9 Best Guide Dog Breeds People Use for Help

9 Best Guide Dog Breeds People Use for Help

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: Jun 28 2023


Dogs are truly amazing creatures and there are a lot of jobs they can do. People have used dogs for thousands of years for hunting and companionship and in recent years, we learned that they can do so much more than that. Dogs can sniff allergies, narcotics, and diseases. They can track and save people, hunt, protect, and guard. One other thing they are amazing at is being a guide for visually impaired people.

Many dog breeds can be trained to become guide dogs but some are more talented than others.

There is a long process that helps create guide dogs and to pair a guide dog with its visually impaired owner. A dog needs to be trained and properly raised to become a guide dog and then it is usually matched with its new owner. There are many variables that need to be fulfilled to make a great match like the owner’s activity levels, hobbies, living conditions, and lifestyle.

There is usually an agency that plays the role of a middleman and helps blind and visually impaired people to get a guide dog. The agency assesses these variables and makes sure that a strong bond is created between a guide dog and its owner.

It is a complicated and rigorous process that ensures the best living conditions for the visually impaired and the dog as well. Many breeds can be trained to become a guide dog but we bring you the list of the best dog breeds for this role.

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1. Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are known as one of the best possible family pets but they are also extremely good workers. They are dedicated to their jobs and will obey your rules if they are properly trained. They can be a bit energetic but they can also enjoy quiet, easy, and lazy days.

Golden Retrievers are naturally very friendly and open, and that is one of the reasons they are chosen to do this job. They can be extremely devoted and affectionate and they won’t let anything distract them from their guide dog job.

golden guide dog

2. Border Collie

The Border is known as the most intelligent dog breed in the world and it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that they are well-equipped to be a guide dog. A Border Collie guide dog is energetic so it is usually matched with a visually impaired or completely blind person that lives an active life.

Border Collies are still mostly used as herding dogs but they can adapt very well to different positions and tasks. They can be great detection dogs, search and rescue, and therapy dogs as well. Just make sure that you ensure them enough playtime.

border guide dog

3. Boxer

A Boxer guide dog can be a bit of a surprise but make no mistake, Boxers are extremely devoted and loyal. When a Boxer forms a bond with its owner, there is nothing they wouldn’t do for them, and being a guide dog is just one thing they would do.

Boxers can be stubborn and playful so their training process should be firm and consistent. If a Boxer completes the guide dog training, it can perform like the best guide dogs in the world.

boxer guide dog

4. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is not only a superb and most popular family pet in the world, but it is also the most popular choice for a guide dog. These dogs are natural leaders and love to take charge. They are friendly, calm, and lovable and these characteristics make them amazing at being a guide dog for the blind.

The popular Labs are not only guide dogs but also excellent retrievers, search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs, pets, companions, detection dogs, military, and police dogs. They are versatile and adaptable and it is no wonder they are so popular for many jobs and roles.

labrador guide dog

5. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for their impeccable work capability and devotion. They are loyal and full of affection towards their owner. German Shepherds are also very intelligent and these traits make them amazing guide dogs.

However, they are also quite energetic and need consistent physical activity to remain happy, devoted, and focused on their guide dog job. They are also usually paired with an active visually impaired person that has a lot of hobbies and interests.

german shepherd guide dog

6. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a praised herding dog breed that is known for its intelligence and great work ethic. These dogs are smart and adaptable and can learn fairly quickly. It is also pretty good-looking so if you are want to have a fluffy guide dog that has an incredibly soft coat, the Australian Shepherd is the way to go.

The popular Aussie is also rather active and physically demanding so they are mostly paired with visually impaired people who have active hobbies.

aussie guide dog

7. Poodle

The Poodle is one of the smartest dog breeds out there, and they are quick to learn new things. They are adaptable and can take just about any role we ask them. With proper training and handling, the Poodle can be an amazing guide dog for the blind.

There is a slight problem with Poodle guide dogs, not with them but with the general public. The Poodle can seem a lot friendlier than a German Shepherd so people who don’t understand the role of a guide dog like to approach and pet them. Make sure your Poodle knows when it is off or on duty.

poodle guide dog

8. Doberman

This is also one of the odd candidates for a guide dog, but an amazing one. Dobermans love work and they can be trained to fill any role. Being a service guide dog is just one of the things that are written in their breeds' CV.

Dobermans are fearless and extremely devoted to their owner. If they are properly trained, it will be a guide dog whose looks will make sure no one will bother you or it.

doberman guide dog

9. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

The Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are intelligent and loyal. They are quick learners and can be trained to be excellent guide dogs, just like their cousins, the Labradors. The popular Chesapeake Bay Retriever is devoted and willing to please their owner, so being a service dog comes naturally to them.

However, they could be a bit harder to train so they are not as common. They can be stubborn when they are young and the rigorous training process eliminates them early, but when they do finish the training, they are just as good as any other breed on this list. 

No matter what breed a guide dog is, it is important that we give them enough playtime and companionship. So why not get them a toy they can play with while they are off duty? Check out the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball that will keep dogs entertained for hours.

World Dog Finder team