To provide temporary accommodation for a dog at home on behalf of Guide Dogs and to comply with the Boarders Agreement in relation to the welfare and handling of the dog or puppy. The time devoted varies depending on which boarder role you choose.

  • During training, boarding is overnight and at weekends from the age of 12 months

Early Training Boarders take younger dogs for 16 weeks
Advanced Training Boarders take dogs for the next 10 weeks
In some cases it is possible to board for the entire 26 weeks training period

  • Puppy Boarders, Brood Bitch and Stud Dog Boarders support those volunteers who home puppies or breeding dogs full time, for example taking the dog full time if a volunteer is not able to take it on holiday or they are taken ill
  • Client Boarders board working dogs for short periods full time on those occasions clients are unable to make their own arrangements
  • At some sites a small number of Respite Boarders support teams when we need someone to care for dogs unexpectedly. This is for varying periods, for example taking dogs full time if they don’t settle in kennels, are unwell or they are withdrawn from training


  • Training Boarders need to drop off their dogs 8-9am and pick up 5-6pm at a Guide Dogs site or a site near a trainer's home. Local teams can discuss details and maximum travel time possible
  • Willing to provide a welcoming and safe environment for a dog or puppy for the time required. Providing a consistent home is particularly important for our dogs in training
  • Ensuring the dog or puppy is fed and exercised as directed
  • Embedding the same behaviour and commands as your supervisor
  • In the event of an emergency, ensure the dog or puppy receives veterinary care and Guide Dogs is informed immediately
  • At home
  • All boarders will be required to attend training sessions. Those handling younger and larger/more active dogs need more training
  • Enjoy working with dogs and have suitable accommodation
  • Perseverance to help support the training of the dogs
  • Good communication skills
  • Increase in dog knowledge and welfare
  • Opportunity to care of and have the companionship of a dog for evenings and weekends or for short periods of time
  • The satisfaction that you are part of a committed team with a pivotal role in providing guide dogs that enable blind and partially-sighted people to enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else
  • Regular and ongoing support and training from your supervisor
  • Attending Boarder Training programme
  • Basic induction to Guide Dogs and to the role
  • All food, veterinary costs and the provision of equipment
  • Not for this volunteer role

Meet one of our existing Boarders

I was lucky enough to meet the owner of the first dog we ever boarded. To see them together was amazing.


Lindsay was working full time and therefore believed that she would never be able to become a dog owner.

"Boarding ticked all the boxes for me – having a dog at home around work, helping a worthy organisation, and developing a greater understanding and appreciation of what Guide Dogs’ trainers and dog care staff do.

We've boarded 46 dogs since May 2008. They’ve been a real mixture of characters, breeds and issues. They have all been between 14 and 18 months of age, and have been with us between one week and four months.

When you hear stories from Guide Dog Owners, you can’t help but feel part of something really important. The messy carpet, occasionally chewed glasses and DVDs all become pretty insignificant! I was lucky enough to meet the owner of the first dog we ever boarded. To see them together was amazing and to hear how well suited they were and how much the owner loved him was priceless!

I have gone through some tough times in the last couple of years and to have a reason to get out of bed and get out of the house has made such a difference to me."

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