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Buddy Dogs Youth Program

Guide Dogs of Texas places “Buddies for Sight” dogs with children who are blind or visually impaired.

Guide Dogs of Texas uses dogs that were either unable to be a Guide Dog due to unsuitable temperament/health or are older retired Guide Dogs but are an ideal match for the Buddy Program.  Our “Buddies for Sight” are not trained to assist with mobility or to perform any specific task. Therefore, our “Buddies for Sight” cannot be classified as assistance dogs and do not have access rights to public places (restaurants, shopping malls, hotels, public transportation, etc.). None of our “Buddies for Sight” may be used as a Guide Dog for someone who is visually impaired.  

Benefits of having a GDTX Buddy

The Buddy Program will help children who could possibly need a Guide Dog in the future develop the skills needed to care and work with a Guide Dog. Added benefits of having a one of our “Buddies for Sight” are:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Increase a child’s sense of responsibility, independence and maturity
  • Provide companionship and comfort
  • Increase positive emotions
  • Promote a more diverse, interesting and active lifestyle
  • Improved confidence and self-esteem

Qualifications for the Buddy Program

   Applicants Must:

  • Be Under 17 years old and living under the direct care of a parent/guardian
  • Have a parent/guardian who is willing to be the primary care provider along with the applicant and to monitor and encourage the applicant to actively participate in the care of the dog
  • Have been diagnosed by an ophthalmologist as legally blind or with an eye condition that could possibly render them legally blind
  • Be a resident of Texas
  • Be interested in having a Buddy Dog
  • Have the emotional stability and maturity needed to care for the dog (feeding, grooming, exercising)
  • Have a home where the dog would not be left for longer than 3-4 hours at a time
  • Have a home that is comfortable with the cost of taking care of the dog