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Read the November 2023 edition of IGDF's Visionary magazine
Organization: Guide Dogs of America
Location: Sylmar CA
Job Type: Full time
Deadline: January 31, 2023

Job Description

Contact at organisation: Kristine Wallace, Guide Dogs of America

Phone: 8188336439


Job Type: Full Time Non-Exempt Position

Salary Range: The GDMI Apprenticeship program consists of 6 progressive modules that are generally completed over the course of three years and the pay range from Module 1 to 6 over the next three years is $19.38 to $28.46.

Benefits include:

  • Medical, Dental, Life Insurance
  • Pension & 401k
  • Vacation & Paid Holidays
  • Casual Work Environment
  • Pet Friendly
  • Mission-driven non-profit organization
  • 7.5-acre park-like campus grounds

Job Purpose: To complete a 3-year apprenticeship program as set forth by GDA/TLC in accordance with IGDF standards, resulting in obtaining qualified GDMI status

Essential Functions:

  • Train dogs as assigned to a condition of class readiness in obedience and guide work skills
  • Instruct students who are blind/visually impaired on becoming a guide dog handler
  • Assist with daily cleaning and disinfecting of kennel as per GDA/TLC’s current standards of procedure
  • Assist with daily feeding and monitoring the diets of dogs assigned to the training department
  • Provide clear and accurate weekly reports on the progress of your assigned in-for-training dogs
  • Under supervision, assist in class effectively teaching students to utilize their guide dog
  • Apply GDA training techniques and correct procedures for documenting students’ progress and giving class lectures
  • Participate in public outreach and education efforts by giving presentations and demonstrations
  • Complete course work and testing outlined in the Apprentice Training Manual
  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule including nights, weekends and holidays to fulfill the requirements of class assignments or student needs
  • Must be able to travel by car, train or airplane as required
  • Ability to obtain a USA passport
  • Other duties as assigned

Essential Physical Requirements:

  • Must be comfortable wearing and working under blindfold for extensive periods of time
  • Must be able to complete a 7-day blindfold experience during a class in session
  • Ability to stand and walk for extended periods of time, indoors and outdoors in all types of weather
  • Ability to bend and kneel to the floor for extended periods of time
  • Ability to lift 60 lbs., and up to 80 lbs. with assistance; must possess the physical strength to lift healthy, potentially strong, large breed dogs
  • Ability to exert 20 to 50 pounds of force including pushing or moving objects
  • Ability to push, pull, and reach overhead
  • Ability to wear protective gear including masks, gloves, goggles, boots
  • Visual acuity required to see and read dog’s reaction to environment and distractions, ability to read forms, documentation, and computer screen
  • Hearing ability required to interact with dogs, trainers, students, and volunteers
  • Ability to tolerate elevated noise levels – barking dogs
  • Working in a kennel environment with multiple dogs
  • Interactions with all types of people/personalities


  •  18+ years of age
  • Valid driver’s license and insurable
  • High school graduate or GED, Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Experience with the care and training of dogs
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong initiative and problem-solving skills when working independently
  • Proficient in Microsoft, Excel and Outlook
  • Prefer experience in Veterinary software ex: Cornerstone
  • Work well as part of a team and in a team environment

How to Apply

Qualified candidates please send cover letter and resume to