Rehome one of our dogs
An introduction to rehoming
Our dogs are bred and trained to work as guide dogs and we’re delighted that the large majority of them are successful.
However, dogs can be withdrawn from the training programme or from their role as a guide dog at any stage, or some dogs may retire, and we look to rehome them.
Dogs that are not suitable for our work make great pet dogs! Some just don’t have the temperament to become a guide dog, some have a health condition that means they are not suited to our type of work and some simply retire. Many of our retired dogs will stay with their owner or a member of their family or friend but this is not always possible.
Things to consider before you apply
We’d love you to rehome one of our dogs but it is important to keep in mind the following when looking to rehome a guide dog:
- You will be asked to pay a rehoming fee of up to £500. All of our dogs are neutered, microchipped, health checked and have regular preventative treatment against worms and fleas. Those that rehome one of our dogs will be taking on all costs.
- Some of our dogs may have a health condition that requires ongoing treatment or certain restrictions in activity.
- It may be that one of our dogs has shown some behavioural issues such as: positive and negative reactions, recall issues, separation anxiety, poor travelling or poor lead behaviour. Dogs may have received different levels of training – some may not even have entered early training, so it is worth bearing that in mind too.
- Typical ages of withdrawal from guide dog training are 1-2 years, but we also see quite a few retired dogs needing homes.
- It may be that we don’t have what is perceived as a typical guide dog breed to rehome. As well as Labradors, Golden Retrieves and German Shepherds, we also have Labradoodles, Poodles, flat coat retrieves, crossbreeds and others.
- A dog must not be left alone for more than 4 hours in any 24-hour period. You must be able to meet the mental and physical needs of one of our dogs.
We are very fortunate in that we receive a high number of applications to rehome our dogs. This means that we are unable to offer everyone who applies a dog and some applicants will be unsuccessful. We are far more likely to have a suitable dog if you are willing to be flexible with the type of behaviour or veterinary needs your dog may have.
Owning a dog is a big emotional and financial commitment. We strongly recommend that people who provide a home for one of our dogs arrange public liability insurance and insurance cover for veterinary treatment.
It’s important to us that our dogs have the best possible home and we need people to meet our essential criteria before we can consider rehoming one of our dogs.
Still interested in providing one of our dogs with a loving home? Carry on reading!
Steps to rehoming a guide dog
- Read the information on this page and check the essential criteria below to ensure that you are eligible to apply to provide a home for one of our dogs.
- Complete the rehoming application form. To complete the form, download and save it to your computer. Once complete, save it again and then email or post it to your local rehoming team using the information below. Please contact your local team if you need this form in a different format.
- One of the team will be in touch if we need further information to support your application. If you haven't heard from us within six months, unfortunately, this means we don’t yet have a suitable dog for you and we ask you to either reapply or visit our website for other ways to help.
- One of the team will arrange a telephone interview/home visit with you as soon as we identify a potential dog and we can answer any questions you have about rehoming.
- We will arrange an introduction to the dog after the home visit. The introduction could be at your home or you might be asked to visit your Guide Dog Training School or one of our other offices local to you.
- If the introduction is successful, we will complete the necessary documents, take payment and you will be able to take the dog with you that day.
- One of the team will contact you two weeks later to check that you and your new dog are happy, and to provide any further advice and support.
Sending in your application
You need to email or post your completed rehoming application to your local rehoming team. Please carefully check the list of areas covered by each team before submitting your application.
South West – covering Channel Islands, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Wales, Somerset, Wiltshire
Unit 1.1 at Streamline
South East – covering Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, London, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex
Midlands – covering Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Peterborough, Rutland, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire
Warwick New Road
North West – covering Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Isle of Man, Lancashire, Merseyside, Pennines, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, Staffordshire
Gibfield Park Avenue
North East – covering Durham, Hull, Leeds, Northumberland, Teesside, Tyne & Wear, Yorkshire
72 Headingley Lane
Scotland and Northern Ireland – covering Scotland and Northern Ireland
Orchardbank Business Park
It is very important that you meet our essential criteria listed below to ensure you can provide the best possible home for one of our dogs like Forbes.
- I am over 18 years-old
- I don’t work full time and will not leave my dog alone for periods of more than four hours in any 24-hour period without human company (we prefer that our dogs stay with one owner/family and are not shared between different handlers, e.g. dog walkers)
- If I live in rented, housing association or council-owned property I have, or can, obtain permission to have a dog from my landlord or agent prior to a home visit (please note that we are unable to rehome a dog without this)
- I will be responsible for all costs in relation to my dog (including food, annual vaccinations, worming and flea prevention)
- I have access to a safe enclosed area in which my dog can toilet
- I have no more than two other pet dogs
Complete our rehoming application form
Before downloading our application form please read our Covid-19 update above.