Guide Dogs

What is the cost of providing a guide dog?

Approximately $50,000, which covers the training cost for the dog as well as the training lessons provided to the guide dog user.

I want to apply for a guide dog. How much does it cost?

Nothing. GDS fully sponsors the cost of training, be it Orientation and Mobility and/or the Guide Dogs Programme, given that most of our clients are not gainfully employed. However, only competent clients – having undergone a stringent qualification process that includes assessments of suitability and O&M skills – will receive guide dogs. The guide dog and its handler (collectively, the guide dog team) will receive continual training and support from GDS to ensure a viable and healthy relationship. Learn more about our programme here

What breeds are Guide Dogs?

Not all dogs are cut out to be Guide Dogs. Guide Dogs are specially selected for their hardworking, gentle temperament that thrives on praise and is eager to please. The two most popular breeds of Guide Dogs are the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever.

Is it safe to approach a Guide Dog?

As Guide Dogs are highly trained from young, they are well-mannered and do not cause any disturbance in public spaces. Hence they pose no safety threat to the public. Some points to note:

  • They are trained not to bite.

  • They are trained to relieve themselves only on command.

  • They are kept clean and groomed regularly.

Guide Dogs are screened by health authorities both ways – on their exit from their country of origin and upon their entry into Singapore. After that, they are regularly examined and vaccinated by appointed vets to ensure that their health are in tip top condition to be fit for working.

How does a Guide Dog know where to go?

The guide dog user may direct the guide dog to a direction he or she may wish to go. It is the responsibility of the guide dog user to stay alert and listen out for the movement of the traffic or discern other sounds in the environment to evaluate a move forward. However, the guide dog will disobey commands that may lead both itself and its handler in danger – also known as “Intelligent Disobedience”.

Can I pet a Guide Dog?

Understandably, some people are curious and may be even excited when they encounter a Guide Dog. The first point to remember is that the Guide Dogs are not pets.

When meeting a guide dog, do not:

  • Pet or feed a Guide Dog while it is wearing its harness and guiding the blind or visually impaired handler.

  • Give commands to the dog or attempt to steer it by its harness.

  • Allow children to tease or abuse the dog.

  • Walk on the Guide Dog’s left side as it may distract or confuse the dog.

  • Let other pets challenge or intimidate the Guide Dog.

Are Guide Dogs allowed on public spaces?

To view all relevant legislatures on the usage of Guide Dogs in Singapore, see our Legislation page

How to identify a Guide Dog?

Identification Card

This is administered by GDS with the endorsement of various government agencies. It is given to fully-trained guide dog teams under GDS who are residing in Singapore.

Note: There are some independent guide dog teams/ visitors in Singapore who are not trained nor formed by GDS. In such cases, the handlers will not have this identification card.

The harness sleeve serves as a reminder for public members not to distract the guide dog when it is working.

Note: Not all guide dogs wear the same harness and harness sleeve. Independent guide dog team/ visitors in Singapore who are not trained nor formed by GDS would not have our guide dog harness and harness sleeve.