How to apply for a reclassified Guide Dog

Please note: we are currently not accepting any new applications to join the adoption list. Please keep checking back on our Facebook page for details on when the adoption list may re-open.

Due to the exceptionally high standards required to become a Guide Dog or Therapy Dog, we need loving forever homes for the dogs that are not quite suited to these demanding roles. A dog may be made available for adoption because they have not passed certain health or training tests.

The majority of dogs that are available for adoption are aged between 12-16 months old. Dogs in this age group have had a year of puppy training with a volunteer puppy-raiser. Occasionally, there may be a dog available for adoption slightly older or younger than this average age. On very rare occasions, mature dogs—including retired Guide Dogs or Therapy Dogs—may be available for adoption.

Yellow Labrador with head tilted and tongue out, facing the camera.

What makes a good fit for a Guide Dog home?

Generally speaking, a welcoming, loving environment makes a fantastic fit for a reclassified Guide Dog. Beyond that, there are some specific requirements for best-possible forever homes:

  • Our dogs are accustomed to sleeping indoors and spend most of their days in the company of humans. We ask that our dogs are generally not left alone for more than 4 hours at a time and do not become ‘back-yard’ dogs.
  • You must have a fully fenced yard or a suitable living space for a large sized dog.
  • Labradors are often joyful and energetic dogs that need sufficient exercise and daily enrichment to live happy and healthy lives. We ask that applicants are able to provide this, and have a basic understanding of general canine husbandry.
  • All dogs from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT are de-sexed and microchipped. All dogs are vet checked prior to placement with their new owner and are up to date with vaccination, heartworm and worming treatment.
  • There is a charge for the dogs and prices will vary depending on the reason the dog is available for adoption.
Yellow Labrador mother and pup sleeping on a couch, with sunlight on their faces.

How old are the reclassified Guide Dogs?

Most of the dogs that become available for adoption are around a year and a half old and have been given a career change because of circumstances that are unique to them.

We look for homes that will be understanding of each dog’s individual needs and prepared to put in the time and management that any young dog in a new home requires.

Black Labrador looking at camera head on.

How can I find out more?

Owning a dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience but it comes with many responsibilities. Please consider all aspects of our dog ownership expectations before submitting your application to our Pet Adoption List.

We’re not currently taking on new applicants for our Pet Adoption Lists. Be sure to check back here for contact details when the application list opens.

Reclassified yellow Guide Dog looking at camera.