We use several different breeds on the Breeding programme so that we can produce a wide and diverse range of guided dogs to suit all the needs of our clients.
Labradors, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds have been and remain our most common pure breeds on the programme. Historically the Golden Retriever crossed with the Labrador has produced the most successful guide dog of all, combining many of the great traits of both breeds.
However we have recognised that other breeds and indeed other crosses, may lend additional benefits to Guide Dog users and as such, we now have Flat Coated Retrievers, Curly Coated Retrievers, a Border Collie and a Standard Poodle on the Breeding programme. It is when these breeds are crossed with our own established breeds that we hope they will produce, first and foremost, successful guides, but may also provide a secondary benefit e.g. shed less hair which may be advantageous to clients with allergies to dog hair!
It costs around £50,000 to breed, train and support a guide dog throughout its working life.