FAQs About the Pilot Dog Program

1How long will the student be staying at Pilot Dogs?
A new student without guide dog experience can expect to be at Pilot Dogs for three weeks. A student with previous guide dog experience (retrain) can expect a two-week stay.
2How will the student get to Pilot Dogs?
Pilot Dogs will make round-trip reservations for the student to travel to Pilot Dogs in Columbus, Ohio.
3What does a student need to bring with them to Pilot Dogs?
The student needs to bring personal sundries (i.e. shaving cream, razors, toothpaste, brushes, deodorant, etc.) and some spending money. We want our students to be as comfortable as possible!
4What are the breeds that Pilot Dogs uses?

Pilot Dogs trains five different breeds. They are as follows: Labrador retriever, Golden retriever, Doberman Pinscher, German shepherd, and the Standard poodle.

For more information, please see the Meet Our Dogs page.

5Can the student choose the breed of dog they wish to train with?
We will, to the best of our ability, try to accommodate the students’ wishes. However, the environment the student returns home to- such as young children in the house, employment situations, and the age of the student- helps determine the type of dog they are matched with. The trainer will select the dog that they feel will best suit the student’s situation.
6Does Pilot Dogs have an age limitation for an applicant?
Pilot Dogs does ask our prospective students to be a minimum of a junior in high school. The applicant needs to be legally blind and physically capable of caring for and receive benefit from a guide dog.
7What are the weather conditions in Ohio?
Ohio’s weather typically has four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Winter conditions are typically cold and snowy. The temperature can range from 10 to 40 degrees. Spring conditions vary. It can be as cold as 20 degrees or as warm as 70 degrees. With spring, we sometimes have rainy periods also. Summer is typically very warm. The temperature can range from 70 degrees to 100 degrees. Finally, autumn brings warm days and cool nights but by November, prepare for winter.
8Who must complete the General Medical Form and the Eye Report?
The Medical form must be completed by the student's PCP and the eye report needs to be filled out by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
9How much walking will the student do?
The student will walk twice a day; once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The schedule will be adjusted according to the student’s health and ability.
10When will the students be allowed to have visitors during training?
Visitors are welcome on the Wednesday evening after the second week. The following Sunday, and all evenings thereafter are available for visiting. Students may bring their cellphone, laptop, and/or tablet to use during down time.