Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Training a Blind Dog

Training a Blind Dog

           
            When training your blind dog, make sure to use positive reinforcement and consistency in your commands and methods. A clicker provides a blind dog with a
Consistent sound that she can associate with a positive reward.

     Clicker training promotes catching behavior; when your dog performs a good behavior, mark it with a click and reward her with a small, healthy treat. Eventually the dog will offer the behavior on her own. Then you can attach the cue.

         Many of the commands you will teach your blind dog will help her get around your house and yard safely. “ I teach ‘watch’ when something is in the dog’s way. They learn to stop when I say that, and feel for something in front of them. “ I also teach ‘step up’ and ‘step down’ for stairs and curbs.”
           
       Using simple, clear, and consistent commands will help your dog immensely in the learning process. Consider attending a 7 to 9 week intensive at home training program. You will be guided along in the learning process and we are always on hand to assist with any questions you might have.

 Approaching and Greeting a Blind Dog


            Because a blind dog cannot see you, it is important to remember that she may be a little hesitant or defensive at first. “Most blind dogs are very sensitive to movement. People generally want to put their hand in the dog’s face or pet them right away.” Our head trainer, Brooke Fagel recommends a gentler, gradual approach to greeting a blind dog. “A blind dog – as well as a seeing dog – should always be allowed to approach a person at her own will, be given time to smell the air and pick up the scent of the person,” she says.

            It is important to make a little bit of noise on your approach to your blind dog, this lets them know you are there, then let them sniff your hand. Children should always be taught how to approach a dog properly, but this is especially true with visually impaired dogs. Teaching a child to greet a blind dog in a calm, gentle manner will make for a comfortable experience for both kid and canine.

            Brooke Fagel advised to introduce your blind dog to other pets, while the other pets are on leash, leaving the blind dog free to roam and explore. Having the seeing animals on-leash can give you control of them, while your unleashed blind pooch can be allowed to flee if scared.  If she becomes frightened the last thing we want to do in this new training process is to have her flight response compromised. Brooke also suggests fitting your pets collar with tags that gingle. The blind dogs can hear them, and no one can get snuck up on.


Additional Training Topics to Cover: Living with  blind dog, Prepping your house for a visually impaired dog, socialization is key to having a newly blind dog, toys and new games for you and your blind dog, new training tools to communicate with your blind dog.

PalmSpringsDogTraining Serving Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage & Indio. 
760.219.8391
www.PalmSpringsDogTraining.com
Brooke Fagel, Head Trainer

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