DO'S & DON'TS
This is far from a comprehensive list!You may need to adapt for your own dogs specific needs, or think of lots of things that you can add. The following are just the important starting points!:
Do be confident and positive
Do teach a "safety word" as soon as possible
Do set high expectations - your dog can still do the things he used to do! (unless other health conditions are an issue)
Do remember that a period of depression is normal for adult dogs losing sight, so you need to be the positive influence
Do start walking again as soon as possible, but stay on the lead until recall is good, and safety word work has started
Do learn to chat to your dog, or sing, or hum, as you walk so that your dog knows where you are!
Do remember that you can contact us for support or advice
Don't bother buying protective devices, or bubble wrapping furniture - unless your dog has other health issues which require it
Don't prevent bumping...your dog is learning to navigate
Don't pick your dog up to move it....this just disorientates and the dog has to start re-navigating
Don't use essential oils, or orher smells, to "help" your dog know where furniture is! Your dog already knows exactly how that furniture smells....adding something you can smell too is just overpowering. And confusing!
Don't forget you are now your dogs eyes so need to warn of upcoming dangers or other dogs approaching
Don't stop your dog socialising
Don't start off-lead work until you are certain of recall
Don't call your dog directly to you if there is an obstacle in the way....blind dogs recall in a straight line to the voice and cannot see hedges, streams or anything else in their way
Don't underestimate what your dog can learn to do
....and don't forget to get in touch if you need some support
Blind Dogs: Enabled exists to help owners gain the confidence to let their blind dogs run free, and we work on a one-to-one basis.However, there are thousands of blind dogs with as many owners- all of whom have faced the worry of a newly blind dog in their family - and we know that many of you enjoy the community feel of online support groups.There are multiple options available, all of them varying in tone and approach.
I am happy to recommend the Blind Dogs group on Facebook has a large friendly membership who are very supportive, and the panel of moderators includes trained behaviourists and vet nurses, so there are usually nuggets of sound advice.Please do bear in mind, though, that large memberships offer multitudes of opinions and styles....some or none of which may be appropriate for you.
Find a link to the group on our Further Information page