Guide dogs are the talented windows into the world for their beloved owner. Their job is to guide the visually impaired or blind handler. While any dog can be trained to become a guide dog, only certain breeds have the paws to fill the role! Large breeds are most commonly trained as guide dogs due to their physical strength and ability.
Guide dogs are carefully paired with their owner based on a specific criteria. Everything from the individual’s activity level, lifestyle, hobbies, family and living arrangements are taken into consideration. When the handler applies for a guide dog through a non-profit organization, they are then matched with a pal that best serves their needs. Once a person and guide dog are matched, the organization will ensure there is a strong bond through extensive hours of training together.
Guide dogs wear a special assistance harness when they are on duty. The harness is white, as this is the colour protected for guide dogs and visually impaired. Many people think they can put on the harness and they are good to go! In reality, there must be a trustworthy and loyal relationship between the dog and owner before they can take on the world together. Below lists the Top 10 Guide Dogs that can bring the independence and mobility that wheelchairs and canes can’t!
The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed for a guide dog throughout the world! Renowned for their intelligence and loyalty, Labs are easy to teach and love to lead the way. With their calm demeanour and strong work ethic, it’s no surprise the lovable Lab tops the chart as the most successful guide dog!
The Golden Retriever is loved for many reasons, one of which is their ability to take control. Goldens have the benefit of being both recognizable and friendly, but also a good worker when given a job. While Goldens can be fairly high energy, they are just as happy to enjoy a quiet evening at home if they have undergone proper training.
German Shepherd pride themselves on their devotion and adaptability. Their high intelligence and good intuition makes them great guide dogs, but they need lots of exercise before they can chill out! While they are working dogs and learn quickly, German Shepherds do best with an active owner and experienced training.
Poodles are not only smart, they are eager to please and quick to learn! Poodles stand tall, proud, and are very reliable once they have a job to do. The problem with Poodles as guide dogs lies with the public, not the pooch. Poodles appear much more approachable than a German Shepherd, and people often mistake it for a pet rather than a service dog. This can be distracting, so be sure to teach your pal what it means to be on and off duty!
Collies aren't as common as a guide dog as they are a herding dog, but there’s no doubt this breed is very intelligent and hard working! Collies are exceptionally aware of their surroundings and can be super resourceful. Collies are alert and quick to please their owner, but be sure to give them an outlet for their enthusiasm and energy!
The big Boxer is always there to save the day when it’s needed most. Not only are boxers adorable, they are loyal, patient, and love to work. Once they have formed a strong bond with their owner, there is just about nothing that can break their devotion. Training needs to be consistent and owners need to display confidence for a Boxer to be best trained.
Australian Shepherds are intelligent, good-natured, and full of energy! This makes them an excellent choice for an active person in need of a guide dog. When given proper training, this breed can do just about anything. If you’re looking for a gorgeous pooch to stand out from the pack, the Australian Shepherd is a great choice.
Intelligent and trainable, Chessies make a great, loyal companion! Chessies are very cooperative, but do need a good amount of exercise. Bred as a working dog, Chessies need a job to do at all times! However, their affectionate and protective demeanour makes them a great guide dog. Making space for a big and beautiful Chessie in your heart and home may be the best decision you’ll ever make!
Vizslas are easy to train, kind, obedient, and obedient. Add that to a list of super easy grooming requirements and you have yourself an all around beauty! Vizslas love to exercise and work, so with enough activity to allow them to focus, they make an excellent guide dog. Slim and muscular, they are sure to be a true showstopper as they guide you around town.
The Doberman is a true powerhouse with strength, loyalty and alertness. Since Dobermans can be trained to do it all, they make an excellent service dog candidate. Affectionate and obedient, this loyal breed loves to please and fares well as a guide dog due to their love for work and challenges.