Leader Dogs

Leader Dogs for the Blind




Leader Dogs for the Blind

Leader Dogs for the Blind was founded in 1939 by a group of Michigan Lions. Their goal was to train dogs to lead the blind and to provide facilities and means whereby trained dogs could be matched to a blind master. The training school and executive offices are located in Rochester, Michigan. Over twelve thousand blind people have become self-sufficient through the use of a Leader Dog.

German Shepherds, Labrador and Golden Retrievers are commonly trained as Leaders. Dogs must be positively friendly, even to strangers. They must be from one to two years old, in good condition and willing to accept responsibility.

When not training on the streets of Rochester or other nearby communities, the student and their Leader Dog can practice on their on-site training course. Instructors reinforce lessons to student and dog alike, and builds on each subsequent session to prepare the student and Leader Dog for their final street encounters.

Leader Dogs for the Blind is supported by contributions from the public-Lions, Lioness and Leo Clubs; sororities; various public-supported agencies and private individuals. There is no charge for a Leader Dog or any part of the four-week training program. It costs the school approximately $37,000 for each team.