How can I apply?

Enquiries and applications for the Buddy Dogs Service need to be addressed through your local mobility team.

Application Criteria

Young People’s Buddy Dog Within a Family Environment

Applicants must be:

  1. Aged up to 25 years old and living under the direct care of a parent/guardian
  2. Visually impaired and eligible for registration as blind or partially sighted
  3. Resident in the UK
  4. Able to identify an appropriate primary carer who is 18 years of age or over who is willing to pay 50 pence and sign the buddy dogs owner agreement, agreeing to be the ‘owner’ on their behalf
  5. Able to treat a dog with kindness and respect and not display any behaviour which may cause the dog harm
  6. Able to demonstrate they do not have another dog that in the opinion of the assessor could either offer similar benefits to that of a buddy dog or would make the introduction of a new dog into the household problematic.
  7. Able to accept the risks attached to placing a dog into a home with children and will manage the dog and child interactions to ensure safety of all concerned.
  8. Residing in a suitable environment in which the needs of the dog, as determined by Guide Dogs can be met. 
  9. Prepared to devote sufficient time outside of school hours to receive basic training in dog training and health and welfare
  10. Able to agree not to use the dog as any form of mobility aid
  11. Prepared to allow a Guide Dogs representative access to the dog on request
  12. Able to understand and sign the Buddy Dogs agreement and Health and Safety Guidelines.
  13. Able to support and enable the young person to understand and apply the Young Persons Commitment.
  14. Prepared to accept full responsibility for the dog’s health and welfare

The applicants must be able to demonstrate that the young person is:

  1. Able to increase their activity by the presence of and interaction with the dog.
  2. Able to learn to take on appropriate specific tasks and behaviours that relate to the care and welfare of the dog.
  3. Able to follow and apply instruction and advice given by the primary carer.

School / Organisation Buddy Dog

Applicants must:

  • Be a teacher/professional within a dedicated VI unit and/or a specialist school /organisation for teaching young people who are blind and partially sighted (in order to make a decision on the impact of a buddy dog we would need to take into account the number of children and young people who are blind or partially sighted and their needs within your education setting).
  • Reside in a suitable environment in the UK, in which the needs of the dog, as determined by Guide Dogs can be met. 
  • Have permission from the “Head” / CEO for having a buddy dog in the school /organisation.
  • Be willing to be the designated “primary carer” who takes the dog home outside school / organisation hours, and must agree to sign the buddy dog carer’s agreement.
  • Have “buy in” from all teachers and governors, who in turn should be prepared to work within the scope of the service in order that monitoring and evaluations are completed.
  • Work with visually impaired young people and those eligible for registration as blind or partially sighted.
  • Be able to treat a dog with kindness and respect and not display any behaviour which may cause the dog harm
  • Be prepared to devote sufficient time after school / work to exercise and maintain the dog’s basic training and obedience.
  • Be prepared to accept full responsibility for the dog’s health and welfare.
  • Understand and agree not to use the dog as any form of mobility aid.
  • Be prepared to allow a Guide Dogs representative access to the dog on request.
  • Work with Guide Dogs representatives around the timetabling of the use and activities of the dog within the school
  • Be able to accept the risks attached to placing a dog into a home with children and will manage the dog and child interactions to ensure safety of all concerned.



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Fact!

There are now over 100 buddy dog partnerships in the UK.