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Successful partnerships, one match at a time 

If you’re having difficulty getting around due to blindness or low vision, Seeing Eye Dogs can greatly enhance your independence and confidence. For this partnership to be a success, we take great care in making sure you and your Seeing Eye Dog are compatible. For example, if you like to take a slow pace, you won’t want a large dog with a fast stride. If you like to go for adventure hikes, you will need a dog who can keep pace.  
This is why we include interviews as part of our application process.  By getting to know you and what you need to live an active and independent life, we can find the right dog to make that happen.  

It’s common to have lots of questions of what it would be like to be matched with and start working with a Seeing Eye Dog. We have clients who are more than happy to discuss their lived experience with applicants. Please contact us for more information or refer to our FAQs.

Waitlist times will vary depending on availability of dogs and current demand. We also take an individual approach to creating the right partnerships, so you may need to wait between 6-12 months or so for a suitable dog to be ready. This process is continually reviewed and all attempts are made to minimise waiting periods where possible. You will also be supported by Vision Australia for any mobility and orientation needs while on a waitlist for a Seeing Eye Dog.  

Once matched, you will receive individual training with an expert Seeing Eye Dogs Mobility Instructor for a period of around 3-4 weeks. This program is a flexible mix of practical and theoretical learning that is tailored for your needs, so each day will vary. Some examples of concepts covered include:

  • Guiding principles and learning necessary cues
  • Dog handling exercises including walking, road crossings, giving directions, taking public transport and night time travel
  • Social behaviour in public and at home
  • The basic of dog care including grooming and health
  • Your access rights and Seeing Eye Dogs legislation 
  • Positive reinforcement training 
  • How to work together as a team 

Seeing Eye Dogs will continue to support you and your mobility after completion of your training program. As you near the end of the program, an instructor will visit your home to assist with consolidation of your training and settling your Seeing Eye Dog into its new environment. This visit is designed to ensure effective and safe mobility and to assist with a smooth transition and discuss any issues that may arise, such as meeting household pets.  
During the first year with your new Seeing Eye Dog, your instructor will maintain regular contact via phone and any visits you require. You are welcome to contact Seeing Eye Dogs at any time for additional support.  

You will be provided with an after-hours emergency phone number, which is monitored by our expert staff.  

We want to make sure you’re 100% happy and comfortable with the training and service you receive from Seeing Eye Dogs. If at any time a problem should arise, please speak with an instructor in the first instance. If your issue isn’t resolved, please contact us at 1800 037 773. You will have the option to remain anonymous if preferred.  

Apply for support from Seeing Eye Dogs

Contact Vision Australia to learn more about eligibility and the application process to apply for a Seeing Eye Dog. 

Apply for a Seeing Eye Dog Vision Australia services