[nagdu] Why Labradors?

Tracy Carcione carcione at access.net
Mon Sep 16 14:23:04 UTC 2013

I think labradors have many excellent guide dog qualities, and that is why
they're so dominant in the field.
They're intelligent, but don't have to second-guess every single thing
their partner asks them to do.
They're adaptable to a wide variety of environments and a wide variety of
handlers.  Labs can work well with everything from the busy college
student to the elderly person who may not get out every single day.
They have an easy-care coat, which does not go through big shedding
periods, and doesn't tend to get matted.
They are generally healthy--not particularly prone to allergies, digestive
complaints, or other medical issues.
These two things make them easy keepers, even for inexperienced dog people.
They tend to be even-tempered, not prone to snappiness or timidity.
>From what I hear, they are less likely to be upset by a kennel
environment, which is helpful to the big schools.

I've had 6 dogs, and 5 have been labs.  Shepherds are very handsome, but
the one I had was pretty high-maintenance.  I'd be open to a different
breed next time, but I won't be the least upset if I get another lab.  I
think they're one of the finest breeds around.

> There are certainly other breeds besides labs that make good guide dogs
> and
> other types of service dogs, but I have also seen certain breeds, such as
> collies, which, JMHO, should not be service dogs. Some breeds are smart,
> but
> do not have the want-to-please mentality  found in some of the breeds more
> commonly used for guide dogs.
> As for goldens, I think that they may be a little more laid back than
> labs.
> I do not know if German Shepherds are more sensative to corrections, but I
> do know that they are more likely to not eat or get slightly sick when
> adjusting to change or in stressful situations, such as traveling. Also,
> they are more likely to have medical or aggression problems, which is
> partiallywhy, sadly, GDB no longer trains German Shepherds.
> I have not interacted much with dobermen pinchers, but, from what other
> people have said, I'm not quite sure why they are not used more. I guess
> that, once schools find breeds that work, they are less likely to try
> something new.
> Nicole
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Raven Tolliver
> Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2013 9:22 AM
> To: nagdu at nfbnet.org
> Subject: [nagdu] Why Labradors?
> Hi,
> I am wondering why the majority of dogs trained in most guide dog programs
> are labrador retrievers. What is it about that breed that makes them
> dominate in the guide dog field?
> I notice that in other service dog areas, this breed is not used as often.
> And when people train their own guide dogs or have them privately trained,
> it seems that labradors are rarely chosen. What advantage do guide dog
> programs feel labradors have over other breeds like the golden retriever,
> German shepherd, doberman pinscher, or even the Australian shepherd.
> When I asked a GEB instructor why they didn't pass more goldens through,
> they said it was because a lot of goldens (their goldens anyway), didn't
> have the confidence it took to be a guide dog. They were not confident
> enough to make independent or executive decisions.
> Also, I have heard that German shepherds are more sensitive to
> corrections,
> and also require more of a routine. They do not adapt to new environments
> or
> change as well as other breeds.
> Do you guys find this to be true? What do you think?
> Thanks.
> --
> Raven
> _______________________________________________
> nagdu mailing list
> nagdu at nfbnet.org
> http://nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nagdu_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
> nagdu:
> http://nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nagdu_nfbnet.org/ntorcolini%40wavecable.co
> m
> _______________________________________________
> nagdu mailing list
> nagdu at nfbnet.org
> http://nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nagdu_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
> nagdu:
> http://nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nagdu_nfbnet.org/carcione%40access.net

More information about the NAGDU mailing list