We're Back!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by DaniG, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. DaniG Well-Known Member

    Holy moly it has been a while since we've posted, and done any real training. I certainly have not been in the mindset - Duke has had a mess of health problems. He had a stroke (actual stroke, aka vascular accident, not vestibular disease for anyone familiar with that), most likely caused by a splenic lesion so he had to have his spleen removed (thankfully it was benign), and now he was recently diagnosed with Uveal Cystic Disease (an eye condition that Golden Retrievers like to get where they make cysts in their eyes... he will go blind eventually). Good lord! And to top it all off I'm getting married in a couple of weeks, so training has been low on our to-do list!

    Now that he is recovered, we had our first real training session in months and boy did it feel good! Right before all of this started we were just starting to dabble in freestyle, so we went outside and played around with some music and teaching newish behaviors :-D. I forgot how quickly he picks up on things! Super pumped to be back here and probably start posting more videos of him and Lin-Zee!

    And, on the topic of blind dogs, anyone have any advice for preparing a dog to go blind? I know several of you have blind/deaf dogs, so any help/advice is greatly appreciated :-D
    brodys_mom likes this.

  2. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Welcome back! Poor boy, so many health problems being thrown at him! I'm glad he's feeling better, although that's unfortunate that he is going blind. I don't have any experience with blind dogs, but you are correct, there are a few people on here who have lots of experience with them.

    I'm glad your back training again! It's so much fun for the dogs, and for the trainer! :)
    DaniG and brodys_mom like this.
  3. Mutt Experienced Member

    That's certainly not nothing! Poor Duke :( glad he is feeling better.
    And of course congratulations with your wedding :)

    I don't have a blind dog, but I would focus on his other senses (mainly hearing but also smell).
    So get the verbal cues down, I also have understood that blind dogs quickly adapt when you for instance move the furniture (though not moving it is always the easiest).

    Ooh and welcome back of course!
    southerngirl, DaniG and brodys_mom like this.
  4. DaniG Well-Known Member

    Thanks!

    I have already tried forcing him to focus on verbal cues rather than visual ones, but he is SO dependent on his visual cues I sometimes think he's hard of hearing (or maybe just has selective hearing... :ROFLMAO:). Even on the behaviors that he has had down pat for years, like "Down" which we had an automatic down on a table when we originally trained in agility years ago, he sits and looks at me like I'm speaking a foreign language (which to be fair, I am ;)). I need to keep being reminded how much more important scent is than any other sense for them though, because as much as I am able to explain that to other people, I seem to forget the importance of scent with my own dog.
    Mutt and southerngirl like this.
  5. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Maybe if he doesn't respond well to verbal cues, you could try using commands that he can hear, but you don't make with your voice? That's obviously not always convenient, since you always have your voice on you! :) Maybe you could try teaching him whistle commands instead of voice commands? Different pitches and patterns would mean different commands?
    DaniG likes this.
  6. southerngirl Honored Member

    Welcome back. I'm sorry to hear that Duke has had so many health issues lately and congratulations on the wedding.
    DaniG likes this.
  7. DaniG Well-Known Member

    Great idea!
  8. sara Moderator

    Ok well I have deafies... one of which cant see well... but that's nothing like what Duke's going through. I woyld start with putting a certain scent by the stairs and other danger areas. You dont really need to mark anything else but you do want to associate a certain scent with danger. That you can easily do yo help you all adjust to his blindness when the time comes. Make sure you use a scent never used in or for anything else. The other thing you may want to teach solidly is a stop command of some kind... incase he's running towards something dangerous. Teaching him directional cues will be helpful as well. Dogs scent map so he really wont have trouble as long as his humans are there for him.
    southerngirl and Mutt like this.
  9. DaniG Well-Known Member

    He already has a pretty solid "Wait" which to him is "stop whatever you are doing and wait for me to give you further instruction" and he is really quite good at it, so that will be very helpful :-D

    I like the idea of the danger scent! I don't have to worry about stairs too much but DEFINITELY good idea for sides of doorways/furniture.
    brodys_mom and southerngirl like this.

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