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How well can a dog in the dark?

Discussion in 'General Health' started by k9kreationz, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. k9kreationz

    k9kreationz Premium Member

    Oct 24, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Well, that's a bit misleading. I noticed Koji doesn't judge jumping up onto my deck very well in the dark. We have a light, but it's not super bright, and the back door is lit from inside. I was thinking about stringing up christmas lights on the edge of the deck so he knows how to judge it, but wasn't sure if it'd be too bright and make it worse.

    I've attached a picture of what our deck looks like. The left side that you can't see has stairs that he doesn't use (or rarely does), the front left is typically where he comes up and misjudges it. The front right, he sometimes comes up, but not often. He comes up on the right, but seems to judge that okay.

    Thoughts? He's misjudged it a few times and I'm worried he'll hurt himself.

    Attached Files:

  2. Hanne

    Hanne Forums Enthusiast

    Nov 13, 2014
    Can you not put a little light - that will light behind your deck - maybe a pot with a Christmas tree / branch with a little light so the light is not in the front of Koji eyes.

    hope you understand my "good" english :lol::lol:
  3. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    DH made sure our deck had each stair lit automatically. Nothing is too good for his furbabies! :lol:
    ghggp likes this.
  4. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    In Jasmine's later years she was going blind and we had to get a ramp for her since she could no longer navigate stairs. We were also worried she might hurt herself!
    We got her a ramp and put small mini lights on it to help her find it in the dark. It really helped! They were solar powered! Fyi, works great at night... not so well early in the morning! Apparently, the charge is not strong enough to store for use throughout the night if you leave it on. They do make battery unit too.

    I agree to install lights on each stair would be the best solution. Maybe get his eyes checked by a vet too?
  5. take4roll10

    take4roll10 Moderator

    Aug 31, 2009
    New York
    When we have class outdoors at night or when shadows are by contact equipment Bailey has trouble judging them. So I do think some dogs have a decreased vision in darkness and judging objects.
  6. danisgoat

    danisgoat Moderator

    Jul 23, 2009
    I honestly think that shelties hearing is better than other dogs (if they haven't blown their eardrums from barking so much, lol) and their eyes are a little worse. Sometimes I feel like they have trouble seeing shadows and other things in the dark, where my Irish Setters have no trouble. But then, my shelties can hear family members cars coming from 1/4 mile away!
  7. 2GoodDogs

    2GoodDogs Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 17, 2010
    if you get an opportunity, have your dog's eyes checked by an Ophthalmology veterinarian. At a dog show next month, a clinic will be held and my dogs eyes can be examined for $35.00! This is because a litter sister is having night blindness at 3 years old and I need (for peace of mind) that my boys eyes are alright. Night blindness is a symptom of PRA (progressive retinal atrophy)
  8. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

    Mar 29, 2008
    near Mobile, AL
    first- dogs see better than people in the dark but they also see moving things way better than stationary things.
    it is harder for them to judge jumping/height when it is darker.
    second- problems seeing at night can indicate a retinal issue- not just PRA. There are a lot of retinal things that can happen.
    All four of mine have been to multiple CERF clinics- checking the structures in the eye. We also saw that veterinary ophthalmologist in his office for more thorough testing. He thought there was some retinal degeneration in both brown dogs but wouldn't call it PRA. He did diagnose a sheltie I know with PRA a couple years ago.
    So my herding instructor recommended another specialist that I took Cran to a few weeks ago. He also did not call it PRA but says that compared to "normal" dog eyes, Cran has a very thin retina and he thinks that it has always been that way. It requires some serious time in the dark and lots of looking into the eye to determine that. His office also has equipment to test the actual retinal function so we got that done too and it did show that Cran has reduced retinal function which is a contributing factor to his jumping issues. but it also means that there isn't anything medically that can help him see better. More light, less shadows will help.

    Any chance of adding steps/ramp to his preferred side of the deck?
  9. k9kreationz

    k9kreationz Premium Member

    Oct 24, 2008
    Portland, OR
    What did he do? We're going to redo the deck, so y'know, we can incorporate some lights. :)
  10. k9kreationz

    k9kreationz Premium Member

    Oct 24, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I totally understand. That's what I was afraid of if I string lights at the edge, too much light right in their face. I like the idea of a pot with a tree in it. :)
    Hanne likes this.

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