Do you have a pet dog? We know what wonderful friends these animals are, and many of them spend their days playing and resting. Yet some dogs spend their lives helping others! These canines are guide dogs, professionally trained service dogs that protect and help their owners. Guide dogs often assist individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
Guide dogs are trained so they become comfortable with a variety of tasks. For example, they get used to wearing a harness, stopping at curbs, keeping a steady pace and avoiding areas that are not safe to navigate. They are even trained to disobey a command if the command will put their master in danger! For example, if a visually impaired person orders the guide dog to cross the street while a car is coming, the dog will refuse to proceed in order to protect its master.
Because of their size, friendly demeanor and willingness to work hard and obey, German shepherds, Labrador retrievers and Labrador-golden retriever mixes are the breeds most commonly used as guide dogs. Though these special animals work very hard, they take great pride and joy in their work. Plus, once their work is done and the harness comes off, these dogs play and enjoy praise from their master, just like your pet dog enjoys your affection and attention!