Rehome one of our dogs

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However, dogs can be withdrawn from the training programme or from their role as a guide dog at any stage, or some dogs may retire, and we look to rehome them.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.

Got a question? Try asking our new chatbot - bottom right of your screen.

On this page

Please check if your area is accepting applications before sending a rehoming application form. If an area is closed, your application will not be considered.

We will review the situation regularly so please check this page again soon.

Our retired or withdrawn guide dogs make wonderful pets, find out how our rehomed dogs have got on with their new owners.

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:

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, or if you’re interested in rehoming a German shepherd.

If our rehoming service doesn’t sound quite right for you, you may still be interested in one of our dog focussed volunteer roles. Volunteering as a puppy raiser or fosterer is a great way to support our work. You’ll receive guidance on your dog’s health and behaviour from expert Guide Dogs staff, and won’t have to worry about the financial costs of dog ownership. If you’d like to find out more, visit our Volunteering Roles page.

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!

Sending in your application

Please carefully check the list of areas covered by each team before submitting your application.

The following areas are accepting a limited number of applications from people who are able to rehome either an older dog (9 years and over) or a dog with complex training and/or veterinary needs:

(Please note: the dogs will typically require an owner with experience of behavioural issues including mouthing and poor recall or health conditions such as atopy, elbow or hip dysplasia.)

  • South East – covering Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, London, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, West Sussex
  • South West and Wales – covering Channel Islands, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Somerset, Wiltshire and all counties in Wales
  • Midlands – covering Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Peterborough, Rutland, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire
  • North East – covering Durham, Hull, Leeds, Northumberland, Teesside, Tyne & Wear, Yorkshire
  • North West – covering Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Isle of Man, Lancashire, Merseyside, Pennines, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, Staffordshire
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland – covering Scotland and Northern Ireland 

Essential criteria

It's 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 a dog without human company for more than four hours in any 24-hour period.
  • I am willing and able to meet all the exercise, veterinary care and general husbandry needs of a dog with which I am matched. 
  • I will be responsible for all costs in relation to my dog (including food and veterinary care including annual vaccinations, worming and flea prevention)
  • If I live in rented, housing association or council-owned property, I have permission, or can get permission, to have a dog from my landlord or agent.
  • I have access to a safe enclosed area in which a dog can toilet.
  • I have no more than two other pet dogs.

Steps to rehoming a guide dog

  1. 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.
  2. Complete the rehoming application form.
  3. If you are eligible, you will receive an email with the preference questionnaire, which will give you plenty of opportunity to tell us about circumstances and the type of dog you’d like to rehome.
  4. 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.
  5. One of the team will arrange a telephone interview/home visit with you if we identify a potential dog and we can answer any questions you have about rehoming.
  6. 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 Regional Centre or one of our other offices local to you.
  7. If the introduction is successful, we will complete the necessary documents, take payment. You will usually be able to take your dog home with you on the same day! However, all of our dogs are individuals and some may need more than one visit before they are ready to go to their new home.
  8. 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.