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Blind Yellow Lab - Need some info

October 21st, 2005, 02:43 PM
Hey folks!

Has anyone adopted a blind dog? I was just looking around Petfinder and of course all the animals break my heart, but this one in particular screamed my name.

He is completely blind.

Now, firstly i don't know that much about Labs except they are very energetic. So that needs to be researched first, but I am also wondering what kind of needs a blind dog would have. :confused:

Anyone with a Lab and small children? I have a 10 year old daughter, and I'm due in April.

As much as my heart aches to bring him home and give him love and safety, it needs to be a good fit.

*Edited to add: I live in a country subdivision with a huge backyard. My house is a split level so I imagine that would pose a challenge, although my shih tzu is confined by baby gate to the lower level unless I'm upstairs with him , so downstairs could be "dogland" I suppose.


October 21st, 2005, 03:03 PM
It is possible that you scent train him. You would choose 3-4 different scents and use them as important markers. Have one as a scent for danger, such as stairs.

October 21st, 2005, 03:12 PM
I'v never owned a completely blind dog (have a completely blind grandmother, but not the same), but I'v heard that blind dogs do very well as long as you do not move furniture around a lot.

Generally labs do well with children, but evey dog is different, and I would image a child accidently sneaking up on a blind dog could result in a bite. But children should never be allowed to be alone with a dog at all. Many people think at age 12 a child could be left with a dog for a short period, but I think it depends on the child and their level of maturity. Maybe you should speak with the rescue about how the dog is with children and what they would suggest as far as requirments for a blind dog.

October 21st, 2005, 03:18 PM
I would agree on the comment of a bite if the dog were deaf but not blind but seeing as this condition has been with him since birth it probably isn't such a big deal.

October 21st, 2005, 03:46 PM
I've never met an aggressive lab. My sister has one - old and creaky now - and when she was a puppy the kids would wrestle with her and give her lots of attention, which she loved. She did have plenty of energy and needed her walks. Since this guy is young and has learned to live with his blindness - presumably his hearing, which is probably especially acute, kept him from being run over - I think he would probably adapt pretty quickly to a new environment, using his other senses. And he would be so grateful to have a home you would never be lacking in the sloppy kisses department.
I say GO FOR IT!

October 21st, 2005, 04:07 PM
I have heard that blind dogs are best with another dog... They follow the other dog around for a while and learn from the other doggy. I don't know how well they do alone..

October 21st, 2005, 04:10 PM
Well, my husband arrived home and I told him the story of Charlie, the blind fur baby. He is not keen on a second dog, but we have reached a compromise. We will go and meet Charlie and he will keep an open mind. We need to carefully observe his behaviour (hyper is ok, but superhyper may be problematic with an infant in the house).

My husband says I have a bleeding heart. :rolleyes: He was NEVER an animal person, and shortly after we married I began the campaign for a dog. It took 4 months but I convinced him. Since then he's come around and now says he is an animal person...but just for one. LOL

I'll let you all know about how our meeting goes tomorrow. I've decided that even if we cannot take him, I will advocate on his behalf until I find someone who can.

October 21st, 2005, 04:12 PM
Sorry, I'm an eejit. I didn't remember that you already have a dog. In that case, I say "Go for it!" ;)

Lucky Rescue
October 21st, 2005, 05:01 PM
For dogs, sight is the third most important sense, after smell and hearing. Dogs don't have great eyesight anyway.

As long as you aren't always changing your furniture around, the dog would soon learn how to get around in your house.

I know a blind husky - he had both eyes removed - and it's impossible to tell he's blind. He's beautiful and very happy. He also has his own guide dog. The other dog in the home seems to know he's blind and leads him on walks.:)

I've never met an aggressive lab
Not saying this dog is aggressive, but Labs can be aggressive just as any individual of any breed can be.

October 22nd, 2005, 09:41 AM
Hi folks,

Well, I'm still planning on meeting Charlie, but I'm holding off until tomorrow. I got some advice from a friend who feels that because my Oscar (8 mths old) is male, and Charlie is male there is potential for problems. She also pointed out that if they ended up hating each other (and she feels this is a strong possibility due to age) that in a fight Oscar would lose.

I certainly don't want to put Oscar at risk, so we are rethinking.

What do you all feel about her advice? I hadn't given thought to the male/male combo.

Lucky Rescue
October 22nd, 2005, 10:03 AM
What kind of dog is Oscar? There is always the possibility of dominance fighting between dogs of the same sex. There is also the chance they will get along famously.

Introduce them in a neutral place - a park etc and see how they get along.

October 22nd, 2005, 10:16 AM
Oscar is a very bouncy Shih Tzu.

He tends to avoid dogs the same size as him, but it's the real biggies he gets along with. (Although all temperments are different and I'm sure he won't love everyone)

Oscar is a funny little dog. He feels he's our boss as he struts around the house, but with his golden retriever friend he's a follower. He watched the golden dig a hole in the dirt at a baseball game, and he walked over beside him and started digging with him! LOL

I don't know that the SPCA would allow me to introduce them? Certainly not AT the SPCA, and I doubt they'd allow me to take Charlie very far from the building.

October 22nd, 2005, 10:21 AM
Are both dogs fixed. If they are there is less chance that this will be an issue. I believe that Charlies info stated that he was good with other dogs, is Oscar? I would bring Oscar to meet Charlie before you decide to adopt.

October 23rd, 2005, 02:06 PM
Well, after careful consideration and meeting Charlie (what a sweet, sweet boy) my husband and I decided that we would not be the right home for Charlie. I can't let it go though, so I contacted a Lab rescue in Nova Scotia and she said she would be willing to take him if the SPCA will release him. She's going to contact them to see if they will.

Thanks for the help everyone!

October 24th, 2005, 09:23 AM
Glad to hear that you contacted a rescue about Charlie

Dogs with Disabilities have some great info regarding how to handle blind dogs (and deaf and other challenges)