Not all dogs born and entering our training programmes qualify as Guide or Assistance Dogs. From time to time we need to rehome dogs that have been withdrawn from training or retired from working life.
We're passionate about dogs and committed to ensuring their proper care. For this reason, we have implemented an application process for our rehomed dogs.
- You must be over 18 years of age.
- You will not leave your dog alone for long periods (more than 4 hours in any 24 hours.
- You will be responsible for all costs in relation to the dog, both routine and non-routine.
- You have a fully enclosed garden.
- All children living in your property must be at least 5 years of age.
- You will allow the dog to live inside, day and night, and provide regular exercise.
- Please ensure you meet all the essential criteria above before applying.
- If eligible, complete and return the application form below.
- The Rehoming Officer will contact you within 3 working days of receiving your application.
- If your application is successful, you will be placed on the live application list.
- A house visit will be arranged to ensure your property is suitable, i.e. enclosed garden.
- Once we have a dog that potentially matches your requirements, we'll contact you to arrange a visit to our Training Centre where you will meet the dog.
- If the introduction is successful, paperwork will be completed and you may take home your new four-legged, furry friend.
- The Rehoming Officer will contact you by phone to check that the dog is settling in after 2 days and 2 weeks.
- The Rehoming Officer is available for contact by email or telephone to support and address any issues after this period.
Types of Dogs Available
- Companion Dogs and Pet Dogs (€500 suggested donation)
How old are the dogs you rehome?
The majority of our dogs withdrawn from training are between 12 - 18 months. Very occasionally, puppies are withdrawn from the puppy walking scheme. There are also times when we rehome a retired Guide or Assistance dog.
What are they like?
For the most part, they are young, active dogs that require regular exercise and human company. The dogs will not have received their full training and therefore, you should not expect the dog to be as obedient and trained as a qualified dog. These dogs have been withdrawn for a reason which will be explained to you when a dog is offered.
What is the difference between a Companion Dog* and a Pet Dog?
From time to time, we have dogs which are suitable for children and adults with learning and physical disabilities. We call these dogs Companion Dogs. Like the dogs we rehome as pets, they are not trained to do any tasks, they are purely for company. However, for someone with a disability the companionship these dogs provide can make a significant contribution to their well-being.
* It's important to note that Companion Dogs do not have any access rights.
- Retired Guide Dogs (€250 suggested donation)
These dogs usually retire from work around 9 to 11 years of age. It is common for the Guide Dog to remain with their owner or their family or close friends who have been associated with the dog throughout its life. Sometimes, this is not possible so we look to find a suitable home where the dog can enjoy their hard-earned retirement. Retired Guide Dogs have spent most of their lives with constant human companionship and, owing to this, they can become distressed if left alone too frequently or for long periods of time
- Fundraising Dogs (Applicants must satisfy Fundraising Criteria as outlined in the Application Form)
Rehoming FAQsDo you have any puppies?
On very rare occasions we do have puppies that are unable to enter the training programme for various health reasons. The puppies can range from 6 weeks to 6 months old.
What breeds do you rehome?
We typically breed Labrador X Golden Retriever. Occasionally we have Pure Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Golden Retriever X German Shepherd.
What support do you give to people rehoming a dog from Irish Guide Dogs?
You'll will be given the dog’s history and all relevant information. The Rehoming Officer will be able to answer any questions during the introduction of dog and throughout the rehoming process. In addition, the Rehoming Officer will call you two weeks after you rehome a dog from us.
Why are dogs withdrawn from training?
Some dogs are withdrawn from their training before they become a Guide or Assistance Dog. Typically this will be at around 12-18 months old, but it can be later. This can be for a variety of reasons either health or behaviour related. Just because a dog may not make the perfect Guide Dog it may still make the perfect pet! Typical behaviour reasons which make the dog unsuitable for a working life include various forms of distraction, suspicion and or anxiety of other animals or people. Health withdrawals can include skin, eye and joint conditions.
How does the applicant list work?
Once you are added to the live applicant list, we will look to see which dogs we have available for rehoming which best match your requirements. Some dogs and some people will have specific requirements and our aim to ensure that each dog is matched to the appropriate home that can best suit and deal with the needs of the dog. This is not done on a 'first come, first served' basis and, as a result, waiting times can vary. If you are open with your requirements, you are likely to be matched quicker than those with specific requirements – i.e. you will take any breed, sex, medical or behavioural issue.
Please note that our services are only provided to individuals and families who currently reside in the Republic of Ireland.
I work fulltime, can I still rehome a dog?
No, due to the fact that our dogs have been used to constant human companionship this would be detrimental to their ongoing welfare. This includes people who work full time but come home for a lunch break.
I work fulltime but I have a sitter/dog-walker during the day that collects my dog and walks him, is that ok?
Unfortunately as you work full time and no-one else is in the home during the day we cannot proceed further with your application. The dog has to be cared for within your home by a family member (who lives with you).
Our criteria is that the dog is left for no more than 4 hours in a 24 hour period. We do not count dog walkers, being dropped off at another home or people letting the dog out at lunchtime. Our dogs are highly socialised so do not like being left alone or taken from the family home as many have very specific needs.
Our dogs are with people 24/7 while they are being puppy walked and in the initial stages of training. We've found that if we rehome to families who are out all day, the dogs can became destructive as they're bored and lonely.
Are your dogs micro – chipped and neutered before rehoming?
Yes, all our dogs are neutered, micro chipped, health checked and have regular preventative against fleas and worms.