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What Makes Golden Retrievers Popular As Service Dogs?

“Golden retrievers are not bred to be guard dogs, and considering the size of their hearts and their irrepressible joy in life, they are less likely to bite than to bark, less likely to bark than to lick a hand in greeting.”

                                                                                               ― Dean Koontz

Whether the above quote is true or not, Golden Retrievers are certainly some of the best service dogs. Golden Retriever service dogs are popular globally owing to their many unique traits.

If you’re curious about these traits, here we will delve into it quickly. We’ll also tell you the different tasks golden retrievers can perform as service dogs. Let’s dive in.

Why Do Golden Retrievers Make Good Service Dogs?

Why are golden retrievers so popular as service dogs? Service dogs must possess a specific set of skills and traits to make them good candidates for assisting their owners. They need to master skills quickly and effectively, be socialized in different settings, and have the strength and size to perform various tasks.

They must also be friendly, affectionate, and alert without being too aggressive or reactive toward other animals or people.

Golden Retrievers who work as service dogs have all these traits and more. This makes them highly popular and valuable in the service dog field. 

Here are some of the key traits of this breed:

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Loyal Personality

Do Golden Retrievers make good service dogs? Yes, the incredibly loyal nature of this breed makes it predisposed to following its owner around. This can come in handy for a person who needs their service dog to stay by their side constantly.

Friendly Nature

It is easy to understand the popularity of golden retrievers as service dogs when you consider their loving and friendly temperament. They are usually kind and affectionate to everyone they meet. This makes it easy to introduce them to different social settings, people, and animals without them becoming aggressive or upset.

Easy to Train

Why are golden retrievers good service dogs? These dogs were originally bred as hunting dogs and were tasked with retrieving shot ducks. They love to challenge themselves by mastering new skills and enjoy performing different tasks to please their owners. This makes them fast learners that are easy to train and teach. 

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Medium-Sized Breed

A golden retriever is a medium-sized canine breed. Its size makes it well-suited to complete tasks that require average height and strength, such as pushing buttons, opening doors, and supporting its owner with its body.

High Energy Levels

Golden retrievers are active and energetic dogs that need a good amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Due to their sociable and active nature, they thrive best when they have someone at home for most of the day. If left alone for long hours, these dogs tend to feel lonely, frustrated, anxious, and irritable.

Golden Retrievers love food and tend to overeat, so owners must portion foods and serve them only at mealtimes.

As service dogs, Golden Retrievers will stay beside their owners whenever they need them. 

Performing tasks also provides these dogs with the stimulation they need. They also have the energy levels required to perform tasks, which makes them excellent service dogs. 

Golden Retrievers enjoy eating a variety of nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables like green beans-https://upperpawside.com/can-dogs-eat-green-beans/ , with the ideal quantities depending on their activity levels. 

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What Tasks Can Golden Retrievers Perform as Service Dogs?

Are golden retrievers good service dogs? Yes, service golden retrievers can perform various tasks with the proper training. But keep in mind that they are more suited to certain tasks and responsibilities than others, such as the following:

Guide Dogs

Are golden retrievers service dogs great as guide dogs? Yes, these dogs shine through as seeing-eye dogs. 

Guide dogs need to be active and attentive to their surroundings—something Golden Retrievers already excel in. As guide dogs, they are also capable of and enjoy learning different skills and tasks that help their owners.

Golden Retrievers can help determine if there are hurdles or unsafe conditions in a visually impaired person’s path. This can help the person cross the road or move around safely without any worries.

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Mobility Assistance Dogs

As their name suggests, Golden Retrievers enjoy retrieving things. This makes them a wonderful choice as mobility assistance dogs. 

Goldens learn commands quickly and love bringing things to their owners. Their size also allows them to easily move around stuff, open doors, and provide other kinds of mobility assistance to their owners.

People with mobility issues can train their Golden Retriever service dogs to bring them their medication, help them with their daily chores, or carry objects to the trash can.

Therapy Dogs

Golden retrievers are highly sensitive to people, which makes them ideal therapy dogs. They often work in hospitals to offer comfort and companionship to patients. They are also capable of becoming Emotional Service Animals (note that ESAs differ from service dogs when it comes to legal protections).

Golden Retrievers are usually quiet, loving, and friendly, which are the key traits a therapy dog requires. Their medium size also enables them to use their body weight to ground a person who is having a panic attack.

They can also use blocking techniques to help people with agoraphobia or other disorders or personalities that make them uncomfortable around other people. If their owner feels uncomfortable in a crowd, their dog can position itself between them and other people.

Also, as dogs have a strong sense of smell and can detect different medical conditions, Golden Retrievers can warn their owners about low blood sugar, heart abnormalities, or seizures. They can also learn to bark, paw at, nudge, or jump to alert their owners of medical emergencies.

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Conclusion

Service dogs offer people with special needs an incredible way to receive emotional support or mobility assistance. The requirement of different traits in service dogs makes it important to choose the right breed for service dog training.

Can golden retrievers be service dogs? Yes, their intelligence, trainability, loyalty, friendliness, high energy levels, and medium size make them a perfect fit for service. Their sensitivity to people who are in pain also makes them ideal as service dogs.

With the right training, golden retriever service dogs can go a long way in cheering up and helping their owners. This is why they are popular worldwide as service dogs for people with special needs.

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Red Note: 30 September 2022

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