Though many different breeds of dog have the potential to act as guide dogs, most guide dogs come from three breeds. This is not only because of temperament, size, strength and health, it's also because these breeds are intelligent and highly receptive to training. A guide dog is responsible for a leading and protecting his owner, and that type of responsibility can be entrusted only to a special animal. Three breeds are known to be uniquely suited for the task.
The Three Breeds
The majority of guide dogs are Labrador retrievers. They are personable, responsible and intelligent enough to undergo training and accept the responsibility of a guide dog. Golden retrievers and German shepherds are also used as guide dogs around the world because, like the Labrador retriever, they are disciplined, protective and effective guides. Not just any dog within one of these breeds will do, though. Training organizations work carefully to choose only the healthiest, most well-adjusted dogs for their programs, ensuring that they can train reliable partners for guiding and caring for humans. While these training organizations may utilize other breeds, such cases are relatively uncommon. These three breeds are typically chosen.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.