Amanda to the Rescue's Amanda Giese is taking on the challenging task of training a "spicy" blind puppy named Hamburglar as she tries to prepare the mouthy little one for life outside Panda Paws Rescue.
In a PopCulture.com exclusive sneak peek of Saturday's all-new episode of the Animal Planet show, Giese learns from an ophthalmologist that Hamburglar has been blind in both eyes since birth, which goes to making the training process even more vital as he explores the world with his mouth.
"We definitely need to work on his mouthiness," Giese notes after the pup gives her a nip on the mouth. "Hamburglar is very snappy with his mouth and he's doing it innocently and all in play, but it's not a cute thing when you're an adult dog biting people in their faces. There can be a correlation between blind dogs and mouthiness, because they're using their mouth to navigate the world since they can't see."
Working on vocal recall is a number one priority for the owner of a blind dog, but getting them to respond the same way to a voice command every time takes a bit of effort and a lot of patience.
"When you're training a blind dog, repetition and consistency in your vocal cues is really important," Giese explains. "So that means you have to go way above and beyond over the top. Squeal, excitement, you know, continue to be repetitive about the training, and then celebrate really big and loud when they actually make it to you."
Although Hamburglar responds positively at first, it's not long before the adventurous little one is off on his own adventure, awaiting another session of training at a later date.
Trying to curb his chewing and biting begins with distinguishing between thing Hamburglar is welcome to chew on, like a dog toy, and things that he should stay away from, like Giese's bracelets.
"We would basically redirect with an appropriate item for him to put in his mouth," Giese says, introducing a toy to the destructive chewing going on right on her arm. "So, you know, when he can't see, it doesn't mean he can't learn, it just means we have to be responsible to view what he's putting in his mouth, and if it's not an appropriate item, then we need to redirect him, and give him an item that is appropriate for him to play with."
Prior to Saturday's episode, Giese talked with PopCulture.com about her passion for helping differently-abled dogs and those who have serious medical concerns.
“There's puppies that grow up very privileged, and they don't have anything wrong with them ... they're great dogs," Giese said, adding that once those animals who have had a rougher time in life "land in that really soft, plush place for the first time where they don't have fear, there's a very special love and a bond.”
She noted, "There’s so many cases I was told less than a 1 percent chance [of survival], but to me it’s like, oh there’s a chance."0comments
Amanda to the Rescue airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet.
Photo credit: Animal Planet