering this information takes place in two stages:

  1. A Mobility Assessment - this helps us understand your current vision, mobility skills and needs
  2. A Guide Dog Assessment - this specifically looks at whether a guide dog is suitable to meet your needs and if you can meet the health and wellbeing needs of a young, active dog. 

After each assessment, your local team reviews your application in their weekly case review panel meeting. Next steps are agreed based on facts gathered from you during the conversations and practical exercises during the assessments.

What criteria do I need to meet to train with a guide dog?

We treat all potential owners of a guide dog fairly and equally. We consider every assessment individually and will apply the same set of eligibility criteria to every person, regardless of whether this is for the first time or a replacement guide dog. 

The criteria we'll need you to meet to be eligible are:

What happens if a guide dog isn't the right option for me?

A guide dog is, most importantly, to help you move around, although we know that owning a dog brings many other benefits - such as companionship. We also know that a dog is not always the right solution for everyone’s mobility needs. When this happens, we’ll always explain why this has been decided, and if appropriate, we'll work with you to either help you adapt your current skills for a guide dog in the future or discuss alternative services with you either through our own services (for example, My Sighted Guide) or from other organisations.