Rehoming Frequently Asked Questions

If your question about rehoming a dog for Irish Guide Dogs is not answered below please contact our Rehoming Officer at

Do 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 six weeks to six months old.

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The majority of our dogs withdrawn from training are between 12-18 months. Very occasionally, puppies are withdrawn from the Puppy Walking Scheme.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These dogs have been withdrawn for a reason which will be explained to you when a dog is offered.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 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Why are dogs withdrawn from training?

Some dogs are withdrawn from their training before they become a Guide or Assistance Dog.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 is 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.

Can I apply if I live outside Ireland?

Please note that our services are only provided to individuals and families who currently reside in the Republic of Ireland.

I work full time. 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 full time 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 four 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.