Study: Blind dogs and quality of life

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Carina Josefine 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #3963


    Study on blind dogs and quality of life seeking more participants.

    My name is Carina Josefine Thorbjørnsdatter Iversen. I live in Norway, and work as a dog trainer and behaviour consultant. In June 2017, my own dog went suddenly blind from SARDS. I soon connected with other people that had experienced the same. Many owners said their dogs seemed depressed, fearful, nervous and/or bored. I wanted to use my competence as a behaviour consultant to help these dogs and their owners.

    “Blind Dogs – Quality of life” started in January 2018. The goal is to assess the impact of mentally stimulating activities and confidence building exercises on dogs that have gone suddenly blind. I also wish to give veterinarians material that enable them to give their clients with blind dogs advice on the mental health. Good quality of life requires us to take care of both the physical and mental health. Eighty percent of the current participants report that they got no advice on mental health from the veterinarians who diagnosed their dogs.

    How does it work?
    I ask for basic information about each dog, such as his or her favourite activities, their fears, their personality traits, how they are coping with blindness, what works well, and what does not. I write each dog their individual plan, consisting of confidence building exercises and mentally stimulating activities such as nose work, problem solving, body coordination and trick training/obedience. We will also work with any problems or behavioural issues individually. Throughout the duration of the study, the participants will answer four questionnaires, which will give me important information on their progress. I wish to follow each dog for a minimum of six months. Participating in the study is completely free of charge.

    So far, the results are promising
    I would like to include some testimonials from current participants.

    “I imagine on my own I would have made a safe and comfortable future for Britt. And maybe her life would have been fun eventually one day. But through your words of encouragement and with the plan you developed I felt like I had tools I could use right away to improve Britt’s life and my life. You have made Britt’s blindness become just a small hiccup in our lives instead of a life-changing event. Britt is already back to her old laughing/snorting happy disposition and I am so grateful.”
    – Lenora and Britt (15), SARDS

    “I feel that this really brought Daisy out of her shell since going blind. She is very eager to learn. (…) She is wagging her tail again. This makes my heart happy “
    – Megan and Daisy (4), SARDS

    “Even with 20+ years of dog training experience, I felt lost and powerless when Andi went blind. It was overwhelming. Having a plan allows me to set goals for him and give us “projects” to work on. I really enjoy reporting on his progress to my loved ones as well. The plan empowers me, and makes me feel like I’m actively “doing something” for him to keep us his quality of life”
    – Karen and Andi (7), SARDS

    If your dog has gone suddenly blind, and you wish to join the study, you can read more about it here:

    Or contact me by mail:

    Thank you for reading 🙂

  • #4130

    I got one spot open for the may group (starting 30th of april) 🙂

    If your dog has gone fairly suddenly blind within the last 6 months, or is having trouble adapting (regardless on how long it has been blind), this might be for you 🙂

  • #4195

    We got one spot available for june 😀

  • #4217

    I am opening “recruitment” for august very soon. Have a look and see if it can be something for you and your dog:

    We have also gotten around to making a facebook pagem for those who wants to see a bit of what we do :

    Send and email at, and we can talk 🙂

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