rescued blind dog(st bernard)

Share your favorite training tips, ideas and methods with other Positively members!

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 7:49 pm

rescued blind dog(st bernard)

Post by alvord72 » Fri May 11, 2012 7:58 pm

Hi, I just rescued a St. Bernard today, and it's blind. Took me a few minutes to figure it out, but well he is. So, I've had big dogs before, not a problem. But....I've never had a blind one. It seems like when walking him anywhere if I let him push against my leg he's fine. He's not really good with steps or curbs, he actually fell into a drain grate before I caught him. When we approach him we talk to him and let him smell us before walking past or touching him. So now what? Do I try and teach him basic commands, or just be happy that's he's basically well behaved. He is full grown but I don't know how old. Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Angela

Posts: 1028
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:18 pm
Location: San Diego CA

Re: rescued blind dog(st bernard)

Post by ckranz » Fri May 11, 2012 8:06 pm

Any dog blind or deaf will always benefit from training. Certainly you will have your obstacles but the training process itself goes a long way in really developing a good bond with your dog. For many of the basic behaviors like sit and down using smelly treats (like fish based treats) you may be able to use he sense of smell to help lead him in to a sit or down, similarly to how "sit" happens or down in a very natural manner.

User avatar
Posts: 10753
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: rescued blind dog(st bernard)

Post by Nettle » Sat May 12, 2012 4:39 am

Would be a very good idea to get him checked out by a vet to ascertain whether he has any sight at all and how good his hearing is. It sounds as if the people who passed him on to you have not had him vet checked at all, so while you are there it would be wise to get everything else checked too, including bloods for organ function. Then you know exactly what you are dealing with, whether he is in any pain and what his future may hold.

Only then is it time to think about training, as he may be too unwell to do much. Even 'Sit' can be painful to a poorly dog.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog


User avatar
Horace's Mum
Posts: 1129
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: rescued blind dog(st bernard)

Post by Horace's Mum » Mon May 14, 2012 3:44 pm

Speaking as an owner of a deaf dog, with many friends with blind or deaf or blind AND deaf dogs, there is no reason to treat him any different to a normal dog once you know he is healthy in himself. You may like to teach him things like "step up" to let him know when there is a kerb or something, but generally they adapt extremely well. It depends more on his previous history as to how well he copes with moving into a new home, just be prepared to give him lots of time to get to know his environment and maybe just do the same walk for a couple of weeks so he can develop a good mental map of his local area. But being blind is no reason not to train, it does not affect intelligence and all dogs benefit from some level of training if only to help them bond with you and keep them out of trouble.

Post Reply