Breeding Program

  • 80% of the dogs bred at Leader Dogs for the Blind are Labrador retrievers. Labs work well as Leader Dogs due to their:
    • Size: small, easy fit in vehicles
    • Coat: easy care, double-coated for cold and heat protection
    • Relaxed temperament, eagerness to learn and work
  • 10% of the dogs bred at Leader Dogs for the Blind are golden retrievers. Goldens work well as Leader Dogs due to their:
    • Size: small, easy fit in vehicles
    • Coat: requires minimal grooming, double-coated for protection
    • Loving and eager personality
  • Less than 5% of the dogs bred at Leader Dogs for the Blind are German shepherd dogs. German shepherds work well as Leader Dogs due to their:
    • Size: medium build, capable of long strides
    • Coat: easy care, double-coated for protection
    • Strong work ethic, alertness and eagerness to learn
  • 5% of the dogs bred at Leader Dogs for the Blind are Labrador/golden retriever crosses.
  • Breeding stock dogs are housed by volunteers in their homes.
  • Breeding stock dogs are selected for our program based on their history, health and temperament. We select dogs that have the potential to be excellent Leader Dogs.
  • Puppies are born in the volunteer homes that host the female breeding stock.
  • Host families will care for the litter of puppies for six weeks before coming to Leader Dogs for the Blind to be examined by veterinarians and placed with a volunteer puppy raiser.
  • Leader Dogs for the Blind has a cryogenics lab where we freeze or chill semen and have stored approximately 60 different stud dogs.
  • Leader Dogs for the Blind’s breeding program is overseen by a committee comprised of six staff members including veterinarians, puppy development, breeding manager and guide dog instructor as well as consults with geneticists, breeders and reproductive specialists.