How do I apply for a buddy dog
- Call us on 0800 781 1444
When you phone us, we’ll ask you some questions and then we’ll set up a follow-up call to chat through the Buddy Dog service and whether coming onto a Discovery Session is the best way forward for you and your family. If it is, you’ll be able to book onto one in that second call with us.
- Join a Buddy Dog Discovery Session
This is a webinar for adults to learn about the Buddy Dog service and gives you more information about the service before deciding whether it’s the right decision for you and your family.
- Fill in an application form
Following the webinar, you’ll be sent an application form to fill in. As part of the application process we’ll also need to see supporting documents such as rental agreements or details of your child’s visual impairment.
- Telephone interview and home check
Once we’ve got your application, we’ll call to ask some follow-up questions and work out if this is the right service for you and your family. We’ll also arrange a home check using whichever video calling app works best for you.
- Join a Buddy Dog Development Session
If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to join a second workshop, also delivered via a webinar. This session is designed to give you more information about buddy dogs and advice on looking after a dog in your own home.
- Attend a Buddy Dog Experience Session
This takes place in one of our training centres and is for the whole family. It gives your child the chance to meet a dog from Guide Dogs and learn all about how to interact with a dog. Following this session, we’ll confirm with you whether you have been accepted or not.
- Matching with a buddy dog
Once you’ve been to all the training sessions, you’ll be matched with a buddy dog. We can’t say how long this will take, as it depends on your circumstances and if we have the right dog for your family. If we do have the right buddy dog available, your family can collect them at this point and take them home.
- Follow-up and qualification
You’ll have four weeks (minimum) to get to know your buddy dog and allow them to settle in properly. Next, we will have a video call with you before being able to qualify your buddy dog partnership. We check things such as recall and ensure that you and the buddy dog are doing well.
- Ongoing aftercare
For the entire time that a buddy dog lives with you, we offer ongoing support and aftercare – you’ll be able to contact us if you have any problems. We’ll also carry out annual check-ins to make sure your child, your family and the dog are still happy.