Labradors are the best guide dogs for the blind because they are eager to please and very patient.

They are gentle and very quick to train due to their high intelligence.

Humans and dogs bond with deep emotional connections and need each other.

But when it comes to guide dogs and their owners, it needs a much deeper connection.

Also requires very detailed professional training.

These dogs are ready to react in a variety of situations.

They help the man’s mobility and enable him to live a more independent life.

Read what other qualifications dogs have to possess to be a guide dog in the following article.

Why Are Labradors Guide Dogs for the Blind?

  • Characteristics That Make Labradors Good Guide Dogs
  • Physical Characteristics of a Labrador Guide Dog
  • Other Dog Breeds as Guide Dogs

Characteristics That Make Labradors Good Guide Dogs:

  • Intelligence
  • Trainability
  • Temperament


Labradors are among the top ten smartest breeds, according to Dr. Stanley Coren.

They get up to 250 words and solve challenging issues.

These are beneficial traits for a guide dog to have. [1]

A guide dog may have to decide whether to follow his handler’s instructions.

Another option is to disobey them when their safety is at stake.

Intelligent disobedience is a talent taught to guide dogs, and labs are adept at it.

As they are displaying exceptional judgment in judgment-call scenarios. [2]

They are a part of the top 10 most intelligent dog breeds list.

Labradors display exceptional judgment in dangerous situations.

Labs have ideal sizes, and they can walk side by side with the patient at a steady, comfortable pace.

This will make the patient’s everyday – life much simpler.


Labrador Retrievers have a strong desire to please people.

When they receive lots of positive feedback for a job well done, or a new command learned, they blossom.

These pleasers discover early that obeying commands is the best.

It results in receiving two of their favorite things.

These are praise and goodies. [3]

Training for Labrador guiding dogs takes about four months.

Guide dogs train using a reward system.

This looks like conventional obedience training to promote positive behavior.

Instead of cookies, guide dog trainers emphasize praise as a reward. [4]


Dogs should own few qualities to become guide dogs.

This includes friendliness, non aggression, loyalty, and great focus.

Also, the ability to maintain composure and follow instructions.

In situations where other distractions surround them. [5]

Guide dogs also need to be tolerant when the trainer or handler makes a mistake.

They have to adjust when they transfer ownership from the training center to the new handler.

Labrador Retrievers have no issue satisfying these temperament requirements.

People adopt them as a breed for their kind dispositions.

Also, for their tenderness and affection for people. [6]

Labs are the perfect choice for guide dog jobs due to their laid-back character.

They can offer a social nature and intense desire to please their owners.

Physical Characteristics of a Labrador Guide Dog:

  • Size
  • Color


Labradors are the perfect height for a handler to hold onto the dog’s harness handle. [7]

This is very helpful while blind people walk – to touch their service dog without having to stoop too low.

They range in height from 21.5 to 24.5 inches.

Because of their size, they can walk side by side with their handler at a steady, comfortable pace. [8]

These dogs are big enough to stop their handler from advancing into danger if necessary.

A Labrador (average size 55 to 80 pounds) would stop its handler in its tracks without tripping them.

This help could save their life when needed.

A smaller guide might only induce their handler to trip.

It will happen as they seek to prevent the forward movement of the blind person. [9]


Labradors of all colors—yellow, black, and chocolate—can make excellent guide dogs.

If their particular temperaments are right, and they exhibit an interest in the job.

Chocolate labs are currently the most popular hue.

They are in high demand for family companionship and guidance. [10]

Compared to black and yellow Labs, they usually have shorter lifespans.

Also they have more health issues, such as ear infections and skin diseases.

So, their lifespan is the only bigger issue when it comes to making them guide dogs.

It is the case when pairing them with a blind person. [11]

Other Dog Breeds as Guide Dogs

German Shepherd Dogs were the initial breed employed for this type of service work.

In the last ten years, Labradors have replaced German Shepherd dogs.

Now they are the most popular breed for guiding blind patients over the years.

92% of the guide dogs trained at one large breeding/training facility were Labrador Retrievers. [12]

Only 8 percent were German Shepherds, as they are less adaptable to these types of services.

All breeds are not taught as Labradors.

Golden Retrievers and Retriever-crosses are also capable of becoming great guiding dogs.

People who are allergic to other breeds request training of the Standard Poodles.

Sometimes shorter dogs train for disabled people who need other clever, trainable breeds.

It includes the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd. [13]

Why Are Dogs Used As Guide Dogs?

Dogs are used as guide dogs because they are always patient, faithful, and eager to please.

Another reason is their size.

They can lead their handlers and prevent dangerous situations.

Also, they are gentle and very quick to train.

Canine companions may relieve stress, depression, and anxiety.

This will improve the cardiovascular health.