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Discussion Starter #1
As I have written in the health forum, my 10 year old chi Mimi is losing her sight due to inoperable cataracts. As a result, we're going to start training some new commands to help her in her everyday life. With the help of a book I have got on how to help a sight impaired dog, I'm writing a list of new commands and what they mean. However a couple have got me rather stuck! I have decided that for curbs or single steps (in town for example) I should say 'step up' for going up a curb, and 'down' for going down one. I also need a command to let her know when there will be flights of stairs, and I'm not sure if 'stairs up' and 'stairs down' are different enough phrases from 'step up' for her to learn. I'm also wondering about another command - we have for a long time been using 'wait' to get her to stop at a curb with mixed success! Should I carry on saying 'wait' when she needs to stop moving, or introduce 'stop' as a brand new command? Any advice would be appreciated! She has learned her basics (sit, turn round, stand up) quite well as long as there are treats around.
 

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I would just add the command 'more' after you say 'stairs up'. As she gets to the point when she knows what stairs up mean, you can just add 'more'. As for wait, if she doesn't really obey all the time, I'd change it to 'stop, or stop now'. I don't know your finances, but maybe a trainer would help you for a while. It's hard to know how bad her vision is now, and how fast the cataracts are progressing.
 

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Does she do very well with "wait"?
My thing is that when I tell my dogs "wait" it means wait for their bowl of kibble or a treat. And if my dogs were to know "stop" I'd expect them to freeze (not literally) My dogs don't know stop but the dog I've put in more time in training is very good with "stay" as any other well trained dog but compared to the others he seems the best. But since you've already been using "wait" maybe just keep using that word but for every aspect when she has to 'stop' since she is doing already a good job.
As for stairs up it sounds different to me then step up. But I'm not too sure if a dog can really distinguish the 2. I think it would be a good idea to say "stairs up" maybe try it out and see how she does.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
She's not great with wait to be honest! I think I may have confused her a bit with that, because when I want her to sit and stay I say 'sit' and 'wait'. I also realised this morning that I've missed a trick - I should stay 'upstairs' and 'downstairs'! I'm starting to say those words when we're on the stairs, and 'finished' when we're at the end. I'm hoping she'll make the connection.
 

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"Upstairs" and "downstairs" is perfect!
I was wondering what you used for "stay" It could be a possibility she's a bit confused as you tell her to "sit" and "wait" maybe it's not a bad idea to introduce "stop" unless of course her "wait" becomes "stay" And when you really need her to 'stop' you can say "wait"
 

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Usually 'wait' means just that. wait for a minute (ie: wait until I put down your bowl of food--then OK, or wait until I put on your leash) Stay means remain where you are until I give you the release word. Obedience training usually only gets to the 'stay' command. I have taught my chi's the 'wait' command so that they know not to go into the garage when I am unloading the car. They are free to move around, but not to follow me. Also when I open the front door to get the newspaper, they 'wait' at the door. Otherwise Ari is right. Upstairs and downstairs is great. I think you and your chi will be fine. You really don't know how long she will be able to see, and she will adapt very quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Telling her to wait to eat her food is one thing I definitely don't need to do... She's yet to eat yesterday's breakfast cos I put her flea medication in it! She is the very definition of picky.
 
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