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Training Labrador Retrievers as Guide Dogs

As you have gone about your daily errands, you may have seen a service dog, helping someone who is blind or sticking by a child that experience seizures. Labrador dogs are among the most frequently used in this position because of

Training Labrador Retrievers as Guide Dogs

their temperament and intelligence. Through training, Labrador retrievers learn how to help someone who can’t see or learn the unperceivable signs of an impending seizure to alert others that a seizure is about to begin.

The training to become a service dog often starts when the Labrador dogs are quite young. Training Labrador retrievers to be service dogs begins around 8 weeks. At this point, prospective guide dogs are placed in specially trained foster homes. The job of the foster homes is to raise a healthy puppy that is well socialized. Proper socialization is very important for service dogs so they are always comfortable. Obedience classes and exposure to different situations is also crucial.

Once the Labrador dogs reach 18 months of age, they begin their service training. Over the next 4 to 6 months, the dogs receive extensive training in the tasks they must do for their master. During this training period, the dogs become familiar with the harnesses they will wear and the commands they must know. They will go through training exercises in situations they are likely to encounter. Upon graduation, it is time to make a match.

Matching is the most important step after training. It isn’t as easy as just picking the dog with the name you like or the way it looks. Instead, the guide dog organization works to make the best match for personality and services. It is important that the person who needs the Labrador dogs for assistance to receive a dog that will work the best. This isn’t an easy task, which is why it’s important to go through the proper channels to get a guide dog in place.

The training Labrador retrievers receive through a guide dog training program helps them to learn how to help their human counterparts. Labrador dogs are often used for this type of work because they are easy to train and learn quickly. They also have an easy-going temperament, which makes them a good option when it comes to working among people in various situations. After this training, it is important to make an effort to match each dog to the person that dog can help the most.

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