Golden Retrievers as Service Dogs
Wondering if Goldies make good service dogs?
As you may already know, the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the one and it is also one of the most common breeds to be trained to become service or assistant dogs.
Golden Retrievers are intelligent, trainable, gentle, and loyal dogs that perform the tasks they have been assigned flawlessly.
Goldies can assist people who are visually impaired, have impaired hearing, and need therapy dogs for special needs or assistance dogs that can help out with particular tasks.
In this blog post, I will answer the question, “Can Golden Retrievers be service dogs?” in as much detail as I can.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Here we go.
A service dog is basically one which helps a person with a disability lead a more independent life.
The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), defines is as a “service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”
Dogs are the only species yet that are recognized as service animals. Under some regulated new and separate provisions, even miniature horses are permitted to assist a person with a disability.
According to the ADA definition, service dogs are primarily working dogs and aren’t considered to be pets.
Two of the most common service dog breeds for mobility assistance dogs and guide dogs are Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.
- Service dogs come in various sizes. They range from very large to very small breeds depending upon the needs
- The only prerequisite is that the dog must be able to comfortably perform the tasks needed to help lessen a disability
- For example, while a Papillon is not the perfect fit to pull a wheelchair, the dog still makes an excellent emotional support dog or hearing assistance dog
- A new trend is now seen where several service dogs are rescued from shelters
Different disabilities have different requirements. A breed that may be a perfect fit for one, may not be a good for the other.
Golden Retrievers possess several characteristics and trails that makes them excellent service dogs.
Here are some things that make the Golden Retriever an excellent assistant dog:
- Goldies are strong enough to provide a person with physical support
- These dogs can pick up and carry heavier objects
- Golden Retrievers are active dogs
- These dogs are also affectionate and loyal to their owners
- Goldies are highly intelligent, easy to train, and quiet obedient
Together, all these qualities come together to create an awesome service or assistance dog who will always be there for you.
It is hard to be a service dog and not all dogs can be service dogs.
All service dogs need to have a special set of qualities so that they are reliable in their work.
Let’s take a look at these characteristics:
- Calm but friendly nature
- Alert but not reactive
- Able to be touched by anyone, including strangers
- Willingness to please
- Tendency to follow you around most of the time
- Socialized to many different situations and environments
- Ability to learn quickly and retain information over a period of time
You can sign your dog up to be a service dog if he has all of the qualities that I’ve mentioned above.
As a breed, the Golden Retriever has the ability to adapt to new situations. This makes the dog one of the most ideal service dog breeds.Service dogs must be highly trainable as they have to dedicate themselves to a special life mission.
So, how can you train a Golden Retriever to be a good service dog?
Well, there are several types of disabilities that service dogs cater to. The tasks that service dogs are responsible include:
- Guide dogs for the visually impaired
- Hearing dogs for those with hearing impairment
- Therapy dogs
- Assistance dogs that can turn lights on and off, open and close doors, and much more
Tending to different disabilities means that the dog needs to undergo different amounts of training.
For example, schools that train guide dogs for blind masters prepare them to safely guide the masters around. This training is different for different disabilities. Some service dogs that simply receive instruction from their owners don’t need extensive training.
Most therapy dogs are trained to fit the disability that the master has.
Golden Retrievers are naturally sensitive to people who are hurting. These dogs just need a little bit of training to learn about things such as wheelchairs or any other equipment they might come across.
One area that needs a therapy dog as gentle and friendly as the Golden Retriever is animal assisted therapy.
Yes, golden retrievers can be excellent service dogs.
Golden Retrievers are intelligent, easy to train, trustworthy, and loyal dogs that are a perfect fit for service. These dogs are naturally sensitive to people that are in pain or hurting and they need only a little training to be of service.
The good-natured dog breed is one of the most common service dog breeds.
Training a service dog is a long and tedious process. You can expect to get a fully-trained Golden Retriever from an organization to cost up to $25,000!
Do you have questions? If so, let me know in the comments, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.