4 min read


Why Do Golden Retrievers Make Good Guide Dogs



4 min read


Why Do Golden Retrievers Make Good Guide Dogs




The Golden Retriever is the perfect canine choice to be a guide dog. He is an intelligent dog that loves to be given responsibilities and duties. The Golden Retriever has the right temperament to work with people. His devotion to any task he is trained for, and his natural work ethic, make him a wonderful guide dog. Golden Retrievers are working dogs and were bred to help the hunter retrieve birds and small game. They can focus on a task and were bred to bring back targeted game to their master. Their mouths are sensitive, and their build is strong, but they are not too large to be difficult to handle. The Golden Retriever has many of the essential qualities needed to be a guide dog. He is muscular and sturdy enough to wear a harness. Golden Retrievers are not too large to be able to get in and out of places like shops and restaurants. His friendly nature ensures that he is comfortable around people. He is not aggressive or assertive in crowded situations. The Golden Retriever is calm and composed and ready to serve. 

The Root of the Behavior

A guide dog must be intelligent, patient and a hard worker who never tires of serving. The Golden Retriever is easily trained to navigate all sorts of situations. They keep track of obstacles and guide their blind or disabled persons, giving them mobility and a chance of a more normal life. Golden Retrievers are very intelligent and can concentrate on the tasks they are given. They are not easily distracted or drawn away from their duties. This devoted and loyal dog is really suited to a life of service and support. His memory for routes and his love of working makes him a great guide dog. Nothing is too much trouble for the loving Golden Retriever. The Golden Retriever’s intelligence and training allows him to make decisions in unsafe situations and will not cross the road if it is not clear, even if his owner is wanting to get going to the other side. 

The Golden Retriever is an active dog, but not overly energetic. The tasks he is given to train him to be a guide dog suit his personality and desire to serve. Golden Retrievers are not dominant or submissive by nature and that makes them sound guide dogs. They are reliable and dependable too. A guide dog needs to be able to remain focused on his duties and not distracted by loud noises or disruptive behavior around him. He is a dutiful companion and a very capable working dog. Golden Retrievers love to carry things in their mouths and they are soft and gentle in the process. They are perfect 'people pleasers' and enjoy being part of the family, but are very aware of their duties and the person they serve. Their friendly nature makes them ideal as therapy dogs too. They will always greet everyone with a kindly expression and a wagging tail. Guide dogs must remain calm in every situation. The Golden Retriever is a very calm and friendly dog that does not over react, but keeps his special ‘seeing eyes’ on every situation.  

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Encouraging the Behavior

Society is aware of the value of the ‘seeing eye’ guide dog and as a result, guide dogs are allowed into any establishment with their owners. They can get onto public transport and in and out of shops. Crossing roads and navigating difficult terrain if necessary is part of their duties and they love to be involved in family life. Golden Retrievers are tireless workers and patient too. They are always on the alert for perceived danger and ready to warn their owners of something that could be problematic. Their gentle nature needs a soft touch and kind attitude towards their training, but they love to please whoever they meet. 

Golden Retrievers are not great guard dogs and their bark is usually a welcome greeting as they wait at the door to meet a visitor. Golden Retrievers enjoy agility classes and thrive on obedience training. They are very eager to learn and will never tire of trying to do their best. When a blind Golden Retriever, named Ray Charles, needed a home, his family found that Ray could make his way around the house using his sense of smell. The blind guide dog is loved and protected in his home by his family and ‘dad,' Andrew Fales. The Golden Retriever is such a joy to have in any home, even if he is the patient and the family is providing the guidance and support.

Other Solutions and Considerations

There is no doubt that the Golden Retriever is valued for his intelligence and tireless work as a guide dog. The Golden Retriever is the most sought-after breed to be trained as a guide dog. Even celebrities who do not need guide dog services have chosen the Golden Retriever as a pet. Their friendly nature and reliable qualities make them everyone’s favorite. Stars like Oprah Winfrey and Betty White have Golden Retrievers at their side. Betty White has taken her involvement with Golden Retrievers to another level and is the spokesperson for Morris Animal Foundation conducting Golden Retriever lifetime studies. The Golden Retriever is such a wonderful companion even Jackie Chan, the martial arts star who has no need of protection, has two by his side. 


The Golden Retriever is a devoted companion dog and ready, willing and able in all kinds of situations. He is the helping paw and guide dog to many needy people. His placid nature is evident always. A bandana, bearing the words: "Keep calm and carry on guiding" would be most appropriate for the faithful Golden Retriever. 

By a Rhodesian Ridgeback lover Christina Wither

Published: 04/05/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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