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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Critter Cafe / Dog Experts - Need some help with Molly
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    Dog Experts - Need some help with Molly

    Connie Lea
    Tue May 14, 2013 5:03 pm
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    Sorry, this is long. We are meeting my aunt and cousins in Slayton, Mn in about two months and I'm trying to get Molly to go outside by herself and back in as we will be gone for about 6 - 8 hours. I really don't want to leave her in the kennel that long, so would like to be able to leave her loose in the house. She is doing really well coming back in. If I put her on the bottom step outside and open the door she will come in the rest of the way - go through the garage, up the couple steps there and into the house. However, she won't go the few feet from the edge of the grass in the dog pen to the steps and also won't go the last few feet in the house and down the steps to the garage. I've tried putting a harness on her with a leash and coaxing her out, but she plants all four feet, same with coming back in from the dog pen. I've tried coaxing her by putting my hand on her head and also her rear and holding a treat in front of her, but she just won't move. I don't really want to drag her, but don't know what else to do. Any suggestions. If all else fails, I can get one of my nieces to take care of her or put puppy pads by the door, as she will use them, but would really like for her to be able to go out on her own. Thanks for your help.
    K9 Owned
    Tue May 14, 2013 9:39 pm
    Forum Host
    Connie Lea wrote:
    Sorry, this is long. We are meeting my aunt and cousins in Slayton, Mn in about two months and I'm trying to get Molly to go outside by herself and back in as we will be gone for about 6 - 8 hours. I really don't want to leave her in the kennel that long, so would like to be able to leave her loose in the house. She is doing really well coming back in. If I put her on the bottom step outside and open the door she will come in the rest of the way - go through the garage, up the couple steps there and into the house. However, she won't go the few feet from the edge of the grass in the dog pen to the steps and also won't go the last few feet in the house and down the steps to the garage. I've tried putting a harness on her with a leash and coaxing her out, but she plants all four feet, same with coming back in from the dog pen. I've tried coaxing her by putting my hand on her head and also her rear and holding a treat in front of her, but she just won't move. I don't really want to drag her, but don't know what else to do. Any suggestions. If all else fails, I can get one of my nieces to take care of her or put puppy pads by the door, as she will use them, but would really like for her to be able to go out on her own. Thanks for your help.


    No expert but just a couple of thoughts.
    She has been through a great many changes in the past few months and this is a new place to her. I'd be inclined to relax a bit and see how she goes in the next couple of weeks. Not being sighted it will take her longer to get accustomed to a new place and learn her way around.

    You can also do things like keep the other dogs in the house (for the purposes of this exercise) and put her in the dog pen. Then lay out a series of small treats (maybe her meal) along the route to come in. Do this before meal times so she has some motivation to follow the trail back in to the house and wait it out for as long as you can stand it providing you can keep an eye on her to insure her safety. It wouldn't hurt to put especially awesome treats in the areas she won't currently do. Do this a couple or few times a day then also keeping the other dogs in a different place bait the trail outside to the pen for a few days. See how that goes.

    If she doesn't come in and you go and get her make sure you pick up the treats that you previously laid. Don't reward the fearfulness! Actually - never reward what you don't want to see. Period. Saying things like "Aw, poor baby, it's ok" and the like is almost instinctive for us to want to do to comfort the dog but is just increasing the likelihood of the behaviour continuing. It is a reward.

    I wouldn't force it or drag her as I think that would just frighten her.

    She should be fine in the house in her crate for 8 hours and if she will use a pee pad then that is a decent alternative. From what you have said I'm guessing it is fear on her part that stops her from navigating her way at the moment. Because she is so good about being blind it is easy to forget that her world is darker and she has one less sense to guide her. Go easy on yourself. It will happen.
    Connie Lea
    Wed May 15, 2013 9:44 am
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    Thanks K9. As usual, you have some great ideas. I know I should be a little more patient. She just does so good, that I think she can do everything. She does great on a leash outside, just won't walk on a leash in the house or dog pen. Also have to carry her outside to go for a walk, but once outside, she is fine.
    Pot Scrubber
    Wed May 15, 2013 10:55 pm
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    My old 16 year old dog Moose has slowly gone blind over the last year and now he can't see 6 inches past his nose. He has fallen in the swimming pool twice in the last 5-6 weeks and would have drowned if I wasn't there to see it happen. There just comes a time when you need to keep them under constant watch or on a leash for their own safety.

    He knows his way around the apartment and does very well by sniffing where he wants to go but change confuses him so I won't even move a potted plant or a piece of furniture or anything out of place. The poor baby isn't scared he is just confused why he suddenly can't see where he is going. He has diabetes and gets insulin shots everyday but is still active and alert in almost every other way.

    I think it would be wise to just leave Molly alone so as not to stress her out while visitors and strange things are happening around her. She is in a fright mode and she still isn't comfortable moving around in the new living circumstances.

    It might sound insensitive on my part, but I think she is better off being crated when not supervised properly by people who know her habits well. Trust me when I say she will be less stressed being in a small space where she knows where she is and has easy access to food and water and her favorite blanket.
    Connie Lea
    Thu May 16, 2013 7:54 am
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    Thanks Potsie. I'm so glad you were there when Moose fell in the pool. We have been putting Molly in her kennel when we have to leave for a couple hours. She doesn't like it much, probably because she was kept in a kennel before we got her and I don't know for how long. However, I don't think OOPS had her too long, because she had just had her shots, grooming and nine teeth pulled the week before we got her. I had also gone on a couple blind web sites provided by Saralaya and moving furniture was one of the things they warned you against. I also think Molly has been blind for quite awhile, as she has adjusted to it so well. Anyway, thanks so much for your suggestions.
    K9 Owned
    Thu May 30, 2013 3:46 pm
    Forum Host
    How is she doing now Connie? Any improvement in the going in and out?
    Connie Lea
    Thu May 30, 2013 5:27 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Thanks for asking K9. I have to carry her out to go potty, but afterwards she goes all the way back in by herself, with me opening both doors. Occasionally I'll let her go through the dog doors by herself. She doesn't have a problem with them; it's just that I have to open the doors for me. She's only been going in by herself the last few days, so after she does that for a few more days I'll work with getting her to go out by herself. I did babysteps putting her a couple feet from the door and gradually increasing the distance. On another note we've been letting her wander around outside by herself while I've been weeding and other gardening. She's getting pretty brave - has gone clear down by the barn and another time down by the machine shed probably about 300'. Once in awhile we'll have to go after her, but most of the time she comes back by herself. Sometimes when I think she's gotten pretty far away, I'll call her. Most of the time she will come when I call and of course she gets lots of praise then. We are just so proud of her. She is amazing.
    K9 Owned
    Thu May 30, 2013 5:55 pm
    Forum Host
    Excellent! I'm so proud of you two as well as Molly!

    How is she getting on with the other pups now? Are they more accustomed to her or are they shutting her out a bit?
    Is she still your husbands lapdog?

    I love this story btw.
    Saralaya
    Thu May 30, 2013 7:28 pm
    Forum Host
    It IS indeed an excellent story and you guys are terrific! I'm so glad to hear how she has progressed with her independence. I would also love to know if the other dogs are more accepting of her and if she is still "Daddy's girl"?
    Connie Lea
    Thu May 30, 2013 8:01 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Thanks K9 and Saralaya. The other dogs still pretty much ignore her. I don't think they are jealous though. They all get more than their share of attention. The benefits of being retired. She is still her daddy's girl, of which I am so thankful. She does love Mom's belly rubs. Whenever I go to pick her up from bed in the morning or walk by her chair, she turns over so I can rub her tummy. I can't believe we were ever concerned about adopting a blind dog. She is a snap compared to Zoey as a puppy. I don't ever want to go through that again.
    Krislady
    Fri May 31, 2013 6:06 am
    Forum Host
    Connie, I'm so glad it's going well! icon_smile.gif
    Connie Lea
    Fri May 31, 2013 9:02 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Thanks Kris. I just remembered that with my daughter with Downs Syndrome you have to break each task down into tiny steps. However, I went to bed early last night so DH took her out. She wouldn't come back in for him. Not surprising since none of the dogs mind him. They know they don't have to.
    Krislady
    Fri May 31, 2013 12:40 pm
    Forum Host
    Connie, I think that's exactly it.

    One of the guys at the training place we're using has a daughter with Downs, and he said teaching her was very much the same - even to the extent where they use "marker" training. icon_confused.gif Apparently, in human medical circles, they don't like to call it clicker training. icon_wink.gif
    K9 Owned
    Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:03 pm
    Forum Host
    Connie Lea wrote:
    Thanks Kris. I just remembered that with my daughter with Downs Syndrome you have to break each task down into tiny steps. However, I went to bed early last night so DH took her out. She wouldn't come back in for him. Not surprising since none of the dogs mind him. They know they don't have to.


    Strange how that works isn't it? icon_lol.gif

    Don has been volunteering/working recently at a golf range with autistic kids. He is loving it even though it works out to 13 hour days and I get stuck with the packing (but that's a bi*ch for another day icon_smile.gif )
    He still walks the dogs at 6 but I do mid morning and afternoons. It is truly amazing at the difference in Dawson. He walks beautifully on a leash with me and comes when he is called when he is off leash. Actually - it's more impressive than that, he tears towards me like his tail is on fire. I still get trumped by squirrels and racoons though icon_rolleyes.gif

    I haven't done anything special other than to expect compliance which he gives. I watched Don walk him down the street the other day and had to giggle. He looked like one of those cartoons of a guy airborne while his dog forges ahead. icon_lol.gif
    Connie Lea
    Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:53 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Kris, I like that marker training instead of clicker training. They must have started that after my daughter was in school though as I hadn't heard of it. My daughter is now 42. She was easy to teach though as from the time she was a little bitty thing - her key words were "me do it".

    K9 isn't it funny how the dogs don't listen to these big macho guys. Dawson has come a long ways since you first got him. And, of course squirrels and racoons will always come first.
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