Top 12 Things to Know About Guide Dogs for the Blind

Most of you know I have a soft spot for Guide Dogs for the Blind, my favorite charity. Love the dogs, love the people behind the dogs. This is a little bit of interesting info about GDB that I thought you’d like to know…

1. Number of Active Teams: 2,200

2. Number of Graduates a Year: Around 340

3. Average Life of a Guide Dog Team: Over 7 years

4. Annual Cost of Veterinary Program: $2.6 million per year

5. Breeds and Numbers of Dogs: 160 dogs in breeding colony/900 puppies in homes
More than 80% are Labrador Retrievers. Lab/Golden Crosses, and Golden Retrievers are also used. Around half become Guide Dogs

6. Length of Training: Length of Training for Dogs: approximately 3 months
Length of Training for Students: between 2–4 weeks

7. Average Age of Students: Around 50 years of age (Students have ranged from 14–92 years)

8. Employment Rate for Graduates: About a third are employed

9. Number of GDB Staff/Volunteers on Both Campuses: 289 employees and 800 campus volunteers

10. Annual Operating Budget and Percentage Spent on Core Program vs. Administration:
$30 million annual operating budget
82.9% core program vs. 17.1% administration

11. Cost of a Guide Dog Team: When all costs are factored in, the total may exceed $65,000

12. Cost to the Students: Zero. All expenses are covered by donations to GDB

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Anonymous says:

    How interesting. I think the best part is that the students don't pay a dime! What a gift of independence!!

  2. Finamoon says:

    Hi Suzanne,
    I have a totally blind daughter, Tatiana. She is 6 years old. Someday, hopefully she will have the opportunity to own one of these wonderful dogs! I own a blog myself and love to do book reviews. I am very interested in your books about the Amish and the book about the guide dog. If you have the chance please stop by my blog some time and leave a comment. Thanks so much! I look forward to hearing from you.

    ~Crystal aka Finamoon