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Whiteout

Age Sex Breed Weight
~5 Months Old Male Shepherd Mix 29 lbs

Need to know…
He is blind. He does not have a right eye and currently it is not inflamed. He may need surgery in the future to close the lid. He does have a left eye but it is blind. He does well with learning to navigate his environment. He can be noisy in his crate so he needs a detached home with no shared accommodations. He is a happy puppy but can get overwhelmed in new situations.

Vet Details
  Microchipped
  Vaccinated

     
Has Met Lives with 2 senior dogs Hasn’t met but Children 3+ years and older please
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Details

Whiteout
Hello All – there is no other pup out there like me, I am going to tell you all the amazing things you NEED to know before you adopt me and become my seeing-eye-human.
I am about 5 months old and I am a male shepherd mix, I weigh 29 lbs and I also have been vaccinated, and I am microchipped.
I am blind, I do not have a right eye – right now it is not inflamed but in future surgery may be required on my right eye to close the lid. My left eye was surgically removed as it was becoming inflamed. I do need an adopter who will be committed to being my seeing-eye-person for my whole life. This means you need to help me navigate my environment safely – my foster parents use the leash on me all the time like an umbilical cord to help guide me, and you need to think about things like the stairs which can be a very big safety concern. It took me a long time to learn to use the big stairs in my foster home, going up wasn’t hard but I was scared to come down. I learned on carpeted stairs though and now I very slowly and carefully do the large set of hardwood stairs in my foster home. Overall, once I know a space I am pretty awesome at getting around. I also do not like it if you move furnishings around, I learn the environment and it helps me to keep it somewhat consistent, don’t go adding new obstacles as I will run right into them! (What this means is you need to be aware of this, use my leash, help me remap the space if you do add or move anything around). I have amazing hearing and a really good nose, I always know where my foster parents are and can easily find their feet, I know where the water dish is, where the front and back doors are, and my favourite beds and toys too! I am a really happy and playful puppy, I need you to treat me just like you would any other dog, do not feel bad for me, I do not know what it is like to be able to see and I do not feel bad for myself. Just keep me safe and be my best friend for life, it will be great for both of us!
My favourite things are sneak attacking stuffies, chewing squeaky toys, and pouncing around outside. As I keep maturing I also now enjoy lying down by the back stoop and just sniffing the air, foster mom said this is my meditation time. 🧘🏻
In my foster home, I have two small senior dogs as foster brothers and they aren’t very interested in being my friend because my puppy antics are a little annoying to them and I am blind so I cannot read body language. Whenever I meet a new dog my fosters take extra care – such as both dogs on leash and moving slowly, reading the body language I am giving etc, and this will need to be done when introducing me to other dogs/pets in my forever home too. I can most often be found with a toy laying in my bed and chilling out. Lots of adult dogs wouldn’t appreciate my puppy antics or energy, it’s important that you advocate for them at all times when I am around other dogs – I should always be on leash and carefully supervised introductions are super important. 😊🐾
I live with two senior cats and they don’t pay much attention to me, I am always on leash so I don’t bother the kitties or sniff them too much. Because I can’t always see them, when they jump onto things it can take me by surprise and I will bark. Other times if I encounter the kitties walking on the floor I will do my best to flirt by showing them my “playful puppy” pose. They just walk away, what gives? I may react differently to younger cats that move around more and I should be kept on leash and always supervised around new kitties for a while until I learn to respect them.
When I am inside the home I like to grab one of my toys and bring it to my bed to play with it (aka kill it!!!). My foster mom will sit on my leash and do “sit on the dog” exercises with me or just keep me tethered to her by my leash so that I stay put and learn how to be calm. This exercise always makes me fall asleep (eventually)—talk about calming! Sit On The Dog is an exercise where my foster sits on the leash and I am given only enough leash to lie down or sit. My foster mom said that I should mention I am very responsive to “sit on the dog” and that I know it means “be quiet I’m going on a conference call”! And I really do, I settle quick and fall asleep while they take their “important calls” 💤💤💤
In my foster home I spend 1 hour out of the crate and then rest in the crate for 2 hours. I do this so that I can learn how to decompress in the home, how to be calm and how to get comfortable in the safety of the crate. Every time I go in the crate I make a short fuss with little whines and yelps but a quick “enough” or “ah-ah” and I settle…eventually. I sleep in the crate at night and I am still working up to being able to sleep through the night, I wake up sometimes once or twice but my fosters shhhhhh me and ignore me and I eventually resettle. My foster parents keep the crate in their bedroom at night and that helps me settle in for the evening. I like a blanket in the crate and I also like my crate covered, even though I am blind I do seem to have some light/dark sensitivity in my left eye. I eat my meals in my crate. At meal time if you say crate and guide me in with my leash, I will go into my crate, but I will howl and bark and make a big deal because I am really excited, but I have really improved on this and now I am starting to have more control over my extreme excitement about eating. I never get my food dish unless I am sitting quietly and calmly, but this is a work in progress. I am still working on adjusting to using a crate but if you keep up I will keep getting better and better. During the day my foster parents guide me into my crate for rest times and I like the crate to be covered and to be close to where my foster family is hanging out. I used to really make a fuss in the crate when I had FOMO but now I really only vocalize when you come home, when I wake up from a nap and want out (and it’s not as dramatic as before) and I respond to corrections much better now. I do still cry a bit when you leave the house but I settle quickly. It’s important to note that if I am worked up and making noise in the crate you have to wait until I am quiet before letting me out. If you let me out when I am vocal you are rewarding my singing and I will just learn to sing (Loudly!!!) more. A great way to correct vocalizing in the crate is to gently toss a tennis ball or rolled towel at the crate when I howl/bark/whine. Another option is to shhh or ah-ah and I settle.
Housetraining is going really well for me and I haven’t had any accidents since I have come into my foster home. When I need to go outside, I stand at the back door and will paw at it or whine. But my fosters always keep me on a strict routine to try to prevent mishaps as well. I am also kept on leash at all times and this also helps prevent mishaps.
I am learning how to walk on a leash, and while I used to be very timid outside I am a lot more confident now. My foster parents do not make a big deal when I do react in fear or timidly (I will cry/whine/whimper and hide between their legs), they just encourage me to keep going. Right now I do still zig zag a bit but not as much as before and try to walk right in between the feet of my foster parents–which is a serious tripping hazard. Foster mom is working with me to walk nicely at their side. I will need to keep working on walking and developing confidence. I don’t walk ahead but if I do you can do a figure 8 and turn in the other direction. Right now encouraging me to walk and stay behind you, using the leash and verbal commands like ah-ah when I get underfoot is helping me understand where to walk. They also try to walk me only on one side (furthest from the road so I react less to the cars) so that I get habituated to the same style of walking together every time.
I have not met other dogs on my walk, but when I first met my foster brothers I was very nervous and didn’t want them to sniff me cause I couldn’t see them. It is really important to do slow and calm introductions with me, let me use my sniffer to figure out what is going on, then I warm up (maybe a little too much, wanna snuggle???) I did stay with a female dog recently for a week and I loved her so much and we played so much and my foster parents noticed a difference in how I socialized within the home on my return. I have been trying new tactics to try to win over my foster brothers, they seem to be liking me a little more so I will keep trying. My new tactics are to get down low on the ground and just try to offer little kisses and do some grooming for them.
I have not lived with children and I do not know how I would be with them. I would do best in a calm and quiet home, the energy kids have would not be the best thing for me. Dogs and puppies always need to be supervised around children of any age. Note that puppies require a lot of time and training and I will require even more time and training to help me be my best self, and extra consideration is needed to help me navigate the world safely.
Speaking of balance, seeking the help of a balanced trainer right away will give us a great start together, especially given the additional training I will need to help me with my blindness. It’s best to work on training before issues can arise, so I would love doing that with my new family. Let’s sign up together for training ASAP when I come home!!!
My foster family practices a lot of NO TOUCH, NO TALK with me, this is helpful with preventing undesirable behaviours like separation anxiety as well as demanding behaviours. They also do a lot of “sit on the dog” when I am out of my crate where they sit on the leash and I sit or lie down. I did not like the bath and cried and tried to get out. It’s a good idea to handle me so that I can be groomed and bathed and learn that this is all okay.
I am a lot better with not using my mouth to nip toes and ankles, but I am still a puppy and this will be something to keep working on. If I nip/mouth do not squeal or cry out, say in a deep growling tone “OUT” and wait until I remove my mouth. Don’t pull away or I will think we are playing a game of tug! When I am about to use my mouth on anything I shouldn’t, you can give a sharp “Ah-Ah” and I know that means I have to stop!
I am still learning “crate”, “come”, “wait”, and “down”. I know “sit” fairly well and I am starting to do “down” more consistently. I also use “step up” for curbs or stairs and I know it means I have to change levels!
I have gone on some car rides tethered in the back seat of the car for now to keep me safe and keep you from being distracted. I also do well being in a crate. I will take a little time to settle cause I always want to be with my foster parents but use the same techniques in the car as at home- a quick “enough!” and I quiet down. Foster mom lifts me into the back seat of the car or into the crate.
My foster parents keep me on leash inside and out, this is to create a bond and it keeps me safe! It will also help you keep me off the furniture because I am still learning all the house rules.

IMPORTANT

It is the recommendation of FTH that every newly adopted dog remain on leash, both inside and out, for a minimum of 30 days. As most of our dogs are outdoor dogs and strays, this will help prevent dogs running away as they are adjusting to their new home. At the same time it will help start building the bond between you and the dog. Thank you!

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