Before You Arrive


The Polk Residence and Training Center is home to all clients in training; accommodations and meals are provided free of charge. Each individual has comfortable accommodations in a private room equipped with a small refrigerator, television, Internet access, temperature controls and immediate access to a secure outdoor area. The facility is furnished with multiple lounges, a fitness center, dog grooming stations, and a library with books on tape, Braille materials and computers with Internet access.

Residence staff are available around the clock to assist with each client’s personal needs. With all meals provided and the comforts of home offered, this dedicated staff is on hand to serve the needs of clients above and beyond their guide dog instruction, such as equipment usage, medical transportation or helping to write a letter home.

Traveling to Leader Dog

Leader Dogs for the Blind pays for public transportation to and from our campus for clients traveling within the United States and Canada. Accepted clients receive instructions for making travel arrangements in their approval letter.

We ask that clients provide travel details (airline, arrival time, etc.) in advance of their class date so that we can arrange to have someone meet them at the airport terminal, train station or bus station.

Please note: While Leader Dog will pay for public transportation by plane, train and bus, plane travel is the preferred method for clients traveling with a guide dog—especially for trips longer than six hours.

Clothing Considerations

Much of the instruction is conducted outdoors. With this in mind, clothing suited to Michigan’s changing climate needs to be a consideration when preparing for your trip to Leader Dog. Please pack with comfort and convenience as the priority.

Helpful Leader Dog Documents

  • Welcome to Leader Dog – A general overview of what to expect when you get to campus ( download )
  • Preparing for your new dog – How to get your home ready ( download )
  • Client Suggestion Sheet – Hints from past guide dog clients ( download )
  • Family Instructions – Information your family and friends need to know ( download )