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Old November 23rd, 2013, 10:11 AM
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Soundy Soundy is offline
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Any tips for living with a blind dog?

A little over a year ago, Taffy (Maltepoo) was surrendered to the shelter by an old couple who were no longer able to care for her due to their own health issues. She was 12 at the time, going partly blind... still haven't decided whether she's also partly deaf or just has "selective" hearing. We fell in love anyway, and brought her home to join our Mini-Mutts pack (at 4.5lbs, she fits right in).

Now, just over a year later, she's still incredibly spunky and active, although her legs sometimes give out on the wood floors, she sometimes misses going up the steps and ends up sliding back down to faceplant at the bottom (then gets up, shakes it off, and tries again)... and of course, she's bumping into things more and more. Fortunately she's been able to learn her way around the house pretty well as her eyesight has continued to diminish.

We're moving in just under three weeks to a new house, though, so she'll have to learn her routes all over again... wondering if anyone has any tips for helping her with this transition? She seems to deal with near-blindness pretty well in general, taking it all in stride, using her nose a lot (I've done a little nosework training with her), and she's generally pretty fearless, but I expect some extra help will be needed until she's settled into the new place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjxmRYRX_qM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiZ7PFbbVyI
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 07:27 PM
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Oh, my goodness, Soundy! She's just adorable!!!

Wish I had some advice for you, but I'm sure she'll do fine once she figures out where things are at in the new house. Do you know how bad her eyesight is? Does she still have at least light/shadow perception?
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 09:28 PM
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What a cutie. I think I would start by limiting her access to areas that are easy to navigate. Buy a couple of baby gates and keep her confined to one floor or general area. After she masters one area then maybe you want to expand it a bit. Never done it before to be honest, but I think that's what I'd do to start. Halo has bad night vision and now her day vision is diminishing also, but not too badly yet. I know we're moving into that zone soon though.
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 09:43 PM
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Thanks guys!

Yeah, I do have a couple baby gates, limiting access to the stairs will definitely be a start. She handles stairs quite well, but I wouldn't want her accidentally going down when she doesn't know where the top is. Actually, I might put the gate just below the first step down, so if she does go over, she won't have far to tumble, but she'll get the hang of where they are.

I think she's still got shadow/light and maybe a little near-sighted vision still, as she'll tend to follow the first legs she sees if she loses track of me at the park, and she generally manages curbs alright - mostly when she bumps into things, it's things right beside her that she turns and bonks.

Thinking of giving her more nosework practice, then figuring out some way to incorporate scent detection into her house navigation, but not quite sure how I'm going to implement that yet...
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Old November 24th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Wow a cutie for sure.

A couple of suggestions that come to mind are
1 - try not to rearrange the location of stuff too much after you place them in the new house.
2 - maybe use a 'bad scent' around places she should not go to. (perhaps eucalyptus or mint) and a good scent for areas that are permitted.

Good luck!!
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