Jump to content

Recently Blind Puppy


Recommended Posts

Hi all. I have a 4.5 month old staffy x kelpie puppy, who after a terrible accident is now mostly blind. He only has one eye now, and that eye has very limited vision. 
Unfortunately the accident happened before he had finished his last course of puppy vaccinations, so he hadn’t had much exposure to the “outside world”. (He had attended puppy school and visited with various dogs of friends we knew were fully vaccinated.) We are slowly introducing him to new places and experiences - we have been walking lots and going to the beach, which he loves. He gets around really really well, plays and runs around with our other dog and most of the time you can’t even tell he is visually impaired. So whilst he is getting better when out and about, there are a few things that we are having trouble with. 

- When out for walks, he relies heavily on his hearing and can hear things coming from a distance away (people riding bikes, other dogs, cars, etc.) but as he can’t see it, he will get his hackles up and bark. If it’s something like a gate that’s making noise in the wind or a person walking etc. I will walk him up to it slowly so he can see it a bit better and have a sniff. Sometimes this isn’t possible (when people are riding bikes past or dogs barking from behind a fence) so I’ll pat and talk to him reassuringly, but it doesn’t seem to help that much. Just wondering if anyone has any good ideas on helping to get him use to and less reactive to strange noises etc.? 

- And also, does anyone have any other tips / ideas of things we could be doing with him to help him thrive and best set him up for his life with blindness?

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you've been doing a great job with your lad.  I think I'd be using lots of treats and a matter of fact voice to help him get the idea that if you say the .  gate, bike or whatever ... is a reason for him to turn to you for a treat   .. so it could go something like  ..  pup starts to react to trigger, you say something like .. yes it's a ....  and treat.. if he reorients quickly to you, then super party and multiple treats.  It would be helpful to start teaching him this with some distance from the triggers.  

It's the same sort of protocol we might use for a dog triggered by motion of cars etc.  In donng that, I sometimes ask for a sit as a response but the most important thing is the reorientation to the handler ...

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

What Tassie says makes a lot of sense. I wonder if, as you can't show him everything that startles him, if you actually teach him a word, that means yep that might be scary but stick close to me and I'll save you? So rather then taking him up to the gate he learns to stick super close to you as you go past. I think it would take time as it is a trust issue. Maybe stick to the same route for now as well so when he hears the "monster" ie gate or the dog barking it is one he has passed many times and one you have "saved" him from many times so it builds the trust. Not sure what you can do about one off's though. Good luck!

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, the above info sounds like great suggestions.  And you are doing so much to help him have a full and long life :-)

 

I haven't dealt with this exact problem, but like the idea of a 'safe' word.  So that regardless of what it is, he learns that if you say 'pineapple' that means whatever it is won't hurt him.   And then in 5 years if all of a sudden he hears/smells something for the first time (eg: a train), he doesn't have to learn the train is safe, cos he will know he is surrounded by an invisible forcefield when he is protected by the verbal 'pineapple' :)

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought : might be worth trying a whistle. I've been doing whistle based recall training with a Springer who does more alert barking than I'd like. She gets a treat when she comes.  If she's barking when the whistle sounds, she immediately stops barking and comes.  

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

An excellent tool I was told helps get your dog used to far more noises than they hear at home was do a tape of street noises. or any that worries your dog and run it at home until they get used to it as background noise.

 

also playing the radio gets them used to hearing voices different to you and your family so less reactive when you go to shows.

 

worked a treat

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...