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As I have mentioned before, when I owned my first blind dog there was almost no useful information available. Lets be honest.... there was no internet! (if you spoke with one of my daughters, she might tell you that I pre-date the printing press!!)

Nowadays we have the opposite problem of too much information, much of it conflicting, some of it horribly inaccurate, and a small percentage which can only be classed as dangerous.

Sifting through the mire is hard work, so I was delighted to find an excellent article outlining behavioural reactions in blind dogs which is both informative, factual and a useful tool in understanding how your dog ticks. The author, Caroline Levin, has a very similar approach to my own. We may disagree on a point or two, but that should always be a basis for healthy discussion!

I thoroughly recommend reading the full extract from her book (see link below) but in the meantime here is her paragraph on "dependency", which perfectly expresses my own view.

Dependency Some dogs also exhibit an increased tendency toward dependency. These dogs become increasingly hesitant to perform tasks for themselves. They may be barely willing to walk across a room, let alone attempt a flight of stairs. In these situations, the owner finds himself doing more and more for the dog. Both blind and sighted dogs can become masters at manipulating their people. “Dependency” is a state which, unknowingly, can be rewarded by the owner. For many of us, our pets awaken our maternal, caring instincts. It is normal to want to help our blind animals. So while it is important to recognize handicaps the blind dog might have, it is equally important not to “coddle” the dog. “Coddling” is the enemy to any progress your dog might make. This is a sentiment repeated over and over, by blind-dog owners. Do not allow your dog to become dependent upon you. Once coddling stops, and training new skills begins, your dog can regain confidence in himself and the world around him.

Taken from:

an excerpt is from: Living With Blind Dogs: A Resource Book and Training Guide for the Owners of Blind and Low-Vision Dogs by Caroline Levin. Full article at:

Or why not buy the book! >>

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