(Click here to go directly to the guide dog application)
We would like to thank you for your interest in applying for a guide dog at Guide Dogs of the Desert. The procedures for applying are as follows:
Our requirements for getting a guide dog are these:
1) legally blind; 20/200 or less than 20° field of vision
2) be at least 18 years of age
3) able to walk ½ -1 hour routes two times daily
4) have had formal recent orientation and mobility instruction or an evaluation by our staff of travel skills
5) possess leadership capabilities necessary for a successful guide dog team
6) be emotionally stable
An applicant must complete the following forms and return them to the admissions department at Guide Dogs of the Desert. Copies of these form can be found online or a print copy can be requested by contacting Guide Dogs of the Desert:
1) An application
2) A request for references (personal, O&M Specialist and Blind Services Professional)
3) A release of information form
4) A report from your primary care physician and
5) A report from your ophthalmologist/optometrist
In addition to these forms, each applicant needs to submit an application video. This video assists the trainers in getting to know more about you and what dog would be the best match for you. Instructions and requirements for the video are also found online or included in an application packet.
Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by a committee. This committee meets every three months (January, April, July and November). When a decision has been made, a letter will be sent to you regarding either your acceptance or denial to the school.
Classes are held between the months of September and June and assignments are made 30 days prior to the start date by phone. If you accept the starting date then a packet will be sent to you with a letter of confirmation and more information as to what to expect while you are here.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call Guide Dogs of the Desert at 760-329-6257. We look forward to meeting you in the future.
The Online Application
The application will take about an hour to complete and is not able to be saved. Please provide as detailed and honest answers as possible, as this application is central to us getting to know what dog will be the best match for you.
You will need to provide the names and either email or mailing addresses of three personal references. Personal references are friends or family that will be able to speak to your home, your daily work and your personality. If you have received Orientation and Mobility training within the last 5 years, please provide the name and an email or mailing address for your instructor.
Once you have read all of the proceeding, you may continue to the online application by scrolling down.
NOTE: If you would like verification that your application has been submitted, scroll back to the top after you are done. Confirmation should appear. You will also be sent a letter within two weeks of your application. Scroll down to the end of this web page for more forms that will be needed for your application to proceed. Video Instructions, Information Release, Ophthalmologist-Optometrist Report, and Physicians Report. These forms will also be mailed to you with notice that your application was received.