Through experience and research, we have found seven breeds to be best suited to guide dog work and consequently use the German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Boxer, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Vizsla and Standard Poodle.
Dogs which are accepted for Pilot Guide Dog training must meet the following requirements:
- They must be between 14 and 30 months of age and between 22″ and 24″ when measured from the top of the shoulder blade to the floor.
- Dogs need not be registered but they must be true to breed.
- Dogs must have a sociable, even disposition. They must not be afraid of traffic, loud noises or of people. Dogs which have been raised in a kennel all their lives are obviously not able to make the adjustment to the life of a guide dog as well as one which has been raised in a home and has become accustomed to family life and to children, strangers, automobiles and is housebroken.
- Owners are usually glad to help our work by donating their dogs to us when they learn that we furnish trained guides to worthy blind people at absolutely no cost to the blind person.
- Females are preferred (50 – 60 lbs.). We do not advise breeders to keep dogs for us since they generally can not give the dog the home experience needed. We would appreciate hearing of any dog which meets our requirements. All dogs are accepted on a probationary period during which our trainers observe the dog’s ability to accept training.
- You will be glad to know that if your dog is accepted and successfully completes guide dog training, you will be notified. A picture of the new team will be mailed to you.