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Guide dog for the visually impaired

People with severe or profound visual impairments can apply for a guide dog through the Social Insurance Board. A guide dog is a specially trained working dog that is an aid to a visually impaired person in moving safely and independently outside the home.

To whom?

A person with severe or profound visual impairment can apply for a guide dog.

How do I get it?

  • A visually impaired person can directly contact the NGO Abikoerte Keskus  or NGO Pane Oma Meeled Proovile with a request to become a guide dog user. The guide dog trainer and the guide dog applicant must then meet. Based on the meeting, both parties can make sure that the guide dog is necessary for the applicant and that the applicant is ready to fulfill the obligations associated with keeping a dog. After a successful meeting, the guide dog trainer issues a confirmation letter.
  • A visually impaired person submits to the Social Insurance Board an application and a confirmation letter completed by a guide dog trainer. These documents must be sent by e-mail to [email protected], through self-service, or to the customer service of the Social Insurance Board.
  • If the necessary documents for the review of the application are available, the decision will be sent to you within 30 days at the latest. In case of a positive decision, it must be forwarded to the guide dog trainer, who will then start training the future guide dog.

When is the guide dog ready to start working?

Raising and training a guide dog takes approximately two years. When the dog has successfully completed guide dog training, a meeting with the applicant follows. Co-training is the teaching of cooperation between the visually impaired person and the dog in guide dog training by a guide dog trainer. At the end of the training, there is an exam, and upon successful completion thereof, the service provider and the applicant sign an open-ended usage contract.


Bret Schär


Last updated: 16.10.2023

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