Buddy dogs for children
Companion dogs for children and young people
Due to an overwhelming demand of the buddy dog service our mobility teams have had to close their waiting lists to new applicants. However, our teams will continue to provide a range of other services for children and young people such as mobility, orientation and independence training and are still accepting applications for guide dogs to support young people.
At Guide Dogs we believe that a dog can make a remarkable difference in any child’s life by fostering a sense of responsibility and companionship through the human/animal bond.
Buddy dogs are guide dogs that haven't qualified to work as mobility assistance dogs but can improve the quality of life of children and young people who are blind and partially sighted by; contributing to sensory and physical development, enhancing their confidence and self-esteem, countering isolation and depression, increasing levels of exercise and improving their communication skills. In some cases, a buddy dog can help to assess whether a young person could benefit from a guide dog in the future.
The process for getting a buddy dog is a bit different to that of a guide dog, it is a small evolving service, placing around 20 to 30 dogs per year. It is hard for us to be certain at any one time how many potential buddy dogs we will have available.
If you would like any further information, please contact your local mobility team.