Southfield (CW50) – Leader Dogs for the Blind has been a pillar of the blind community for over 80 years. The organizations specially trained dogs have help many in the community walk with a pair of eyes by their side, giving them a life full of confidence and independence.

Leader Dogs for the Blind provides several programs and services for the blind and visually impaired, including: Guide Dog Training, Orientation & Mobility Training, Raise A Puppy, and Host a Breeding Dog.

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The main program is the Guide Dog Training, which provides free training to clients who are legally blind, at least 16 years old, have good orientation and mobility skills and are able to care for a dog. Leader Dogs matches a client with a dog that best fits their lifestyle and is trained for the client’s living environment, whether it be urban, suburban, or rural. 

For people in the community who are not blind, but want to help be a part of Leader Dogs, there are two programs. The first is a Puppy Raisers Program, where a participant give 12 to 15 months of their time, energy, and love to raise a puppy, who will eventually be trained as a Leader Dog. The other program is the Host a Breeding Dog Program, which participants provide a home for Leader Dogs’ breeding stock through their life.

After a life of being a guide dog, the dogs are adoptive by families to live a normal life in a happy home.

Leslie Hoskins, Outreach Services and Community Engagement Manager for Leader Dogs for the Blind, joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to talk about the programs they offer, and just how these dogs impact the lives of people living with blindness.

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Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Leslie Hoskins, Outreach Services and Community Engagement Manager for Leader Dogs for the Blind; and Scooby

She’s join alongside one of the program’s new pups, Scooby. He will soon be sent off to his Puppy Raiser family to be house trained, and work on obedience. Then, he’ll end up back at Leader Dogs for his guide dog training, one day becoming the guide and eyes for a blind companion.

To learn more about Leader Dogs for the Blind, go to

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Watch Community Connect, Saturday at 7am on CW50