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Director of Training - Palm Springs, California, USA


  • Supervises the on-site, day-to-day training clients and assigned guide dogs during their 28-day training, and/or 2-week retraining classes.
  • Responsible to share in overnight dorm duty during on-site training.
  • Approves and certifies all successful teams at the end of training program.
  • Conducts in-home trainings throughout the United States, as needed.
  • Visits/conducts interviews of potential clients.
  • Conducts follow-up and problem solving instruction to clients, as assigned and needed.
  • Visit blind centers throughout southern California and Arizona, to meet with potential clients and promote Guide Dogs of the Desert.
  • Responsible for a variety of duties that relate to applicants, graduates, agencies, and the Canine Department.
  • May be required to perform kennel duties, when needed.
  • Available to accommodate speaking requests and represent Guide Dogs of the Desert at major blind conventions, when appropriate/as needed.
  • Oversees effective student and dog training, applicant assessment, student instructions.
  • Coordinates and collaborates, as appropriate, on actions and decisions impacting the Canine Development & Training and Breeding Program team efforts.
  • Ensures organization activity is consistent with GDMI dog training standards.
  • Assesses suitability of dogs for guide work and tracks any behavioral issues of specific dogs.
  • Work with the Executive Director and senior management to establish annual budget, accountable for meeting it.  Is a member of the Sr. Management team.
  • May be required to work some evenings, weekends, and travel out of the area with Executive Director’s approval.
  • Leadership- Maintains a positive, upbeat role in the company. Promotes and exemplifies

Organization values, represents departmental objectives and interests to internal and external customers, and is accountable for responsibilities and own actions.

  • Customer Service- Follows up on complaints, questions, and concerns; responds to                   internal/external customer needs in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Teamwork- Develops and promotes teamwork and cooperation among colleagues and employees.
  • Safety- Demonstrates commitment to a healthy and safe environment and follows all safety and security policies and procedures.
  • Flexibility- Adapts to changing policies and procedures, as well as varying deadlines.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

            Education and/or experience

  • Ten years’ experience as a licensed Guide Dog Mobility Instructor or an accredited instructor in compliance with the guidelines set forth from IGDF; Senior or Master Trainer status desirable.
  • Associates (AA) or Bachelor’s Degree (BA or BS) from an accredited college desirable.
  • Knowledge of a variety of animal behaviors, dog training skills, teaching skills
  • Extensive field experience working with blind/visually impaired applicants and graduates.

            Required Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge

  • Ability to work with a group of large dogs, providing safe and humane training, and kennel environment.
  • Ability to relate to, and instruct, a wide range of individuals, demonstrating patience, understanding, flexibility, and overall interest, motivating clients to their highest level of abilities.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, i.e. non-traditional business hours, overnights, weekends, holidays, to accommodate the training program.
  • Ability to travel when necessary, for client interviews, in-home training, continued education.
  • Ability to adhere to all safety and health policies and procedures.
  • Exercise professional conduct and maintain a high level of confidentiality in all duties.
  • Ability to establish and maintain professional, productive and courteous relationships with staff to promote positive teamwork.  This also encompasses volunteers, donors, clients and all constituents of Guide Dogs of the Desert and includes but is not limited to (a) performing work activities requiring interacting or speaking with others, (b) responding appropriately to constructive feedback or suggestions for improvement by any team member.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as strong organizational skills and ability to handle multiple tasks.
  • Ability to effectively present information and represent Guide Dogs of the Desert to clients, co-workers, general public.
  • Knowledge of animal behavior, dog training skills, teaching skills
  • Ability to adhere and hold others accountable to all safety and health policies and procedures
  • Ability to supervise and develop staff members
  • Ability to exercise professional conduct and maintain a high level of confidentiality
  • Ability to promote teamwork while performing work activities requiring interacting or speaking with others, to collaborate and encourage two-way and cross organization communication and make collaborative decisions
  • Ability to respond appropriately to constructive feedback or suggestions for improvement by a team member
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks
  • Able to pass a background check and pre-employment drug test

            Required Technical / Certification / Licenses

  • Qualified GDMI in compliance with the training standards as set forth by IGDF; Valid state of residence Driver’s License
  • Basic computer skills and manageable familiarity with Microsoft Office applications.

Physical Demands

  • Required to work outside in all weather conditions and walk distances consistent with training program needs for students and dogs.
  • Regularly lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
  • Regularly required to walk, stand, reach with hands and arms, climb stairs, balance, talk clearly, and with good distance, peripheral and depth perception vision, especially related to observing clients and dogs in training.

            Confidential Information

This position has access to confidential information, i.e. pertaining to applicants’ personal data, medical records, financial information, and legal documents.

Company Funds

This position has access to company funds: Company issued credit card with limit of $2,500.00.

Website: www.gddca.org
Email: cbergeron@gddca.org