National Guide Dog Month on May, 2020: Labradoodles as guide dogs?
May, 2020 is National Guide Dog Month 2020. National Guide Dog Month is a celebration of the work of guide dogs in the United States as a way to raise awareness, appreciation and support for guide dog schools across the United States.
National Guide Dog Month is a celebration of the work of guide dogs in the United States as a way to raise awareness, appreciation and support for guide dog schools across the United States.
This is a press release in Dec. 2006:
Guide Dogs Hull in Hall Road, north Hull, is training Opal, an 18-month-old bitch, who will be one of the first labradoodle guide dogs in the UK. District team manager Eddy McCabe said: "Using dogs like this will help us broaden the range we offer, as we usually use Labradors or retrievers. "But labradoodles are very useful for people who have allergies or difficulties with grooming, because they don't shed in the same way as other dogs."
The first labradoodle was bred 17 years ago in Australia by the Royal Guide Dog Association in Victoria. But their use as guide dogs in the UK is a relatively new idea.
A litter, the result of an accident, was given to the national Guide Dogs Centre a few years ago. The centre agreed to train them and three out of the four have since become guide dogs.
Following this success, the charity decided to start breeding Labradoodles on a regular basis. The group's breeding centre now has a standard poodle stud dog, called Paddy. Opal is one of nine pups in the first litter to be sired by Paddy. The litter was born in May and the pups are now in training at centres around the UK.
This FAQ from "Guide Dogs Victoria", states they are still in use:
How do you get into showing dogs?
Start with the breed you LOVE. If you get it from a good breeder, that person will guide you while you learn how to groom it properly--after all, the dog will have their kennel name and they want to be proud of the dog when it is shown in the ring.
It's going to take at least several months of research before you can decide on a breeder. A local one is easiest, but might not have the quality you want. So start reading up on the breed(s) you're interested in, join the national breed club and any local clubs, get subscriptions to breed magazines, and start attending all the shows you can get to. Become familiar with the health issues in your breed too, since you'll want to get as healthy as dog as possible. Not all breeders care about that....
Sit at ringside to watch the dogs as they're shown--having shown livestock you'll have a bit of an advantage over the usual novice, since you already should know a bit about structure. Watch how the dogs are handled, and try to judge for yourself which dog should go up (win that class).
Introduce yourself to owners of your breed, and ask them questions (AFTER they've shown--don't expect them to welcome your questions if you interrupt them while they're preparing the dog for the ring, though some are okay with that--simply ask them when is a good time to talk with them). Offer to help hold dogs at ringside, or move crates, exercise dogs, whatever. Hopefully after a few shows they'll allow you to practice handling, perhaps even handle a dog in the ring if they have more than one entered.
Learn as much as you can *before* buying your first show dog, because then you'll almost certainly start out with better quality.
"because being a nerve bag is a REQUIREMENT for all dogs in the show ring"
Decoy, we all know you HATE show dogs. That's up to you. But that doesn't give you license to make such ridiculous statements as you did above. MANY breeders have dogs of sound temperaments, and in fact the "nerve bags" seldom do well in the ring.
@ Decoy: " lets see, you bred SHOW Akitas, a guarding breed, yes"
Actually, Akitas were originally created as hunting dogs...more specifically, to hunt the Japanese Yezo bear (a relative of the North American grizzly bear). More recently they were bred for dog fighting.
"you will now post a vid of your winning Akita doing guard work here for all to see"
First, Akitas are not normally trained in guard work--tell me, how many of them have YOU seen as trained guard dogs? They are far too independent and inclined to take matters into their own paws. Good article on that here:
Second, I have ZERO interest in training guard dogs...or in hunting bears...or in fighting dogs. I gather that in your little world I should be doing all 3, but then, your little world doesn't matter to me. My dogs are pets first, show dogs second, and yes I do feel a lot safer having Akitas around. They did chase off a burglar a few years ago who was trying to break into the house, and that's good enough for me.
ROFL that Decoy has deleted his original comments about Akitas.
And I think we all know who the real "nerve bag" is.
What dog breed might be best for me?
Here's how to find the best breed for you:
Look for books on choosing the right breed. A sample would be THE PERFECT MATCH: A DOG BUYER'S GUIDE by Chris Walkowicz & PAWS TO CONSIDER by Brian Kilcommons & Sarah Wilson. Get one for each family member. Everyone read their book, write down breeds that interest you & why. When you finish the first book, pass the books around & continue till everyone has read all the books. Have a family meeting & go through the lists everyone made & narrow the list till there’s at least one breed from each family member that everyone else also likes.
Go to www.akc.org & click through to the national breed clubs & read up on your breeds in more detail. Libraries & bookstores also carry single breed books, such as Paul Stang's COMPLETE BOOK OF THE GREAT PYRENEES, or THE NEW COMPLETE LHASA APSO by Norman & Carolyn Herbel. Read up on your breeds. Shorten your list more.
Go back to www.akc.org & search the events calendar for shows you can attend. There is no substitute for meeting dogs in person. Speak to the owners about their dogs. Asking a fancier to talk you out of their breed can be very fruitful, even if you both know it's just a conversational gimmick. ;)
Eventually, the right breed will be obvious. It may take a while; don’t be impatient: this is rather like adopting a baby. You’re choosing a family member who will be with you & a part of the family for the next decade. Take the time to make sure the choice is the right one. Don't pick a breed by how cute the puppies are; dogs grow up fast.
Now you have to pick a breeder.
Do your research: check out what the breeder(s) you are dealing with are breeding, & how: every breed has a medical challenge or two, & any conscientious breeder is trying to eliminate those challenges from the breed by screening the breeding stock & not using animals that are afflicted or carry the genes for affliction.
Each breed's parent club has a Code of Ethics, & most will have a list of breeders who have signed it. I would, personally, confine my puppy hunt to those on that list. There is also a new award at the AKC, the Breeder of Merit list, which is obviously a COE breeder who has excelled over a significant period of time, making tangible contributions to their breed. Puppies from a Merit breeder will be hard to get; one of the ways they earn that award is by spending time on planning & raising each litter.
Most breeds should have hip x-rays done at age two & sent to OFA for evaluation; only Good or Excellent are suitable for breeding.
Most breeds should have annual eye exams by a certified veterinary ophthamologist, results submitted to CERF for a certificate testifying that the dog is currently showing no signs of the congenital forms of blindness.
Some breeds have ongoing issues with hearing & so a BAER test by the veterinarian is a good idea for Dalmatians & white Boxers, for example.
Each breed's parent club website will have a health page where they discuss the work they are doing to make their dogs more healthy. Read it & make sure your breeder is working on those issues.
Have fun at the research; it can be a blast. Take some time making sure you're making the right decision. Also, once you've picked the breed you want, you don't have to commit to a puppy; sometimes purebred rescue is a great resource for young & mature adults who need homes. Most rescues don't have facilities & maintain their dogs in foster homes. The fosterers are a great resource for you: they'll know if the dog is a chicken killer, a couch potato, hates mailmen or kids, whatever, so you can match the dog with your personal circumstances.
After years of study I've determined that, in general, the very best dog for a household that has never had a dog before, or hasn’t had one for years, is a miniature Poodle:
They are small enough to be convenient, big enough to not be fragile.
The breed is physically not exaggerated & is basically healthy.
They can have any length coat you want. :)
They hardly shed.
They come in several colors: black, white, silver, apricot, red, brown, cafe-au-lait.
They are very smart & very trainable.
They are born retrievers.
They like water & often learn to swim very easily.
They are good alarm dogs; they will bark at the door or when something unusual happens, but they are useless as guard dogs: they simply don't have the aggression in them. Not to say they can't bite; pushed to self-defense, any dog can bite, & children need to be taught how to behave around a dog.
To find a reputable breeder, go here:
But you need to make your own decision.