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 Any owners of Blind Huskies?

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Husky Dreams
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Join date : 2014-09-10

PostSubject: Any owners of Blind Huskies?   Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:10 pm

Hi

I am researching the possibility of taking on a blind Husky in the future. Either an older rescue or a young puppy blind from birth.

I think a young puppy blind from birth maybe easier as it will only know what I have taught it and how to behave in the places I have walked it etc.

I know Huskies have a strong prey drive and desire to run, good at jumping fences etc but I'm wondering how being blind would impact that? For example .. Is a puppy still going to have as much interest in learning how to clear a fence it can't see?..is it not just going to learn that it hurts if it runs into it and its something to remember where it is and avoid?

Obviously if it was previously sighted, had memory of where large fields were to run in, it would be more confident walking that route than a blind puppy exploring it for the first time so I relaise they're would be differences between a dog that had previously had sight and lost it but was still in the same environment and able to manage from memory, compared with a young blind puppy learning its way around.

Once it got more confident would it still want to run off if I let it off-lead or would it be more likely to follow closely so I could tell it if there was a danger or obstacles like 'step up' or 'careful' if a fence was coming up or a steep slope etc?

Thank you.

KT
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Kellyb
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Female Join date : 2012-10-29
Location : Montreal, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Any owners of Blind Huskies?   Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:47 pm

1. Why are you opting for a blind dog? You make it sound like you are looking specifically for a blind one. While I understand wanting to help a dog with a disability, why not just take one out of a shelter now, they need your help just as much.

2. Husky off leash is not ideal without a TON of very rigorous training, and even then risky, I would never EVER take a blind dog off leash. The risk is too great.
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Husky Dreams
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PostSubject: Re: Any owners of Blind Huskies?   Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:01 pm

@Kellyb wrote:
1. Why are you opting for a blind dog? You make it sound like you are looking specifically for a blind one. While I understand wanting to help a dog with a disability, why not just take one out of a shelter now, they need your help just as much.

2. Husky off leash is not ideal without a TON of very rigorous training, and even then risky, I would never EVER take a blind dog off leash. The risk is too great.

Thanks I've had sighted rescues and one gone blind just from old age. She has memory to rely on and help her. I'm interested in raising a blind puppy, who may not get a chance to have an home otherwise.

I know Huskies have this strong desire to run I was wondering how blindness would affect this? Does anyone have one and still do the sledding or scootering with it etc?

I'm just researching what's possible and the impact on its instincts.
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courtmacgillivary
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Female Join date : 2014-11-15
Location : Sydney, NS CANADA

PostSubject: Re: Any owners of Blind Huskies?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:29 pm

I own a blind Husky , I adopted her when she was 8 months old and she was not trained at all. It took me months to train her to sit, stay, come and to use the bathroom outside , she walks on the leash along side my other dog no problem but if she didn't have her to guide her she jumps and runs and needs to smell everything. It is not an easy task, she is almost 4 and still like a puppy. They also have very high prey drive. Not knowing this, I took home kittens that I found, and had to keep them in a cage until I found homes for them because the first one she smelled she attacked. She since has killed, a guinea pig, hamster, 2 cats & a crow that was flying a little too low. Despite my attempt to keep her away from them , she always finds a way to get into something. I have also had issues with her getting into cupboards and eating cleaners and rat poison. I know you think you've had a blind dog, you can handle it. But from my experience, and people who I've talked to who also have blind huskies, they're like toddlers, and they don't grow out of it. Childproofing your house is a must and patients are also 100% a necessity !
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PostSubject: Re: Any owners of Blind Huskies?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:53 pm

@courtmacgillivary wrote:
I own a blind Husky , I adopted her when she was 8 months old and she was not trained at all. It took me months to train her to sit, stay, come and to use the bathroom outside , she walks on the leash along side my other dog no problem but if she didn't have her to guide her she jumps and runs and needs to smell everything. It is not an easy task, she is almost 4 and still like a puppy. They also have very high prey drive. Not knowing this, I took home kittens that I found, and had to keep them in a cage until I found homes for them because the first one she smelled she attacked. She since has killed, a guinea pig, hamster, 2 cats & a crow that was flying a little too low. Despite my attempt to keep her away from them , she always finds a way to get into something. I have also had issues with her getting into cupboards and eating cleaners and rat poison. I know you think you've had a blind dog, you can handle it. But from my experience, and people who I've talked to who also have blind huskies, they're like toddlers, and they don't grow out of it. Childproofing your house is a must and patients are also 100% a necessity !

That's interesting. I have seen other blind dogs too and most seemed quieter stay close to owner because they can't see where they are, unless they're in an area they know well. Some if they have another dog stay close to other dog and use it as their guide.

I thought the effects of blindness would result in a calmer more cautious dog.
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courtmacgillivary
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Location : Sydney, NS CANADA

PostSubject: Re: Any owners of Blind Huskies?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:06 pm

Marlee is not cautious at all, she has taken off a few times. It's a big game for her, she darts and doesn't turn back. Her blindness is caused by oversized tear ducts and under developed eyes, so sometimes she can see movements i think, in the house she is calm for the most part now that she is older , until she was about 2 and a half it was non-stop playing and rough housing with whatever dog, person or toy she could beat up loll I'm all for you wanting to get a blind husky , i think it is great .. I just want you to know how it has been for me , as much of a hard time I had learning everything, I wouldn't change a thing .. She is very loving to everyone she meets , aside from small animals (other than dogs & puppies)
.. There was just a lot of things I wish I had of been prepared for prior to adopting her lol I didn't even know she was blind until I took her to the vet.. the previous owner told me her eyes were just small because she was the runt.
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PostSubject: Re: Any owners of Blind Huskies?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:19 pm

Marlee must be able to see enough to know there's nothing in front of her? The dogs I have seen on TV or being rehomed either used another dog as a guide or had things like that Halo thing to stop them bumping into things. I heard of one little dog that used to carry his food bowl round in his mouth to stop him running into things as there would be a noise if the food bowl hit a wall in front of him.

How is she knowing that nothing is in front of her if she runs off fast?
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courtmacgillivary
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PostSubject: Re: Any owners of Blind Huskies?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:35 pm

She runs into things quite often (walls, furniture, open doors, etc.) until she gets used to where she is, once she gets the feel of it she is okay for the most part, until something gets moved. For instance, i have a long narrow hallway that the 2 dogs run back and forth in and play for hours , one day i was cleaning their room and put one of the cages in the hallway and she ran straight into it loll while we are inside i don't think she sees very much. Outside however , i do think you're right , she is able to see enough to avoid trees and poles for the most part , but she has also walked into a large hole in the ground, a hole in the pool deck, the pool, many ditches and ran head on into a car parked in the driveway once. Perhaps I have the one blind husky that is completely fearless and worry free hahah
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GravityM
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Female Join date : 2014-09-19
Location : Temecula, CA

PostSubject: Re: Any owners of Blind Huskies?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:08 pm

Freedom the Blind Siberian Husky: http://youtu.be/qdFm_8FWrk8
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Husky Dreams
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PostSubject: Re: Any owners of Blind Huskies?   Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:37 am

@GravityM wrote:
Freedom the Blind Siberian Husky: http://youtu.be/qdFm_8FWrk8

Wow great video! The dog however was previously sighted for his first 10 years and although he had to re-lean to navigate his way around, he was still in the same environment that he had been previously.

Would a Husky blind from a pup who had just gone there for an holiday be able to navigate that terrain as easily and be as confident to run ahead in the snow like that?

I use a mobility scooter to walk my border collie he runs alongside. I guess I was wondering if a blind husky would be able to run with him? bearing in mind we have more stops and starts, kerbs to go up and down as they'd be running alongside on the pavement. And when we go to the field would I be able to let her off? (more likely to be a female as I have one male dog).

If she can't see what's in front of her (ie how big the field is, how much space she had to run in) how would she know that she could just run and keep running without hitting anything when I let her off?

Sorry about all the questions just want to research this option thoroughly before I start looking for potential dogs to adopt.
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