Communicating with your blind dog

Newly blind dogs can often feel isolated and depressed. Communicating with them will help to reassure them. Communicating with a blind dog can be a bit more of a challenge, but is not difficult once you know a few tricks: –

  • Talk to your dog frequently to let him/her know you are there. Always let them know when you are leaving the room and then when you re-enter the room
  • Make physical contact with your blind dog frequently – but avoid sudden contact which may startle them. Talk to them before making physical contact so that they know you are there
  • Attach bells (eg cat collar bells) to your other pets to help your blind dog know where they are
  • Attach bells to your trouser legs or shoes so your blind dog can know where you are when you are walking around the house – this is also helpful when out walking
  • Stomping or stepping heavily as you approach your dog may make you feel silly but it will help your dog to know you are there, particularly if s/he is also deaf or hard of hearing – they will feel the vibrations as you approach
  • Teach your pet verbal cues such as Stop, Wait, Step Up, Step Down, Left, Right, Danger, Careful, Ouch, Oops, or whatever you feel most comfortable with
  • Use Clicker training – this is particularly useful if your blind dog also has partial hearing loss – sharp clicking sounds maybe easier to distinguish than the spoken word

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