More important Training Tips from the team….
By Andrea Smith
We would first like to say blindness is not a drain, but an adjustment. The following tips should help you with a visually impaired dog. These can include owners, trainers, or shelter volunteers in charge of a blind canine.
Accept the Despair- Be aware that dogs that are blind will experience a stage of depression. Notice they will demonstrate a lack of energy and a refusal to get excited about anything. This may be a shorter period of time if there is no pain and they are healthy. You may also go through some grieving. Acknowledge the need of time for it. You may get 80% of your dog back in 3-5 months.
Continue the Routine- By upsetting the normal routine it will extend the depression period. You should still take your pet in the car when you travel. During their sad time allow them to lounge in the car with the windows open to feel the breeze and to sniff the aromas. When it is quiet, drive to their favorite dog park. Encourage interaction with other playful and friendly dogs.
Be cautious- Inform owners about the body language of canines.
No Assistance- There is no need for you to pick up a small dog and carry it up stairs or from the curb. They already remember this familiar territory. If someone keeps picking them up, the dog will have difficulty retracing his steps. Be patient use a gentle tones and an affectionate touch. You can also use a leash. In time they will become confident of their independence
The Nose Knows- Help them by using signals in order for them to use their nose to solve problems. Drop little bits of food on the floor and tap your finger on the ground to coax your pet over. This reinforcement will train them to know you want something. You can also snap your fingers.
New Commands- This should be taught on a leash. Select a word that means stop and in addition use a tactile cue to instill the command. Two words ones are usually confusing.
There is no definite period when a dog will be completely confident but it depends on the dedication of its owner.
PGAA Note: For more information on Blind Dogs please visit Daisy’s Rescue