How to Apply for a Guide Dog

In order to apply for a guide dog from Guide Dogs of Texas, you must be a resident of Texas, legally blind (20/200 or less acuity, or 20% or less visual field), and 17 years of age or older. Additionally, you must demonstrate that you can walk routes independently and can cross streets without assistance from another person. If you plan to move within a year, please re-locate and become familiar with your new location before applying for a guide dog.

The application process begins by placing a call to Guide Dogs of Texas (210-366-4081) or (800-831-9231). If you are seeking information for a loved one, have them call us to collect contact information and to verify basic eligibility. You will first speak with a member of our Administrative Staff who will ask some basic questions and answer any questions you might have. If you are not ready to apply for a guide dog, you might be referred to an appropriate agency.

If you are a candidate, an Instructor will call you within a few days to answer questions about guide dog mobility and the application process. We will discuss your current mobility and your motivation for applying for a guide dog. If you and your Instructor determine that a guide dog might benefit you, an application will be sent. Large print and Braille editions are available.

The first section of the application is for you to complete, you can have a friend assist you if needed. A second section of the application is a physician’s report for your Doctor to fill out. Return both sections via mail, fax, or email.

Once your complete application is received, an Instructor will call to suggest a time to visit you. Guide Dogs of Texas strives to interview each applicant in a timely manner. If your interview needs to be scheduled to coordinate other travel by the instructor, you will be told when to expect a call to schedule your interview.

Interviews are typically three to four hours long. This is your time to ask questions, to receive information about guide dog mobility, and to discuss how a guide dog might fit into your life. Your instructor will ask to see several routes using your current mobility aid. You should be able to do these routes without assistance. Your routes will demonstrate the types of areas in which you work.

You will also go on a short handle walk to give you an idea of what working a guide dog is really like and to give the Instructor information about what type of dog you might need. We want you to understand how a guide dog works and whether or not a guide dog is the best form of mobility for you! You will know the outcome of your interview either at the end of the visit or within a few days.