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rich223

dealing with a blind hunting dog

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rich223

My 9 year old Brittany just went blind just wondering if anyone here had to deal with a blind hunting dog? Did you continue to hunt them or not? She can get around the house and backyard with no problem but I don’t know how she would do in the field i am thinking not to good.

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Bloodhound

My bloodhound was a working dog, man trailing and body recovery work.  When she went blind, I retired her and she lived the remainder of her life at the house with the back yard as her domain.  She was comfortable there and there were no dangers or surprises.  We tried a couple of times to take her to the park or the river bottom, both were a difficult experience for her so I kept her at home and she had the run of the house and yard and got around pretty well.  

 

I would suggest you retirement. 

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smash20

I can't speak from experience, but I think being put in unfamiliar surroundings would be pretty frightening for her.  

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gunsrus

You have my sympathies . Only you can determine but I would keep her in familiar surroundings .

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C.J.L.

Here's Jenny, the little Brit in the pic with her best buddy Tuck. Truly best friends.   She went blind at 8 or 9. Sweetest dog I ever had and super soft mouth retrieves. Not the worlds best gun dog but she was a wonderful dog to have.  She pointed her last woodcock all on her own 2 years ago a few month before I put her down. The other two dogs were in the bush and Jenny and I were on the two track. She pointed that bird a few feet into the bush just off the track and I walked her in to make the retrieve. Brings tears to my eyes today thinking about it.  I'd keep her on a 20' lead and in Montana I'd walk her in on the points of the other dogs. She would lock up as soon as got the birdy smell she liked so much.  In MI and WI we would walk the trails while the other dogs ran the woods.  At home she followed Tuck around and he made sure she was OK.  We both miss her still.

 

Your dog still wants to go.  A long lead will keep him in contact with you and he will manage the best he can.  Sad as it may be. 

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Jack L

My first Brit, Maggie went blind at 6 1/2 from progressive retinal atrophy .

 

 I hunted her twice the next year when the Duke pup was a knuckle head. Those went okay. Then her eye got abraided by bean plants she ran through. After that healed I tried to hunt her on a lead and it was impossible.  She came in the truck on every single hunt after that and got to carry birds around when  we would get back to the truck , but she never hunted again til she passed at 14. Even at the truck you had to watch her as she would run into the tailpipe or nearby fences and come close to hurting herself.  They just can't avoid anything and are at risk of injury all the time.

 

I'm sorry for you and Your pup.

 

 

 

 

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Cooter Brown

This is a sad thing, but I really don't see how the dog can avoid injury while hunting, especially to her eyes.  If you're hunting in any kind of cover at all she'll have constant problems.

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C.J.L.

Jenny would bump into things now and again but never got hurt.  She figured out how to be careful and again she was on a lead while out in the field and I'd guide her.  Plus we walked roads or cow tracks. The worse though are holes, ditches, drop offs of any sort.  They can't see it coming and will take a header when their front legs just loose where earth is.  Going up or down the stairs is an adventure also.  They feel their way up and down.  That was a little scary for her and I'd carry her most times

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SelbyLowndes

I've never had one go blind.  All I can see is retirement in the back yard or somewhere the dog would come to know and feel safe in.  Maybe a hunting trip on a lead, but that would just be dedicated to caring for the animal, and would be a lot more about your feelings than about the dog...SelbyLowndes

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mart

Sorry to hear your dog has lost her sight. Our Brit went through a period when I think she lost most of her vision. The doc said she could still see light but he wasn't sure how much more. We had to turn on lights and snap our fingers to help her find her way from one room to another. He put her on a steroid and her regular doc had her put on a blood pressure med the week before. We're not sure which med worked but most of her vision returned with in a couple weeks. It has since degraded some and it looks like she has some scales on her eyes. She gets around well in the yard and the house but if it's dark she will run into stuff.

 

I'll get her out later this month for some ptarmigan with Jessie. I watch her close to see how she handles an unfamiliar environment. If she has any problems I guess she'll stay in the camper with Etta. That'll make her sad. I took Jessie with me for a ride a couple weeks ago without Willow and Etta said Willow complained quite a bit about being left behind. For now she seems to get around fine in good light but we do notice she seems to progressively be doing worse in low light.

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rich223

I took her for a walk this morning at the farm I thought that she would be able to handle the familiar area since she been running around there since she was 8 weeks old and it became painfully obvious her hunting days are over she was afraid to leave my side and showed no interest in going into cover. Thanks for all the replies I guess I knew it was over along .

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marysburg

I am astounded at how many of us have had a Britt go blind.  We also had a lovely female Britt lose her sight at age 9.  She would get a whiff of something and just take off running, so she always had to be on a leash or checkcord when outdoors..  It was tougher on us  than on her, I think. I'm glad she couldn't see how sad we felt for her, and we made sure she enjoyed each day.  Is this a breed tendency to blindness?

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Bullwinkle

Put a bag over your head and try getting around the farm.

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kgb

Friends had been keeping our dogs for a while and I picked them up yesterday, meeting the first blind dog of my acquaintance.  Cole's owner passed away and he was rescued into his new home.  He stays in the owner's office on the ground floor, when it's time to go out he bumps his nose into specific spots on the door, hallway wall and door sill, then takes a direct path off of the concrete patio into the yard. He knows where the water bucket is located in the yard, and bumps similar spots on his way back to the office.  He's adapted well to his surroundings, I couldn't imagine him navigating anything other than an open field using his owner's voice (and his own nose) to guide him.  

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Cass

I think it's a huge safety concern to ask her to hunt blind.  Mine hacks himself up bad enough with a good set of eyes.  It's not really fair to the dog.  The wonderful thing about dogs is they absolutely love anything you do with them.  Even if birds were their passion for years, they'll have the same amount of passion curling up on top of you on the couch to watch football. 

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