Would the Goldendoodle make an acceptable Guide dog?

¬†Many people contact us asking if the Goldendoodle dog would make a good “guide” dog. While we do not sell our Goldendoodles for therapy, guide or assistance type services, we certainly do not believe they are not capable of performing these tasks. The Goldendoodle dog is highly intelligent and easily trained. They have a desire to please and a love for companionship. I don’t see why they wouldn’t make a terrific “guide” dog or be able to go on to become an assistance type of dog, in general.

Many dogs perform their “guide” dog duties happily and eagerly. For a dog, performing the tasks as a “guide” dog is an invaluable service to humans. Goldendoodles would be no exception. They love people. They are eager to befriend anyone. The Goldenododle dog would be an invaluable canine for someone using them as a service or assistance dog.

The Golden Retriever has been used as an assistance dog for many years. They are very intelligent and outgoing dogs. The Goldendoodle was created by Australian breeders back in 1997 for those who were in need of an assistance dog, but whom had allergies. I, myself, suffer from COPD as well as asthma and I can testify from personal experience that the Goldendoodle is a very low shedding, low allergan dog. The Goldendoodle was incorporated as an assistance dog because they work out very well for those with mild to moderate allergies.

What is a guide dog?

A guide dog assists people with visual impairments and those who are blind. A guide dog goes through extensive training and must be able to perform specific duties for its owner. Usually a guide dog is permitted to go into any public building and is permitted to be any place a human is allowed to be. Not every dog in training will move on to become a guide dog. Unfortunately the duties of a guide dog requires a dog to completely disobey commands and to be able to perform specific tasks.

A guide dog is trained to understand what is called “selective disobedience”. This means that they must be completely still and focused when they are wearing their harness. A guide dog must be able to disobey any command that may take their owner into harms way. It’s all work and no play for a guide dog as long as they are wearing their harness. But don’t feel bad for the guide dog! Once their harness is removed, they know its time to play!

The most amazing thing about a guide dog is that they can balance obedience with their own assessment of the situation. Goldendoodles completely enjoy interacting with people. They love attention and they love to play. A guide dog is not allowed to play when they are working. Many people have the inclination to praise a dog for a job well done. However, it is best to leave the canine in training, alone. Petting and cooing over a guide dog in training causes many distractions.

Once the harness comes off, the Goldendoodle “guide” dog now knows that it is time to “let their hair down”. They know this is the time for fun and playtime. Guiding is very complicated. It requires the Goldendoodle dogs’ undivided attention. Guide dogs only end up working as a guide dog if they truely enjoy it.

Who provides a guide dog?

Guide dogs come from guide dog schools. They can cost thousands of dollars. Most schools are non profit and funded by donations. This means that the dogs are more than likely dogs whom breeders “donate” to the schools as prospective guide dogs. Some training schools even breed their own guide dogs. The most common type of dogs used as guide dogs are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds. As Goldendoodles become more popular, we may see more of them as the years go by. At guiding eyes for the blind, trainers evaluate puppies and approx. 20 percent of all puppies who enter for training, are released from the program. Should a puppy or dog not make it during the evaluation as a guide dog, they can either move on to other programs as an assistance dog or be placed in adoptive homes as a family pet.

If you are considering purchasing a Goldendoodle to be eventually used as a guide dog, consider the possibility that he or she may not pass the evaluation process. The training is intense; the emotional level is high and everybody works exceptionally hard! Although not every dog makes it to become a guide dog, the results are completely amazing should your Goldendoodle graduate and move on as your personal guide. Your Goldendoodle must know basic obedience and this type of training should begin when your Goldendoodle has had most of his or her vaccinations. We highly recommend obedience classes if you desire to own the perfect Goldendoodle. “Guiding eyes for the blind” has a number of extensive programs set up on the east coast if you are interested in having your Goldendoodle puppy evaluated for this type of task. Their programs will teach you and your puppy everything you need to know to get your guide dog off on the right path!

About the Author

Dee Gerrish has been writing about the Goldendoodle dog since 1999. Dee is the founder for Goldendoodle World. Dee is one of the original founders for the Goldendoodle dog for the southern region of the United States. Dee is the first breeder to register the Goldendoodle dog with a kennel club and she has been a private, professional breeder since 1996.



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