To understand blind dogs’ great memory and the role of memory for blind dogs is helpful to keep and improve blind dogs’ quality-of-life, and teach many tricks and obedience to them.
Memory is most important ability to substitute for the eye
People know dog has incredible ability of a sense of nose, and think dogs would first choose to use their nose if they lost their sight. In fact, dogs first use their memory as substitute for their eye.
Imagine, when you are at home alone, the circuit breaker is suddenly thrown and you can’t see your hand in front of your face. How do you find a flashlight or the breaker panel?
You might search for it recalling where it is and imaging the floor plan of your home and location of furniture, and move avoiding kicking and hitting something, don’t you?
The map of your house is in your head. It is a memory. You first choose and depend on your memory instead of your eyesight. Blind dogs is the same.
Blind dogs enhance memory after they lost their sight because of avoiding danger and protecting themselves. They stock memories from experiences in daily life and use to guard themselves from danger. So things and places that they felt fear or secure must be especially embedded in their memory.
We should avoid putting blind dog in the situation that they might feel fear or anxiety. So we should strive to make vet’s exam a better experience for blind dog as much as possible because he/she can take high quality care without needless stress and medicine and keep their good health throughout life.
Essential exercise for blind dogs – Reduce fear of eye-drop and eye check
I urge you give your blind dog fun and easy exercise to accept vet’s exam and your daily care.
By routine, you can make your blind dog feel secure and help him/her understand and do a difficult behavior
To teach by routine gives blind dog a secure feeling and help him/her understand difficult behavior for blind dog like required off-leash remote handling.
This is our “formal” recall for obedience exam.
Our formal recall routine
- Get Nono into the heel position and take the leash off her collar (Not including the video)
- Say stay cue and jog to the predetermined position (I make noise with jogging and tell her which direction I go)
- Turn to face her
- Say her name and recall cue
- Nono starts to walk to me
- Say “So iiko (Yes! Good girl)” as feedback and tell her where I am
- Tap my right foot to tell her where to get into when she is being closer to me
- She gets into heel position
- Say “Iiko (Good girl)” as feedback
- Put the leash on her collar (Not including the video)
- Say “OK” (Not including the video)
Through you practice using the same routine over and over, your blind dog understands a pattern of his/her behavior and gets feel that you always help/guide him/her by cues at the right time. And he/she can become to do the same behavior irrespective of distance from you.
Blind dogs lost their sight but get a great memory 🙂