Guide dogs assist people who are blind or vision impaired to walk safely between destinations they been trained to go. Qualified guide dogs have to be extremely well-behaved, smart, obedient, well socialised, and always able to perform their duties in any given situation.
Labradors, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds are the most common pure breeds for guide dogs. The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association state that they have found a Golden Retriever crossed with a Labrador makes for the best combination for an ideal guide dog.
While the fundamental duties of a guide dog may seem straight forward, there are many minor but crucial aspects these dogs must perform to keep their owner safe:
- Leading a person from one location to another
- Walking steadily in a straight line on pavements and avoiding obstacles
- Not turning corners unless