Our secret? Fine breeding, respect, repetition…and plenty of love.
At Southeastern Guide Dogs, we’ve matched over 2,800 guide dogs with students
whose lives are changed forever after they leave our school.
Our puppies love humans. (And we love our puppies!)
It all starts with our puppies. We breed intelligent and friendly Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and goldadors (that delightful blend of Labrador and golden) in our clean, well-ventilated kennels. Our puppies romp on our playground, frolic with volunteers, and enjoy fresh air and exercise. They eat a healthy, vet-approved diet. Our own veterinarians and veterinary nurses staff our clinic and provide timely medical care.
From an early age, our puppies enjoy intentional socialization that exposes them to motions, sounds, and surfaces. Puppy-hugging sessions teach them to love all shapes and sizes of humans. Volunteers and kennel staff help them run and play.
After weaning, volunteer puppy raisers open their homes to our puppies to teach them manners, basic obedience, social skills and expose them to the wider world.
Teaching obedience — and disobedience, if necessary.
At about 14 months old, our dogs begin intensive harness training with certified trainers and skilled apprentices. These clever dogs learn more than 40 commands, including intelligent disobedience, which means disobeying commands that place a human in danger. Trainers gain trust and teach obedience through respect, repetition, and love. And our dogs love the attention!
Training the Perfect Team
After harness training, dogs are carefully matched by personality and gait to visually impaired students. For 26 days, students live, work, and learn together on campus with their new guide dog. After an emotion-packed graduation and fond farewells, we follow up with our guide dog pairs for life. We also offer home-based placement services for students with special needs.
Our guide dogs have met rigorous medical and behavioral standards before being paired with a student. Dogs who don’t quite meet these standards are selected to change careers into other fields.
From breeding to whelping, training to graduation, healthy and happy puppies are the foundation of Southeastern Guide Dogs.
- Our school operates its own breeding colony, with approximately 50 breeder dogs.
- Three Breeds: Labradors, golden retrievers and goldadors (Labrador/golden retriever mix).
- Number of puppies currently being raised by volunteers: approximately 250.
- Number of dogs currently deployed: more than 1,000, including over 410 active guide dogs, more than 100 Gifted Canines, approximately 250 puppies in puppy raiser homes, and more than 200 dogs and puppies in the school’s kennels.
What people are saying…
“Ralphie has saved my life. This wonderful, goofy dog was born on April 1, and lives up to his birth date. He’s more than a guide—he’s amazing. He’s everything.”Don Olinger with guide dog Ralphie