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Old 01-03-2019, 03:54 PM #1
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Default Adopting a blind dog

Hey all!

Well, I MIGHT be adding to the fur family soon. I lost my beloved husky in Oct 2017 and have had no interest in adopting another dog, I still have his brother so I am fine. I am not currently actively looking...

However, I volunteer for this rescue and saw on their site they had a blind dog, and the more I read about him and saw pics/videos, the more he stole my heart. I went through the process and got approved to adopt. I finally get to meet him this weekend to see what I think before deciding.

I've never had a blind dog before but have long wanted a special needs pet. He seems like such a doll from everything I've read but then his foster mom tells me he has some issues to be aware of... I am fine with the first one because I think it's a lot related to his food and environment... but the second could be an issue, because I have a disabled sibling that I care for as job

I am a dog trainer but have not worked personally with special needs dogs. I also have not done much training at all since my dog died. Anyway, has anyone here had a blind dog? Do you think the following issues are related to his environment in the foster home or something about him in general that may be harder to fix?

Issue 1-- He poops often, even in his cage. While I completely expect this in a new environment, she said he's been in foster with her for months and this is still an issue. I know he lives with 4 dogs and 4 people and she and her hubby leave him outside when they go to work, he also likely eats various foods as fosters tend to eat whatever is donated. I feel like with me working from home and sticking to one food, this could be an "Easy fix" but I'm unsure as maybe it's common in special needs dogs?

Issue 2-- He supposedly lunges/bites people often. She told me of several instances and one involved a trainer. She said he has not drawn blood but he gets like this often with new people. I've trained aggressive dogs before, but again, none that are special needs. With him unable to see, I can understand being easily spooked, so is this something that sounds un-fixable or could it again be related to her and the environment?

I am glad she is letting me meet him for a few hours this weekend before even having him meet my other dog. I will do a lot of observing and such but just was looking for feedback on people who may have had special needs dogs OR just in general, what you might do?

Again, I'm not actively looking so "find a different dog" is not happening right now. It's him or none for now. Thanks for any help you can give me.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:03 PM #2
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Default Re: Adopting a blind dog

Not sure if this is helpful, but I had a dog who went blind about a year before she died. She did sometimes bite people when she was startled but never in an aggressive way, more of a protective thing. She didn't know they were there and they scared her and she reacted. But she went through that biting stage for maybe 3 months and then she became "used" to being blind, and my cat, my oldest one, took on being a seeing eye cat for her all on her own and would groom her and bop her on the head gently with her chin when she was finished and would lead her to the food and such, and they got on quite well like that for the last year of my dogs life. Kit
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:05 PM #3
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Default Re: Adopting a blind dog

Thanks Kit

I was thinking it's probably related to that and his foster mom said she is nervous when he meets new people, so he is probably picking up on it. I think it's potentially trainable but I'll have to observe him myself I guess.

I kinda was wondering if my current dog would be like his seeing eye dog, if they naturally take on that role, thanks for your input
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:22 PM #4
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Smile Re: Adopting a blind dog

I'm not a dog trainer. But my wife & I have always had dogs. I used to enjoy reading the dog training books of Brian Kilcommons. And what I recall from reading his, as well as other dog trainers' books, is that dogs have a natural instinct not to foul their nesting areas. That's why they can be trained not to go in our homes. Dogs that are kept in crates or cages to the point where they are forced to do their business in the crate can lose this instinct. And once it's been lost it can be difficult to re-instill it.

I don't recall you mentioning what the breed is or how old it is. I can't speak authoritatively to the question of him lunging & biting. We live in an area where lots of people have dogs, especially smaller dogs since there are lots of condos & apartments in our neighborhood. There have occasionally been blind dogs we have encountered & none of them lunged or bit. So, personally, my non-professional thought would be that this dog's lunging & biting may or may not be related to the fact that it's blind. It may simply be an aggressive dog that also happens to be blind. Since you're a dog trainer, though, you'll be in a good position to judge what's going on & how best to deal with it... much better that most potential owners would likely be. Good luck... let us know how it goes!
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:32 PM #5
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Default Re: Adopting a blind dog

I'm sorry, I forgot that info
He's guessed to be 2 years old.... and he's a husky mix. No idea what the mix.

I'll for sure keep you posted
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:06 PM #6
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Default Re: Adopting a blind dog

DP, you might want to PM eskielover?
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:42 PM #7
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Default Re: Adopting a blind dog

Iím not a dogtrainer but a very experienced small animal veterinary surgeon latterly in the charity sector where I handle /treat/approve (or occasionally not) for rehoming/ extensively interview and home visit prospective adoptees etc
Iím interested in the type of blindness which I assume is hereditory?
History/reason for being in foster care/general condition/ behaviour /social skills with humans and other companion animals /does the dog play /sex/age at which neutered /diet/size of and reason for caging/does it cage guard/does it show happiness/-pricked ears tail wagging rolling over for belly rub etc
Sorry ling list I could go on....
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:16 PM #8
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Default Re: Adopting a blind dog

If you meet this dog and still want to take it on then maybe it would also be prudent to have your dog meet this dog on neutral territory like a park. They could both be on leads for protection at first. See how they like each other.
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Old 01-04-2019, 03:19 PM #9
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Default Re: Adopting a blind dog

I think this dog knows how to choose his owner.
Iím sorry that I canít add any helpful insight.

A question is pinning my head. Does this doggie have any other special need, apart from the blindness? I was thinking that if he has his brain sane, the biting thing is something that can be overcome, especially in your hands.
Good luck, and please, update us about that doggie, from time to time.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:32 AM #10
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Default Re: Adopting a blind dog

Seems I will meet him today instead. I'll keep you posted
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