Our Breeding Program
The first step in the successful training of a Guide Dog has been taken years before we see the final inspiring result, by Guide Dogs Queensland’s Breeding Program.
Our Breeding Program specialises in Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and the cross of these breeds and sources bloodlines from international and fellow Australian Guide Dog schools.
All the puppies born at Guide Dogs Queensland’s Breeding and Training Centre in Brisbane, (and those who join our program from other schools), are bred from proven Guide Dog pedigree. This means that our dogs already have the advantage of successful working Guide Dogs in their bloodlines.
Guide Dogs Queensland is working towards having a breeding colony size of 40 dogs, including 30 Broods (mums) and 10 Stud (dads) Dogs. By growing the breeding colony we can then grow the number of puppies being bred at Guide Dogs Queensland, with our aim to reach 120 puppies in 2013.
Each of our studs and broods has been specially selected for its genetic “task specific” characteristics. This means they will have a pre-disposition towards Guide Dog work; as well as for their temperamental and physical qualities.
In fact, all of our selected breeding stock must be of such a high standard that they would be assessed as being suitable for Guide Dog training – graduated breeding stock are the elite of the training program. All of our potential breeding dogs are examined by the association’s Consulting Veterinary Specialists and DNA tested to screen for any possible health problems or inherited disorders. To take a closer look at our wonderful Breeding Colony click here.
The association also uses frozen semen from selected stud dogs from a network of overseas Guide Dog schools. These partnerships enable the exchange of top quality Guide Dog genetic material.NB: GDQ appreciates the interest and support that the public shows for our breeding program, but respectfully decline the donation of puppies or stud dog service. Thank you.
Why the breed?
Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are the breeds most commonly used by Guide Dog schools around the world. They have many personality and physical traits that suit the guiding role. They are:
- Highly trainable
- Readily transfer their respect and allegiance from one person to another.
The breeds’ physical attributes, such as strong shoulder conformation, moderate coat care and moderate size also suit the guiding role.
Our Breeding Colony is also cared for by volunteer carers in the community. To find out more about the role of our breeding carers click here.
We are still a young Guide Dog school (just 50 years young in 2010) compared to some of the more established schools in America, United Kingdom and Europe. We are very fortunate to receive the support of several respected Guide Dog schools around the world, such as Guide Dogs for the Blind, in San Rafael, California.
Guide Dogs for the Blind have donated four wonderful Broods to our breeding program; ‘Tipper’, 'Carli', ‘Lark’ and 'Gilda' and we continue to source semen from their studs, who have strong pedigrees and a history of success. Guide Dogs Queensland has also sourced semen from proven lines in guide dogs schools in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, United States and other Australian Guide Dog schools.
Even more exciting is, thanks to the support of these established schools, our Breeding Program is growing stronger each year and we are now able to return the favour and pass on our expertise to even younger breeding programs. In exchange for breeding stock we send our breeding, stud dogs and puppies to schools around the world to enhance their programs.
In this section
- Guide Dogs
- Freecall 1800 810 122
- Guide Dogs Shop
- 1800 007 460
- Head Office
Guide Dogs Queensland
Breeding and Training Centre
1978 Gympie Rd
Bald Hills, Qld, 4036