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What to Expect While Raising a Blind Dog

Updated on July 29, 2014

Great Dogs

Although a dog is blind, they are still able to function properly and live life to the fullest. One sense may be gone, but these dogs use their other senses to fill in the missing one. For any owner considering adopting a puppy or full grown dog that is blind, he or she first needs to understand his or her level of patience with dogs, especially if one has never raised a dog before. Raising a puppy with normal sight can prove to be difficult and time consuming alone. Because a dog cannot see does not mean they cannot be happy at the same time. These dogs can still live normally but with a few limitations.

How Dogs Become Blind

There are many ways a dog becomes blind. It can occur from a wound to the eye, or a dog can simply be born without sight. When this happens, either the eye is surgically removed and then sewn shut, or a white foggy color spreads over the pupil. Some dogs only have one blind eye, which can cause them to also behave in the same way a dog with two blind eyes would.

Foggy Pupils

Source

Eyes Removed

A blind dog with a guide
A blind dog with a guide | Source

Training Them

Blind dogs can be difficult to train, but this does not mean they cannot be trained at all. Every owner expects the long process of house training a new puppy. Every dog is different, though. Some can take up to a year and some as little as six months. If a blind puppy has not learned every nook and cranny of their new home yet, it can take much longer than a normal dog to become house trained. Of course with bigger homes, it can take even longer, in case the dog needs to alert their owner of needing to go outside by standing near the door. Owners must be prepared for many accidents and using an effective method of letting their dog know when they have done wrong.

Playing

Dogs with no sight are just as playful as other dogs, even if playing fetch can be a little difficult for some. When teaching one of these dogs to play fetch, it is best to find a toy that can be heard when hitting the ground, such as a heavy ball or something solid rather than a stuffed toy. Some blind dogs may be uncomfortable running around since they cannot see what they may run into while running.

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Dog's Energy Level

Some dogs without sight remain highly energetic while some experience less energy. They move slowly through a house or a backyard, especially after running into tables and chairs. There are special collars made with a plastic or metal piece circling the dog's periphery allowing them to move without fear of hitting anything. They may move slowly at times, but as soon as they want to play, the energy level can spike up.

A Special Collar

Source

Sensitive Hearing

With one sense missing, blind dogs have a heightened sense of hearing. This may cause them to be very sensitive to loud noises. My sister's dog is very sensitive whenever she plays the clarinet and begins howling until she stops. A blind dog may also show they are sensitive to different sounds by whining or barking.

Communication

These dogs may become incapable of jumping onto furniture if they are allowed to sit on the couch or bed. Whenever they wish to sit with you, they may choose a certain way to communicate with you so you understand their wishes or needs. This can be standing up while supporting themselves with paws on the cushions or by simply whining in front of your feet. Whining can become their sole source of communicating with the owner.

Blind dogs may bark more compared to dogs who are able to see. If they hear the smallest noise they do not recognize, they may think someone is approaching the house and want to bark. Sometimes they may bark and the owner will have no idea why. This, of course, depends on the dog and his or her tolerance with unknown noises.

These dogs may often approach humans and sniff their legs to learn who is sitting/standing where and if they are someone new in the house or a resident.

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    • Samantha Partin profile image
      Author

      Samantha Partin 3 years ago from Etowah, Tennessee

      Oh! I will definitely read your hub. I was basing this off my sister's dog who went blind while he was a puppy. He suffered an injury to his left eye and almost had it removed. I'm glad your dog is doing well. :)

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I am living with a blind dog, my 9-year-old female mini schnauzer who went blind a year ago and last month had enucleation surgery to prevent pain. You can read about 'our' adjustment period on my hub, "When Your Adult Dog Goes Blind", and I will soon be publishing a follow-up about her surgical procedure.

      There have been some changes (due to her age and temperament), but she's still my sweet and beautiful Puppy Girl, and there are improvements every day. Thanks for reminding readers that blind dogs need love, too.

      Voted Up++/Shared

      Jaye