what happens to guide dogs when they retire

What Happens To Guide Dogs When They Retire – PetDogsLife

What happens to guide dogs when they retire? Most people assume that when a guide dog retires, the dog is simply put out on the street. But that’s not always the case. 

Many times, retired guide dogs are adopted by their former handlers or by another family member. Some organizations even work to find new homes for retired guide dogs outside of the United States. 

It’s important to remember that these dogs have given years of service and deserve a loving home in their retirement. To learn more about what happens to retired guide dogs, read the article!

What Happens To Guide Dogs When They Retire?

Guide dogs are a vital part of many people’s lives, providing independence and mobility. Special programs or services are available to help retired guide dogs adjust to life outside of the working world.

When a guide dog retires from service duties, different things can happen to them. Most often, the dog is simply adopted by their former handler or another family member. This allows the dog to live out the rest of their days in a loving home where they’re already comfortable.

Some Of The Most Common Issues That Retired Guide Dogs Face 

While retired guide dogs typically enjoy a good quality of life, there are some common issues that they face.

1. Obesity

It is a common issue among retired guide dogs. This is often due to a lack of exercise and a change in diet. It’s important to make sure that your dog stays active and eats a healthy diet to avoid this health problem.

2. Separation Anxiety

This can be caused by the sudden change in routine and being away from their handler. It’s important to make sure that you spend time with your dog and help them adjust to their new lifestyle.

3. Dental Problems

Many retired guide dogs suffer from dental problems. This is due to a lack of proper dental care during their working years. So, you should always make sure to brush your dog’s teeth and take them to the vet for regular checkups.

How To Adopt A Retired Guide Dog 

If you’re interested in adopting a retired guide dog, there are a few things that you need to do. 

  • First, you need to contact the organization that the dog retired from. They will be able to help you with the adoption process.
  • Second, you’ll need to fill out an application and go through an interview process. This is to make sure that you’re a good fit for the dog and that you’re prepared to take care of them.
  • Third, you’ll need to undergo training. This is to make sure that you know how to properly care for and train your new dog.

After you’ve completed all of these steps, you’ll be able to take your new dog home and enjoy many years together!

YouTube video

Are There Any Benefits To Adopting A Retired Guide Dog?

There are several benefits to adopting a retired guide dog. These are:

  1. The dog is already trained and knows how to behave in a home setting.
  2. The dog is healthy and has been well-cared for.
  3. The dog is emotionally attached to its handler/owner and will be grateful for the new home.
  4. The dog will provide companionship and love for the family. 
  5. The dog may have some special skills, such as obedience training or agility training, that can be beneficial to the family.

Tips For Caring For A Retired Guide Dog 

Here are a few tips for caring for a retired guide dog:

  • Make sure to keep up with their health care. This includes regular vet check-ups, vaccinations, and dental care.
  • Keep them active. This means going on walks, runs, or hikes. It’s also important to play games with them to keep their minds active.
  • Give them plenty of love and attention. This is especially important if they’re suffering from separation anxiety.
  • Follow the guidelines set forth by the organization that you adopted them from. This will help ensure that you’re providing the best possible care for your dog.


So, what happens to guide dogs when they retire? As you can see, there are many different options for retired guide dogs. They may be adopted by their former handler/owner, placed in a new home by an organization, or even move to a new country. 

No matter where they end up, it’s important to remember that these dogs have given years of service and deserve a loving home in their retirement. Thank you for reading!


How do I know if my guide dog is eligible for retirement?

Guide dogs are typically retired when they reach the age of 6 or 7. However, this may vary depending on the dog’s health and lifestyle. If you believe your guide dog is ready for retirement, speak to your local guide dog organization.

What happens to my guide dog’s ID and harness when they retire?

Your guide dog’s ID and harness will be removed when they retire. They will be given a new name and a new home.

Will my guide dog miss being in service?

Some guide dogs may miss being in service, but most will be happy to relax and enjoy their retirement. Guide dogs typically enjoy spending time with their family and friends.

What should I do if my retired guide dog starts to act up?

If your retired guide dog starts to act up, please consult a professional trainer or behaviourist for help. Guide dogs are very intelligent animals and typically respond well to training.

Can I visit my retired guide dog?

Yes, you can visit your retired guide dog whenever you like! Just be sure to check with their new family first to make sure it’s okay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *