Hi! This is Spike here. I want to talk with you today about dog training with a blind dog. My eyes are good for now, but some of my friends aren’t so lucky. And any dog’s sight may decline with age, especially if he gets cataracts. These are some tips that can help your dog lead a full life even if he has vision problems.
The good news is that many dogs adapt well to being blind. The ones who have it hardest are often those who lose their sight suddenly. They may need a lot of love and care to help them through the fear, aggression and depression that comes along with a setback like that. It’s also important to keep in mind that you may not notice that a dog is going blind because we’re so good at sniffing our way around. Regular vet visits are essential to help treat the early signs promptly.
One of the best ways to help a blind dog get around is to provide him with another dog he can depend on. If you’ve got room in your heart and home for such a confident team player, your job may be pretty easy. If not, there are still plenty of things you can do.
Overall, you want to protect your dog from high levels of chronic stress because it’s easy for him to get startled and feel overwhelmed. Try to conduct your training sessions in the same familiar place each time. Chest harnesses may work better than a collar so he’s not bothered by sudden jerks on his neck or accidentally getting pointed in the wrong direction. When you call him, repeat his name or keep talking to help him locate you. Be sure to practice alert signals like “careful” and “stop” to tell him about obstacles in his path. If he’s a quick study, he may even catch on to “right” and “left.”
Blind dogs can lead an active and happy life. Your love and skillful training make all the difference.
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