Guide Dog Foundation

by: Fairmont

October 11, 2021

About Guide Dog Foundation

For over 75 years, the Guide Dog Foundation has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide increased independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to people who are blind, have low vision or have other disabilities.

As each applicant is accepted to our training program, we carefully match and train a dog that’s right for them. Once matched, students will attend our innovative two-week training program, with a 2:1 student/instructor ratio, which allows for a blend of customized training formats to meet a student’s goals and objectives.

Guide Dog Foundation dogs learn how to lead a person in a straight line, find and follow a clear path, maneuver around obstacles (both on the ground and overhead), and stop at changes in elevation, such as curbs and stairs. They are also trained to be extremely well behaved when in public places.

It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, all of the Foundation’s services are provided at no charge to the individual. Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, businesses, and community organizations.

Foundation Accreditation

Foundation Accreditation

In 2009, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind became the first assistance dog school in the United States to be accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. Accreditation reinforces the Foundation’s reputation by showing that we consistently follow the highest standards for the humane and ethical treatment of our dogs, maintain educational benchmarks for instructors and apprentices, and that we have procedures in place for students during the application and acceptance process, including a way for consumers to address any grievances.

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity and is proud of its reputation as a charitable organization. It has been recognized by Charity Navigator, the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar, and Charity Watch.

To learn more about the history of the Foundation, visit

Meet Laurel Our Canine Ambassador

Laurel, an 18- month old female black Labrador named for nearby Laurel Canyon, one of the city’s most beloved hiking destinations, comes to Fairmont Century Plaza as a “dropout” from the Guide Dog Foundation. Although she did not receive her “dog-ree,” Laurel will be able to apply much of her training to her new role.