Sepulveda Sponsors Guide Dogs of America Puppies

Generous sponsor donations and player participation at the Sepulveda Building Materials Charity Golf Tournament sponsor Guide Dogs of America puppies and provide training, equipment and supplies for graduates and their guide dogs. Here are updates on the puppies-in-training.

Guide Dog Updates

  • February 1: Mamba is Sepulveda's newest sponsored puppy!
  • January 25: Denver has published his second newsletter.
  • January 17: Paddy sent out newsletter #5.
  • January 16: Venus sent out her fourth newsletter.
  • January 16: Augie has his first newsletter!
  • January 2: Jenny has changed careers.

Your support of Guide Dogs of America can go beyond our annual golf tournament. Please read more about Guide Dogs of America, then visit the Guide Dogs of America website. To call Guide Dogs of America directly, please contact Judy Reilly at 818-833-6437.


Puppies Born in 2018

Photo of Mamba - a Guide Dogs of America puppy MAMBA – With Puppy Raiser Question Mark Icon
Welcome adorable Black "Mamba". He was born November 30, 2018 and went home with his new family, Angela Yang and her crew. He is very adorable and not at all scary like a regular black mamba would be!
Photos Newsletters: Intro
Photo of Denver - a Guide Dogs of America puppy DENVER – With Puppy Raiser Question Mark Icon
Meet Denver! He's the cutest yellow labbie you can think of. He was born June 23 and went home today with his puppy raiser, Janice.
Photos Newsletters: 1 2
Photo of Augie - a Guide Dogs of America puppy AUGIE – With Puppy Raiser Question Mark Icon
Augie is an adorable Yellow Labbie born June 15. He went home on August 10 with Carolyn and her family. He is a cute as a button and is in great hands with this terrific puppy raiser family. Enjoy!
Photos Newsletters: 1
Augie's Facebook Page

NEW! — Training Sponsorships 2017

Sepulveda Building Materials has sponsored puppies for years. Thanks to great support from our annual Charity Golf Tournament, this year we have been able to expand our support. Our training sponsorships cover the expenses that were incurred while the dogs went through formal training at Guide Dogs of America. During this six month training period the dogs learned to work in harness and master the guide dog commands. We're excited that these dogs have successfully completed all of the requirements and have graduated as full-fledged guide dogs!

Photo of Laddy - a Guide Dogs of America Graduate LADDY – Guide Dog Graduate Question Mark Icon
Laddy has finished his formal training and has graduated! Now he will work to provide independence and mobility to his visually-impaired partner. Congratulations to Chelsea, Laddy's puppy trainer!
Photo of Niles - a Guide Dogs of America Graduate NILES – Guide Dog Graduate Question Mark Icon
Niles has finished his formal training and has graduated! Now he will work to provide independence and mobility to his visually-impaired partner. Congratulations to Judy, Niles' Puppy Raiser.

Puppies Born in 2017

Photo of Venus - a Guide Dogs of America puppy VENUS – With Puppy Raiser Question Mark Icon
Here's Venus!! Sepulveda Building Materials' new sponsored puppy is an adorable Black Labbie born December 14, 2017 and being raised by Laura. What a cutie!
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4
Photo of Paddy - a Guide Dogs of America puppy PADDY – With Puppy Raiser Question Mark Icon
HO, HO, HO... it's an early Christmas gift! Meet Paddy, a very adorable Black Labbie and the first puppy sponsored by our 2017 Charity Golf Tournament. She is being raised by Brian and Nancy and was born October 14, 2017. Happy Holidays!
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5
Photo of Jenny - a Guide Dogs of America puppy JENNY – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Jenny is a little chunky monkey and is, of course, adorable. She is a yellow labbie who was born May 9. Unfortunately, during training, Jenny was "full of beans" and not just right for a Guide Dog. Instead, she will become a great pet!
Photos Newsletters: 2 3 4 5
Postcards from College: 1
Jenny's Facebook Page
Photo of Boston - a Guide Dogs of America puppy BOSTON – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Adorable Miss "Boston" is a German Shepherd who was born February 6. She had some minor, not dramatic or life-threatening, medical issues, and she was adopted by a forever family in August, 2018.
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Puppies Born in 2016

Photo of Windy - a Guide Dogs of America puppy WINDY – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Here's "Windy". She was born December 5 and went home with Pam and Dave. As you can see, she is one very cute little black labbie! Sadly, a vet exam revealed a small cataract, and now she will be a wonderful pet!
Photos Newsletters: 1 3 4
Photo of Frida - a Guide Dogs of America puppy FRIDA – GDA Breeding Program Question Mark Icon
She was raised by Liisa, a longtime GDA puppy raiser, and now Frida has been selected for the GDA Breeding Program. She is "the best of the best", with the best temperament and confirmation. Frida will serve GDA by producing a few good litters of puppies that hopefully become guide dogs.
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4
Photo of Ezri - a Guide Dogs of America puppy EZRI – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Ezri is an adorable black Labrador/Golden cross born on June 26. Ezri is absolutely a cutie pie, and you can see that Golden coming out in those long ears! Sadly, she had a minor medical problem. That means she can't be a Guide Dog, but she'll make a great pet!
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3
Photo of Adler - a Guide Dogs of America puppy ADLER – With Puppy Raiser Question Mark Icon
Adler is an adorable black labbie born on April 4. His puppy raisers were Diane and Karen. Sadly, he has minor elbow dysplasia that will keep him from being a guide dog. Diane and Karen will be keep him as a pet and have plans for him to be a therapy dog. Click the "Photos" link below for his latest picture!
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3

Puppies Born in 2015

Photo of Picsar - a Guide Dogs of America puppy PICSAR – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Picsar is an adorable Golden Retriever that was born November 24, 2015. After a busy year with his puppy raiser Ina, Picsar decided he didn't want to be a Guide Dog. The good news is that Ina adopted him, so all ended well!
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4

Photo of Lynk - a Guide Dogs of America puppy LYNK – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Lynk is a great pup with a lot of energy. Unfortunately, that energy is hard to channel in the right direction, so he won't become a guide dog. The good news is that the McKenzies are keeping him as part of their family, and it doesn't get any better than that!
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3

Photo of Fina - a Guide Dogs of America puppy FINA – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Chocolate delight! Meet Fina, a rambunctious chocolate labbie born on July 19. This is the first time in many years that we have had a chocolate lab. We are thrilled! Sadly, Fina has an allergy that can be handled medically but will keep her from being a Guide Dog.
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Photo of Elexi - a Guide Dogs of America puppy ELEXI – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Elexi was born on June 14. She's a beautiful black labrador. She went into formal training, but the trainers learned that she was more interested in everything else going on around her. Her puppy raiser, Andy, has adopted her!
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5
Postcards from College: 1
Photo of Bosley - a Guide Dogs of America puppy BOSLEY – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Bosley is an adorable black labbie born April 24. He was raised by Sherrie. He had frequent ear infections during formal training. They are treatable, but GDA does not want to saddle a visually impaired person with the expenses. He'll be quickly adopted by a loving family!
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Postcards from College: 1 2 3 4
Photo of Patton - a Guide Dogs of America puppy PATTON – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Patton is was born on February 13. He went went into formal training on August 27, 2016. Unfortunately, the trainers found that he was a great young dog who was too easily distracted to become a Guide Dog. Instead, he will become a great pet for a loving family!
Patton's Facebook Page

Puppies Born in 2014

Photo of Higbee - a Guide Dogs of America puppy HIGBEE – GDA Breeding Program Question Mark Icon
Higbee is a gorgeous black labbie born on November 16, 2014. He went home with his puppy raisers, the Tayenakas. In 2016 GDA staff determined that Higbee had great conformance and temperment, so he became part of the GDA breeding program.
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5
Higbee's Facebook Page
Photo of Monty - a Guide Dogs of America puppy MONTY – Guide Dog Graduate Question Mark Icon
Monty is a black Labrador Retriever, and he was born on May 7, 2014. He will be raised by Genevieve and Spencer. Very handsome boy that Monty. Now he is Guide Dogs of America graduate!
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5
Letters from School: 1 2 3 4
Graduation Photos!
Photo of Quorra - a puppy QUORRA – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Quorra means "heart", and she will tug at your heart. Born March 15, she was being raised by Lorry. Quorra was the first German Shepherd sponsored by Sepulveda. Unfortunately, despite great work by her raiser and the GDA trainers, Quorra did not want to be a guide dog.
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4
Photo of Giselle - a Guide Dogs of America puppy GISELLE – Guide Dog Graduate Question Mark Icon
Introducing Mademoiselle “Giselle”. She was born January 4, 2014 and went home with her puppy raiser, Andy. She is a lovely black Labrador retriever with a sweet and gentle disposition. Now she is a Guide Dogs of America Graduate!
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Letters from School: 1 2 3 4
Graduation Photos!

Dogs Born in 2013

Photo of Tagg - a puppy TAGG – Guide Dog Graduate Question Mark Icon
Tagg is a yellow Labrador retriever born on August 10. He was one of twelve puppies! His puppy raiser was Laurel. He graduated on October 18 and was matched with Kassandra from Pennsylvania
Photos Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Letters from School: 1 2 3 4 5
Graduation Letter!
Photo of Elena - a Guide Dogs of America puppy ELENA – Guide Dog Graduate Question Mark Icon
Elena is one of ten puppies born February 24, 2013. She was raised by long time Puppy Raiser Judi Gomez. Elena was Judi’s 11th GDA puppy. Now she is a Guide Dogs of America Graduate!
Photo Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Letters From School: 1
Graduation Photos!
Photo of Duncan DUNCAN – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Duncan is a black Labrador Retriever. He was born 2/5/13 and went home on 3/38/13 with his Puppy Raiser, Angela Yang. They don't come much cuter!
Puppy Slide Show
Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Letters From School: 1 2
Bodie BODIE – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Bodie is a Labrador/Golden Retriever cross. He was born 1/24/13, and his Puppy Raiser was Lorry Rawding. When Bodie went to formal training he was diagnosed with cataracts. He has returned to the Rawdling family to be a great companion!
Photo Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Photo of Titan - a puppy TITAN – Guide Dog Graduate Question Mark Icon
Titan is a lab/golden retriever mix. Born January 7, 2013, he went to his Puppy Raiser, Cathy, on March 1. Now he is a Guide Dogs of Ameria graduate!
Photo Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Letters From School: 1
Graduation Photos

Dogs Born in 2012

Photo of Kenai - a Guide Dogs of America puppy KENAI – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Kenai was born on September 10 and was raised by the Hart Family. They also raised Denali, who graduated in 2012, and Journey. Kenai became stressed when in the GDA kennels, so she has changed careers. She will be a great pet for the Hart family!
Photo Newsletters: 1 2 3
Photo of Pixie - a puppy PIXIE – GDA Breeding Program Question Mark Icon
Puppy Raisers Tina and Brian say Pixie was fun, learned quickly and was very adaptable. These traits and more led to her selection as a breeder. She is the best of the best and will hopefully give birth to wonderful guide dog puppies!
Photo Newsletters: 1 2 3 5
1st Birthday Photo
Pixie is turning 14 weeks old and is a fun and extremely smart little puppy. She picks up on training very quickly. She has completed her Level One puppy training class and begins Level 2 this week. Even though we are limited to where she can go until she is fully vaccinated, she has experienced many new things and seems quite adaptable to all situations.

Pixie has doubled her weight to just over 20 pounds, since we brought her home at 7 1/2 weeks old. Her movements are still “puppy awkward” as she has to constantly adapt to her rapidly changing body. Her legs have gotten long and lanky. Her puppy antics continue to be a source of laughter and entertainment for us. She is adorable.
Photo 1       Photo 2
Photo of Lulu - a puppy LULU – GDA Breeding Program Question Mark Icon
Lulu was raised by Maggie from Upland. She showed the special traits needed to be a breeder. Lulu is named after Puppy Department Manager Louise Henderson, who has been with GDA for over 20 years. What a fitting way to honor her!
Photo Newsletters: 1 2 3 4
Lulu as an Adult!
Photo of Lance - a puppy LANCE – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Thank you so much for being my sponsor. My name is Lance, and I was born on February 10. I am being raised by the Lorry family in Simi Valley. Since I went home with them at 7 weeks I have learned so much!
Photo Newsletters: 1 2 3
Thank you so much for being my sponsor. My name is Lance. I was born 2/10/2012 and am being raised by the Lorry family in Simi Valley. Since I went home with them at 7 weeks I have learned so much. I work on basic commands during the day and go for walks around our neighborhood and short errands with my puppy raiser. During the week, my puppy raiser and her therapy dog visit a school for reading and a care center to visit. I ride in a doggie stroller until I've had all my shots to keep me safe and just look at all the people and listen to all the sounds. Sometimes I just fall asleep. My sister Lulu is also sponsored by Sepulveda Building Materials!

I go to church on Sunday and lay quietly under the seat. This month my puppy raiser’s daughter graduated from college and I stayed quietly under the chair in the shade on the turf. I’m wearing one of the hats to keep the sun away.
Photo 1       Photo 2       Photo 3

Dogs Born in 2011

Photo of Journey - a Guide Dog puppy JOURNEY – Career Change Question Mark Icon
My name is Journey, and I was born on December 17. The Harts from Cypress raised me. One of my raisers is interested in becoming a Veterinarian, so puppy raising helped him learn more about dogs.
Photo Newsletters: 1 2
Journey Dreaming
Photo of Grayson - a puppy GRAYSON – Guide Dog Graduate Question Mark Icon
Grayson was born in March, 2011. His Puppy Raisers were the McKenzies of Lakewood, CA. He graduated in January, 2013!
Photo Newsletters: 1 2 3
From Guide Dogs of America:

“We are all proud of Grayson and his many achievements! Attached you will find his final progress report as he will come back to Guide Dogs of America on July 14. After approximately a year and a half, it will soon be time for him to begin his rigorous training program to become a future guide dog.

As you can imagine, the families become very attached to the puppies and even though everyone knows that the puppies will perform a wonderful service, it is still difficult to say good-bye. We have invited the families to a special “Separation Ceremony” where everyone will join together for an emotional send off. We are grateful for these wonderful volunteers, and although separation is difficult, the puppy-raisers say it’s all worth it. Many families have raised more than one puppy for us.”

Grayson is a “Cover Dog”
Graduation Photos!

Dogs Born in 2010

Picture of Sal - a puppy SAL – Guide Dog Graduate Question Mark Icon
Sal was born in October and was raised by the Judsons of Santa Monica, CA. Sal is paired with Karen Lemmon, a retired art teacher who lives on a ranch in Nebraska and is a docent at the Fort Robinson Museum.
Photo     Sal Goes Sailing
“Please see the two photos of Sweet Sal taken about mid-December on the occasion of his first ride on our sailboat. He was really excited to go and begged strenuously to do so despite my intention of taking him anyway.

In an apparent effort to sweeten the pot, he volunteered to do deck chores, not knowing just how much work that could be and how tired a little guy could get doing it. ‘Nuf said, I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story.”
Photo 1       Photo 2
Newsletters: 1
Photo of Sal “My pal Sal is 43 pounds and approaching six months of age. He’s been a pleasure to me since the day I picked him up at eight weeks old and 13 pounds. Since coming to live with us he’s been on many a great adventure including people dental appointments, several temple and church visits, a couple of schools and even the Huntington Library Tea Room.

Sal is a very calm little guy and acts like a sponge at GDA obedience classes while he watches all the bigger dogs go through their paces.”
Photo 1       Photo 2       Photo 3       Photo 4
Photo of Sal a guide dog I'd first like to thank you for all the help and support you're giving Sal and GDA, your continuing kindness is not forgotten or taken for granted.

The time has passed quickly since Sal's last update, and a lot has happened since then. To begin with, Sal will be nine months old on July 8 and is growing like a weed. He weighs in at a long and slender 63 pounds, and has a lot more growing to go.

Some of the things he's done to keep himself busy is that he's made close to a dozen presentations to groups as diverse as young grade school kids (five schools) and several adult groups. He's traveled all over California, having recently ridden the Amtrak train to near San Diego to attend the County Fair where GDA had a booth.

Earlier this summer Sal attended San Francisco State University to be at the graduation of a GDA student who was getting her Masters degree along with her guide dog Bruce. Sal met Bruce for the first time and they played sweetly, yet Sal knew his job and easily reverted to self control when play time came was over.

Sal enjoys going out to breakfast every morning and is always a prefect gentleman in the restaurant where he sits under the table and catches up on some sleep while listening to all the chatter of adults and children at the tables above him. His two favorite things in the world are kids and Teddy Bears, not necessarily in that order. Yet he's totally at home in my garage shop and isn't bothered at all around my loud table saws, drill presses and the like.

He's very familiar and comfortable on the GDA campus, too, which he visits frequently with his puppy raiser Glyn. They were photographed there recently where he posed cutely for the camera. Earlier Sal posed with Jay Leno at a car show. In “Photo 4”, linked below, Sal is on the left.

Photo 1       Photo 2       Photo 3       Photo 4
Photo of Sal a guide dog My pal Sal is winding down his stay with me and will soon return to GDA for his formal harness training. As always, this is a bittersweet time with a mix of wanting him to grow and at the same time wanting him to stay but knowing that he’ll be missed around the house.

Of all previous dogs I’ve raised for the school, I’m most impressed with Sal’s maturity and calm nature. That’s not to say that he can’t have fun and tear around the back yard with other pups but if his calm nature is any indicator, I hope it means that he will graduate to become a good guide in record time. Only time will tell.

Sal usually has a pretty full schedule of school visits and speaking engagements with this last quarter being a bit light yet still active. He delighted young kids in their classrooms at four different schools and was the hit of the program at a speaking engagement of an audience of about 40 women who all wanted to kidnap Sal and take him home. He has become very comfortable leading tours of the GDA campus after graduations and even for a group of folks coming to visit the school recently.

Early March saw Sal leading the pack so to speak on a trip to Pasadena on the MTA Gold Line train, where once in Pasadena, he and 25 other GDA pups enjoyed lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

In February, Sal helped ring in the premiere of the new Disney film “Treasure Buddies.”

So as you can see, this handsome, 17 month old, 76 pound boy leads a fairly active life delighting everyone wherever he goes and offering generous kisses to anyone who gets close enough.

Special thanks to Sepulveda Building Materials for sponsoring Sal and cheering him on. Partnering with donors like you makes raising guide dogs a much richer experience. It has been an absolute joy having Sal live with us for these past 16 months, and I know everyone else who comes into contact with him only wish Sal the brightest future as he moves on to the second level of his training toward becoming the eyes for a visually impaired or blind person.

And with that, my I only wish is that you know only the best in life, Sal.

Photo 1       Photo 2       Photo 3       Photo 4       Photo 5
Graduation Photo!
Picture of Rosie - a puppy ROSIE – Guide Dog Graduate Question Mark Icon
Rosie was born in October, 2010 and was raised by the Neisens of Covina. She is paired with Katrina, who takes Metrolink and Redline to get to college with Rosie's assistance. This is Katrina's second guide dog.
Photo     Slide Show    
Slide Show
Newsletters: 1

All about Rosie

It was with great excitement and anticipation we greeted the morning of November 23, 2010, for that was the day we would welcome Rosie into our home. Yes, we have now expanded our home by 4 feet with an adorable yellow lab puppy-in-training for Guide Dogs of America. Rosie has pretty brown eyes, the cutest floppy ears that look like the edges were dipped in carmel, a cute pinkish brown nose and even though she is called a yellow lab, she looks like a little white bear.

We enjoyed the orientation that Guide Dogs of America gives to the puppy raisers, and were reminded of the many responsibilities that go along with taking care of and raising a puppy to be a future guide dog. After the orientation the group of expectant puppy raisers walked to the nursery. Oooohs and Ahhhs filled the air as each puppy was brought out one at a time. As luck would have it Rosie was one of the last to be brought out, but well worth the short, yet interminable wait! Rosie is from a litter of 8 and of course we think she is the cutest!!

Rosie was also welcomed home by three labs, whom we lovingly refer to as her sisters. Bailey, Natalie and Josie. When we arrived home her sisters were very curious about this little ball of fur. They of course smelled her, and licked her to show their approval, and have been playing with her ever since.

Now that we have been trying to establish a routine we all agreed that we have forgotten the demands of a new puppy but, Rosie has quickly reminded us of the necessity of watching her every move. Rosie has been excellent at sleeping through the night. We have found that she loves to go exploring in the back yard and taste every leaf, twig and plant she can find.

One of the most important responsibilites we have in raising Rosie is exposing her to situations and places that will prepare her to be a guide dog. Socialization is key to her success. We do this by taking her everywhere we go in our daily lives.

Some of the things we have done with Rosie and places we have gone to help her on the road to becoming a guide dog are:

  • Puppy Kindergarten classes--basic obedience and basic commands are introduced. Rosie was the youngest dog in the class and the most well behaved! She was in fact the teacher's pet!
  • Beginning Obedience Class--she is currently enrolled in this 8 week course.
  • Rosie goes to various stores - Costco-grocery - Home Depot etc. and to restaurants on a regular basis.
  • Rosie goes to church with us on Sunday for 3 hours!! Everyone loves her.
  • She has been to the beach, and loved digging in the sand, and watching (not chasing) the seagulls.

We have enjoyed raising Rosie these past few months, and getting to know her little personality. We can't wait to see how she progresses, and hopefully one day we will see her graduate and change someone's life forever! We hope this gives you an insight to some of Rosie's activities. We so appreciate your support to make this possible for our family to raise Rosie. We know without your support we could not do this. We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Thanks again,

The Niesen Family

Graduation Photo!
Picture of Talli - a puppy TALLI – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Talli is a Golden Retriever/Labrador cross. She was born October 13, 2010. She went home with her Puppy Raisers, the Steinblums of Duarte, CA, on December 3, 2010.
Photo Newsletters: 1 2 3 4 5
Picture of Thiele - a puppy THIELE – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Thiele (pronounced Tee-Lee) is a yellow Labrador Retriever. She was born on September 18, 2010. She went home with her Puppy Raisers, the Sharps of Camarillo, CA, on October 5, 2010.
Photo Newsletters: 1 2
Picture of Murphy - a puppy MURPHY – Career Change Question Mark Icon
Murphy is a black Labrador Retriever. She was born on August 29. She went home with her Puppy Raisers, the McKenzies of Lakewood, CA, on October 25, 2010.
Photo Newsletters: 1 2
Murphy Career Change

From Guide Dogs of America:

“...Murphy has career changed. She found it difficult to wear her training jacket. This jacket is an important part of a dog’s socialization, as it sets the stage for the harness they must wear to guide their visually impaired companion. Her Puppy Raisers will be keeping her. Without the demands of a training jacket or harness, she will make a wonderful pet.”

Photo of Puppy Raiser and Puppy

Puppy Raisers

Puppy Raisers are "foster parents" for GDA's puppies-in-training. They are all volunteers, and their role is to take 8-week old puppies and work with them for a year and a half, helping them to become good doggie citizens.

The Puppy Raiser's job is to do two things. First and foremost is to teach the pups basic obedience: sit, stay, down, come, relieve on command, greet people, etc. Their second obligation is to socialize their puppies. They take their puppies everywhere that is age appropriate for the pup... grocery stores, banks, restaurants, movies, shopping malls, sports events, gyms, etc. Their goal is to get the dogs comfortable in a variety of settings so they can take every new experience in stride. This is important since we don't know who that dog will eventually be paired up with. Older pups have even gone to Disneyland!

Puppy Raisers are the backbone of the training process for the puppies. They take their pups with them everywhere they go, lavish them with love and attention and provide them with a lot of structure as they are growing up.

The puppies will remain with their Puppy Raisers until they are about 18 months of age. Then the Raisers must say farewell to their pups and send them off to "guide dog college" where they will learn all of the commands needed to become successful guide dogs. This is a very hard time for the raiser, but it is all worth it when they see their dog graduating with its new partner.

Photo of Guide Dog Training


When puppies are between 15 and 18 months they return to Guide Dogs of America to begin their formal training. They are checked medically and they are evaluated for sound sensitivity as well as other temperamental traits that might hinder their progress toward becoming a guide dog. Once this benchmark is passed the dogs begin daily training with GDA's certified Guide Dog Instructors. This is where the pups actually learn the guide dog commands, and this process takes four to six months. All along the way they are tested and re-evaluated on a regular basis. It takes a special pup to be a guide dog! They practice in all types of environments and learn things like left and right turns, how to gauge traffic, etc. When ready, the dog will be matched with a blind man or woman.

Photo of Guide Dog Training

Career Change Dogs

Every Guide Dogs of America puppy has an amazing variety of talents. Sometimes those talents combine in a way that helps the puppy grow into a great guide dog. Sometimes however, they just don't have what it takes to make it to graduation. It can be a physical issue, like having allergies, or they just may not be temperamentally suited to do this work. These "Career Change" dogs however, have been socialized and trained and are wonderful pups. Some go on to be of service in other capacities, such as Search and Rescue or being certified as Therapy Dogs. Some decide that they just want to be wonderful family dogs and they are homed with people who will love them, appreciate them and be thrilled to have such a well-trained puppy in their midst.

Photo of Guide Dog of America Breeder

GDA Breeding Program

The best of the best join the GDA breeding program. Male or female, they must have the perfect conformation and wonderful temperament traits that will produce sound guide dog puppies.

All GDA puppies in training are evaluated in the first year of their life. Those with the required traits may be selected for the breeder program. They will continue to reside with their Puppy Raiser families.

Females are bred no more than three or four times - no more than once a year. When the pups "retire" from the breeding program they continue their comfy life as family doggies.

Photo of Guide Dogs of America graduate

Guide Dog Graduates

Guide Dogs of America provides guide dogs and instruction in their use, free of charge, to blind and visually impaired men and women from the United States and Canada. Only a percentage of the special puppies that start the program graduate to become guide dogs. This dog was sponsored by the Sepulveda Building Materials Charity Golf Tournament, and now it is busy providing independence and mobility to its very lucky visually impaired partner.


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