Dogs for Children and Youth
Our dogs make a tremendous impact on children and teens facing significant challenges such as vision loss or the loss of a parent in the military. We offer several dogs and programs designed specifically for kids that can make a difference in their lives now, or help prepare them for guide dogs once they’re mature enough to handle them. As with all of our programs, we offer these dogs and services to families at no cost.
Kids Companion Dogs
Gentle, skilled Kids Companion Dogs provide friendship, build confidence, and teach responsibility to visually impaired youth ages 5-17, building a bridge to a future guide dog.
Guide Dog Camp
During our two-day, no-cost, overnight camp, teens 14–17 with vision loss learn about caring for and working with a guide dog, dog obedience, and more. Parents learn what a guide dog can mean for their child and family.
Guide Dogs for Teens
A guide dog enables mature teens ages 15–17 to experience new freedom and confidence, before finishing high school and venturing out on their own. For teens who are ready, guide dogs open doors to a life unleashed.
Gold Star Family Dogs
Gentle, well-trained Gold Star Family dogs offer loving companionship to military children and families who have lost a loved one in service to the nation, delivering comfort in the midst of difficult times.
“I started out scared, but now I’m excited.”
For a child, it can be hard to face some of life’s most difficult challenges. To lose vision or lose a parent at such a tender stage can have lifelong effects. It’s amazing to witness how our dogs can help. Watch these videos and see the difference these four-legged heroes can make.
“It’s like Taylor knew that Cayleigh’s heart needed some help, and that’s why she was here. Just like that, they became best friends.”
— Jillian, mom to Cayleigh, with Gold Star Family Dog Taylor | Wimauma, Florida
Children & Youth Q&A
What are the age requirements for children seeking a dog?
Can my visually impaired child get a guide dog?
Is Guide Dog Camp only for those who definitely know they want a guide dog?
Does a parent need to be in attendance for Guide Dog Camp?
Who can I contact to find out more about getting a companion dog for my visually impaired child?