Matching guide dogs to owners
Guide dog owners develop a very close relationship with their guide dogs, which in itself can be an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience. A guide dog is not always working, so you will spend a lot of your time relaxing and playing with him/her and ensuring he/she receives the attention they need. This also helps establish a level of respect and trust between you and the dog which is needed when you are out working together.
We mainly use Labradors, golden retrievers and crosses of these two breeds. We have a small number of other breeds that we use less frequently. Different breeds of dog have different characteristics which supports the differing needs of the many people training with guide dogs. For example:
- active dogs are matched with active clients
- German shepherds have a longer stride, which marry well with clients with long strides
- cross breeding with non-moulting dogs like poodles, for clients with allergies
- larger dogs are used as stability aids for clients with mobility and balance difficulties