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Deaf Dogs: Tips, Guides, Manuals & Information How to Keep a Deaf Dog Safe? How to Train a Deaf Dog? Common Causes of Deafness in Dogs Best Toys for Deaf Dogs Deaf Dog Hand Signals, Adoption & Training What breeds of dogs are prone to deafness? How to Communicate with Deaf Dog How to Determine Deafness in Dogs Causes of Deafness in Dogs & Puppies How to know if Your Dog is Deaf? Do Dogs Bark if They are Deaf? Make Easier Life of Deaf Dogs Books - Living with Deaf Dog How do you Train a Deaf Dog? Deafness in Dog vs Human Deafness in Dogs vs Cats Deaf Dog Misconceptions Why Deaf Dogs Rock How to Teach Deaf Dogs Deafness in Senior Dogs Can dogs bark if they are deaf? Tips for Deaf Dog Adopters Deafness in Dogs and Puppies Deaf Dog Awareness Week How to Live with Deaf Dog Vibrating Collar for Deaf Dog Flicker for a Deaf Dog Deaf Dog Clicker Training Deafness in Albino Dogs Deaf Dogs Hearing Tests Congenital Deafness in Dogs Deaf Dogs Calendar 2016 Bilateral Deafness in Dogs Raising a Deaf Puppy Deaf Dog Hand Signals Training Deaf Dogs Deaf Dog Sign Language Hear-Impared Dogs Dog Hearing Loss Dog Ears
Deafness in Dogs Our deaf animals can be wonderful and loving members of our families if we remember they have some special needs. Adopting them, like any pet, is a real responsibility and commitment. Every year thousands of dogs are killed simply because they are deaf ...
I Can't HEAR You... I don't come when you call my name. I sleep through the alarm but never meal time. I'm not afraid of the vacuum cleaner. If I am asleep or not looking at you, I may jump if you touch me. I may play more rough than other dogs. I seldom take my eyes off you and follow you from room to room. I like to lie in the doorway or with part of my body touching you. I literally notice every spider on the wall.
Balanced dogs experience the world through their nose, eyes, then ears. But as humans, we often rely on sound while training our dogs. A person with a deaf dog has a unique opportunity to communicate with their dog as the animal they are. Dogs communicate through energy and body language.Deafness is the inability to hear and can be caused by either conduction or neurologic abnormalities. All puppies are born unable to hear even the loudest noises because their ear canals are closed until they are about 10 days old. At the age of three weeks, puppy's ear canals open fully and they are able to hear most sounds.Complete hearing becomes possible at about 21 days.
Prior to this time, it is difficult to test for hearing impairment.
Conduction deafness is caused by abnormalities of the pinna (external ear), ear canal, tympanic membrane (eardrum), auditory ossicles or middle ear. Waxy debris occluding the ear canal, tympanic membrane, and severe ear infections are all examples of diseases causing conduction deafness.
Neurologic or sensorineural deafness is caused by abnormalities of the inner ear, auditory nerve or in the brain itself. Inherited deafness, drug toxicity and age-related deafness are diseases causing sensorineural deafness.
Deafness can be unilateral (affecting one ear) or bilateral (affecting both ears). Unilateral deafness is difficult to recognize without specialized equipment. Because of the cost of the equipment, testing is generally limited to veterinary referral hospitals, specialists and university clinics.
There are over 35 breeds of dogs reported to have hereditary sensorineural deafness - a known susceptibility for deafness, including the Australian shepherd, Boston terrier, cocker spaniel, Dalmatian, German shepherd, Jack Russell terrier, Maltese, toy and miniature poodle, and West Highland white terrier. Typically, it is more common in senior dogs. Breeding dogs should be tested for deafness. Animals found to have inherited deafness in one or both ears should be removed from breeding programs.
DOG DEAFNESS TREATMENT Results of the history, physical examination and initial tests will determine the need for further diagnostic tests and will help determine the appropriate treatment for your dog's deafness. Your dog's activity should be reduced to avoid any any possible injury (e.g., a deaf dog cannot hear an approaching car). The home environment may also need to be controlled for the dog's protection.
Conduction deafness can be corrected if the cause, such as wax accumulation or infection, can be eliminated. Cleaning the ears should be done with care to prevent damage to the eardrum. Only well-trained and knowledgeable people should use cotton-tipped applicators such as Q-tips to clean the ears. Caution should be used. Dogs with severely dirty ears may need to be cleaned under anesthesia by a veterinarian.
Infection may need to be treated locally in the ear canal and systemically with antibiotics. Sensorineural deafness cannot be reversed with medications, surgery, or hearing aids. Hearing aids have been used in dogs and cats but the majority of the animals do not tolerate the presence of the hearing aid in the ear canal.
Testing can be done at home to assess hearing. Remember that your dog may "feel" sounds such as a door slamming or steps across a hardwood floor. Treatment prescribed by your veterinarian should be performed as directed. Medications should be given as directed until finished.
Dogs that are born deaf can be trained to respond hand signals. A bell can be attached to a deaf animal's collar so that if he gets away he can be found.
Deaf animals need to be closely supervised especially around traffic since they cannot hear dangers such as cars.
These behaviors may seem odd but they are very understandable when the senses of sight, smell, and touch replace the ability to hear.
Thousands of dogs are killed every year simply because they do not hear. Countless others are given up to shelters or horribly abused because they are labeled dangerous, unpredictable or dumb.
Dogs that are losing their ability to hear or have become deaf begin to behave differently. Below are the top 5 warning signs your dog may be experiencing trouble with his hearing.
Top Warning Signs, Indicating Hearing Loss in Dogs:
Your dog does not respond to verbal commands.
Your dog sleeps more than usual.
Your dog responds only when touched and/or when he sees something.
Your dog paws at his ears.
Your dog shakes his head often.
Your dog is so good at using all their other senses, it can sometimes be difficult to assess their hearing.
Not waking unless you physically touch them
Turning in the wrong direction when you call them
Deaf dogs may not hear you approach
Deaf dogs may not move their ears or turn to look at where a sound is coming from.
If you observe any of these warning signals or other major changes in your dog's behavior, make an appointment to have your veterinarian take a closer look at your dog. Your Dog's vet will be able to perform the necessary tests to determine if your dog is deaf or losing his hearing and if so, will it be treatable. Depending on the underlying cause of deafness, your veterinarian may put your dog on antibiotics, prescribe topical medications, have your Dog's ears professionally cleaned out to remove any blockage, etc...
If you are unsure - ask your vet to assess your dog's hearing if you are concerned.
Did you know that some folks in the scientific community are studying deaf dogs? When I heard this, I jumped for joy. It was a moment of excitement, relief and "I need to know more Right. This. Second!" My brain was firing synapses so fast that I could feel them ricocheting around my brain. My entire body was tingling with excitement! What about deaf dogs are they studying? What are they learning? Who is doing the research and how do I convince the dog to talk to me?
MYTH: Deaf dogs are more aggressive than hearing dogs Analysis of the data proves that congenitally born deaf or blind dogs are significantly less likely to display aggression than their hear or seeing counterparts! We are talking 20% less! This data is important and should be memorized by deaf dog pet parents and advocates everywhere. This one statistic can actually change perceptions and the lives of deaf dogs everywhere. The next time someone tells you that deaf dogs are more aggressive and dangerous, share this fact and take charge of that conversation.
MYTH: The only way to train a deaf dog is with hand signs False. Though using hand signs to train and communicate with a deaf dog is very common, one alternative is to communicate with physical prompts or touch training. In fact, touch training is used almost as frequently by deaf dog pet parents as hand signs. Touch training involves touching the dog on different parts of the body or in different ways - 1 tap, 2 taps, a short directional pet, etc. to communicate different commands. One example she shared was teaching a deaf dog that a rub along the chin means to "come".
MYTH: Deaf dogs are more likely to experience separation anxiety No significant differences in frequency of separation anxiety was noted between deaf and hearing dogs. The reasons for separation anxiety in deaf and hearing dogs is different. Primary cause of anxiety for deaf dogs is waking up or looking up from a really interesting dust bunny he is playing with and realizing that his person has disappeared, whether that's into a different room or from the house altogether. Deaf dog will go hunt for his person and, once found, will frequently return to what he was doing and relax. A hearing dog with separation anxiety, she suggests, is more related to being left alone. For deaf dogs, it's more of a case of "Where are you?" causing stress rather than, "Why am I alone?" To prevent "separation" anxiety in deaf dogs: when you leave the room or the house, notify your deaf dog that you are leaving. When this simple and additional communication occurs, she finds that deaf dogs do not exhibit behavior similar to separation anxiety. Of course, every dog is different, but this is a good rule of thumb.
MYTH: Talking or using your voice to communicate is pointless When humans speak, body language and facial expressions change, which communicate information as well.
MYTH: Deaf dogs are extremely hard to train As a matter of fact, when it comes to training dogs, visual signals are more effective than voice commands. A voice command is not necessary, so training a deaf dog is not any more difficult!
MYTH: Deaf dogs should never live with children because they will bite If a deaf dog is well introduced and socialized with children, it is as safe to have in a home as any other dog. Before adopting, check the dog's background to see if its particular breed has any characteristics that affect how the dog reacts to small, fast-moving humans.
MYTH: I need a hearing dog as a guide for the deaf dog No, you do not. Deaf dogs are no different from any other dog and are just fine by themselves! That being said, they are also great as being a member of a larger family or with other deaf dogs.
MYTH: Deaf dogs don't bark False. Oh boy, is this false! In fact, excessive barking was reported by deaf dog pet parents much more frequently in comparison to hearing dogs. This increase in excessive barking, along with other repetitive behaviors such as excessive licking of self and others, spinning and the chewing of inappropriate objects, are viewed as examples of self-stimulatory behaviors that deaf dogs are more prone to engage in. Interestingly, other unwanted behaviors, such as chasing rabbits and cats, and rolling in and eating of feces occurred less frequently in deaf dogs than in hearing dogs. So, our deaf dogs may lick our faces more frequently but least it's less likely that he is just eaten his own poop!
MYTH: All deaf dogs are easily startled True and False. Deaf dogs, depending on his or her individual personality and his personal life experiences may be more prone to startling when touched. The circumstances of being touched also plays a big factor into any startling behavior. That said, any dog hearing, deaf or blind can startle. Also, startling behavior can be unlearned. Careful desensitization to startle responses can significantly reduce or eliminate this unwanted behavior.
MYTH: Talking or using your voice to communicate with a deaf dog is pointless False! False! False! When humans speak, our body language and our facial expressions change, communicating a whole lot more information to our deaf dogs.
MYTH: Dogs born deaf are the result of irresponsible breeders True & False! Many but not all congenitally deaf dogs are deaf because of improper breeding. A very common example is breeding two Merle dogs together. The Merle gene is a dominate gene that can produce beautiful, healthy hearing and sighted puppies. However, when a Merle dog is bred to another Merle, 25% of the puppies are likely to be born deaf, blind or both. The other most frequent cause of congenital deafness in dogs is related to a lack of pigmentation of the skin, not the coat. A significant lack of skin pigmentation cause nerve endings in the inner ear to atrophy soon after birth. When this happens, the puppy is left completely or partially deaf in one or both ears. Since puppies ears don't open up for the first week or so of life, these dogs frequently never hear.
MYTH: Deaf dogs are more bonded to their human than hearing dogs True. Deaf dog exhibits a higher degree of attachment, physical and otherwise, to their human caretaker. This supports the anecdotal experience of deaf dog pet parents who frequently refer to our deafies as "velcro dogs".
MYTH: Deaf dogs bark funny True. Is this true? In evaluating the bark of deaf dogs, especially during play, A deaf dog's bark is a combination of excitement and frustration. As deaf dogs are less adept at picking up and learning social cues from other dogs - another interesting finding! and because their deafness affects their ability to adjust the way in which they bark, deaf dogs tend to have a funny sounding bark. If a deaf dog does have any residual hearing, it tends to be isolated to higher pitched sounds. Taken together, deaf dogs do tend to have a unique bark! Spend some time with several deaf dogs and you will quickly learning "the telltale sound".
MYTH: Hearing dogs adapt their behavior to accommodate a deaf dog False - hearing dogs can tell that something is different about a deaf dog, but have found that they typically do not adapt their behavior to accommodate this difference. Dr. Farmer-Dougan and her team are looking for ways to teach hearing dogs adaptation techniques when interacting with deaf dogs.
Deafness in dogs can occur from a variety of reasons. It can occur at birth or develop later on in your Schnauzer's life. Congenital deafness is the type of deafness that occurs from birth. It is usually caused by a defective gene. Deafness that develops later on in life can occur from trauma or injury, ear infections, drugs, old age, even wax build-up or dirt and hair in your Dog's ear.
Some of these reasons for your Dog's deafness may be temporary and some even treatable. For example, deafness caused by an accumulation of wax, hair, or dirt can easily be rectified through proper grooming and care of your Dog's ears. Deaf dogs can have unilateral deafness or affecting only one of their ears. These dogs still need extra attention and supervision but they are actually partially deaf. A dog with bilateral deafness means both ears of the dog are affected and therefore the dog is totally deaf. The most accurate way to determine if your dog is deaf is with the BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) test. The procedure uses computers to record the electrical activity of the brain in response to specific sounds and pitches.
The BAER test or the brainstem auditory evoked response test can detect auditory pathways in the brain through electrical activity in the cochlea - similar to the way an EKG detects electrical activity in one's heart. The test is performed for each ear to determine whether or not the dog has partial hearing or is totally deaf. The test is the most reliable way to determine if a dog is deaf.
Since the BAER test is not available to most of us, DDEAF also recommends this do-it-yourself test to determine hearing loss:
Jangle keys or a can of coins.
Squeak a toy while it is behind your back.
Call your dog's name in a normal voice. Then try yelling the name.
Clap your hands - you should be far enough away so that he doesn't feel air movement.
Turn on a vacuum cleaner - be sure it's far enough away from the dog so that the vibrations or airflow don't reach him.
Congenital Deafness in Dogs Congenital deafness occurs as a result of degeneration of sensory inner ear structures in one or both ears within a few weeks of birth. It can result in total permanent deafness in both ears (bilateral) or in one ear (unilateral). This is a hereditary condition and is believed to be linked to coat colour as breeds with white coats and blue eyes are most affected e.g. Dalmatians, Bull Terriers, Australian Cattle dogs. Research with these breeds has shown that if even one parent is unilaterally deaf the chances of any offspring being unilaterally or bilaterally deaf are almost doubled. Breeders are therefore advised to have the hearing status of both breeding dogs and litters assessed.
Bilateral Deafness in Dogs Bilateral deafness can usually be identified by behavioural traits but unilateral deafness is more difficult to detect. Most breeders are aware of the importance of hearing testing however the effectiveness of the "test" used varies considerably. Some DIY tests involve clapping hands, hitting saucepans and even calling a mobile phone placed in the puppies' basket. The main flaw in all of these techniques is that they will not determine unilateral deafness and even bilateral deaf pups could simply be following the responses of their siblings or responding to vibration. The only 100% accurate way of determining deafness is with a Brain Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) test. This uses a computer-based system which records electrical activity in the inner ear and auditory pathways in the brain. The BAER test is completely painless and can be carried out on puppies after five weeks without an anaesthetic. Older pups and adult dogs however may need to be sedated.
Conduction (sound waves do not reach the nerves in the ear) Inflammation of the outer ear and other external ear canal disease - e.g., narrowing of the ear canal, presence of tumors, or ruptured ear drum, Inflammation of the middle ear.
Nerve Degenerative nerve changes in elderly dogs, Anatomic disorders - poor development, or lack of development in the part of the ear that contains the nerve receptors used for hearing; the condition leads to fluid buildup in specific areas of the brain and damages the part of the brain involved with hearing, Tumors or cancer involving the nerves used for hearing, Inflammatory and infectious diseases - inflammation of the inner ear; canine distemper virus may cause alterations in hearing, but not complete deafness; inflammatory masses that develop in the middle ear or eustachian tube, Trauma.
Toxins and Drugs Antibiotics, Antiseptics, Chemotherapy drugs, Medications to remove excess fluid from the body, Heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, or mercury, Miscellaneous - products used to break down waxy material in the ear canal.
Other Risk Factors Long-term, Chronic inflammation of the outer, middle, or inner ear, Certain genes or white coat color.
Illness or injury. Loud noises or other injury to the ear can cause deafness, as can some medications. Chronic, severe ear infections can damage hearing as well. In some cases temporary hearing loss can be treated with medication or the "tincture of time" to restore full function.
Old Dog Age. In aging dogs, as in aging people, gradual hearing loss is common. In many cases people will not notice a dog's hearing loss until it's severe. That's often because dogs are very keyed in to us and can adjust to this change, observing body language and using other senses to keep up with normal household activities.
"When we moved into our new house last year, we wanted to expand our family. It was time to get a dog. I grew up with a dog in my family and wanted my kids to have the same experience. I expected that would mean random items around the house would get destroyed by the playful puppy. What I didn't expect was having to learn sign language. A relative emailed and asked if we would like a puppy. The email came with a picture of an adorable little white blob and we were hooked. The second message relayed the concern that if we didn't take the puppy, its future was uncertain. The puppy was albino and unwanted by the breeder. That set the hook and we now knew that the puppy was coming to our house. The third message was trouble. The puppy may be deaf.
At first we were about incredulous about the deafness. With a little research we discovered that pigment plays a role in a dog's hearing. If there is unpigmented skin in a dog's inner ear, the nerve endings atrophy and die off in the first few weeks of the puppy's life. Our puppy was albino so this was the likely cause. As you can see from the picture above, our puppy had a few black spots so we wondered if albino was the right label. It was the wrong label. It's a double merle gene that results in little pigmentation. However, when a passerby asks about his color it's easier to answer "albino," which people understand, than "double merle" which results in a blank expression.
We quickly realized that a deaf puppy is not handicapped. We know he can't hear. But he doesn't know that. He does not realize that he is missing something that other dogs have. He was born into silence and from his viewpoint silence is normal. Even though he would not respond to his name, we couldn't just keep calling him puppy. While reading the latest Game of Thrones book the choice became obvious: Ghost, Jon Snow's unwanted white direwolf. Training a deaf dog requires a major commitment and lots of patience. Of course that's true with training any puppy. Puppies just want to have fun. In our case, "fun" means eating shoes, tearing apart magazines, and pulling the guts out of stuffed animals. A deaf dog needs to learn visual cues, through hand signs and facial expressions, instead of words. For Ghost, we use a vigorous finger wag instead of a stern "no" to deter bad behavior. To be honest, I still say "no." It just doesn't work.
There are some special considerations when raising a deaf puppy. Free range is more likely to result in a lost puppy. He won't come when you call him. So if you lose direct visual contact, you lose the ability to communicate. He is not a very good watch dog. A bad guy busting through a window is not going to attract the deaf dog's attention, unless he's staring at the window. On the plus side, he doesn't bark at the mailman. Training is important. For us, training would be especially important. Ghost was not going to remain a cute little puppy. He is a Great Dane, with a rate of growth that is astonishing. If you peek below you can get some sense of how much he has grown in six months, and he is still growing.
Have you been relentlessly yelling your dog's name with no answer? Does your dog seem to be ignoring you? Does the vacuum cleaner not phase him any more? If you answered yes to any of these questions then your dog may having hearing issues or be deaf. Lack of communication is not healthy for anyone, especially between you and your pet. To make sure you are being understood by your dog and are doing what you can to help him, we have outlined exactly how to communicate with your deaf dog.
What to do first? What is most important is to be careful and deliberate with hand, face, and body movements. If you notice any of the signs we mentioned above, we recommend you take your dog to the veterinarian to get checked out. It's possible that your dog's hearing changes may just be age-related, but there may be other possible causes such as an ear infection or a foreign body or growth in the ear. Your vet will be able to rule out specific issues, and in some cases treat and reverse hearing loss. If your dog's hearing loss cannot be reversed, you may need to learn how to communicate with him in a new way.
With a deaf dog, one of most helpful behaviors, and one to work on first, is to mark and reinforce heavily for eye contact. Fostering a "check-in" behavior is essential. Giving your dog verbal feedback becomes difficult or impossible when hearing loss is present. For this reason, it makes more sense to begin to teach your dog a signal like a hand clap, or a thumbs up, to signify "well done," or "good dog."
You will be able to teach and reinforce these new signals by giving your dog a treat or another enjoyable reward like being petted, playing tug, going outside, or throwing his favorite ball to be chased. It is also important to have a visual signal to get your dog's attention, which can be referred to as the "look at me" cue. This signal will draw your dog's attention and get him to look at you so he can be instructed to follow another direction or see another visual cue. This is crucial for a hearing-impaired dog because he will need to focus on your body signals to pick up on cues for what he is being asked to do.
If you are walking your dog, a gentle, low pull or jingle on his leash can serve as a signal for him to refocus his attention on you to see the next command. Other visual stimuli like a hand wave, a gentle touch on the shoulder or back, or a flashlight can serve the same purpose if your dog is not on his leash. As with all signals, you must teach and reinforce what each signal means.
When teaching your dog to look at you in response to the signal, start the a visual stimulus, move a treat in front of his nose and then up toward your eye level. After your dog makes eye contact, give him your "good dog" signal, followed by a treat. Once your dog has started to give you eye contact in response to the signal, begin to phase out the treat. During this process, you can move your empty hand up to your eye level like you have a treat in it. Eventually, you can start to phase out the hand signal by only moving your hand partially to your face.
Your goal should be to get your dog to make eye contact in response to the first cue (the flashlight or other visual stimuli), without any extra direction from you. Continue to emphasize the desired behavior with your "good dog" signal and a reward, or immediately ask your dog to do another behavior, like sit, when he looks at you. Other commands your dog learned with a verbal cue will need to be retaught with a physical cue.
After your dog has learned to make eye contact with you, teaching him other hand signals for everyday activities will become easier. You can invent your own hand signals or use American Sign Language to teach your dogs words like dinner, car, walk, or outside. Simply use the appropriate signal directly followed by the designated activity. For example, use the ASL sign for walk, followed by taking your dog outside for a walk immediately. Make sure everyone in your family is using the same signals to keep it consistant.
Your dog might be deaf, but there are still plenty of ways to "talk" to them, maintaining that special bond between you both and keeping them out of trouble:
In general, lead control is an effective way to gain your dog's attention when needed, even inside your home.
Voice commands can be replaced by hand signals, which can be anything distinct and easy to see, as long as they are consistent.
Vibrations, such as a foot stomped on the ground, can also be useful - be inventive and find out what works best for both of you.
If your canine friend is deaf, the most important thing for you to consider is their safety !!!
For both your peace of mind, avoid circumstances where a voice signal could be life saving, such as unleashed walks in high-traffic areas, as they might not hear you.
For both your peace of mind, avoid circumstances where a voice signal could be life saving, such as unleashed walks in high-traffic areas, as they might not hear you. Make sure all the family know not to leave gates open to avoid your deaf dog going on an unexpected adventure.
Remember that your deaf dog won't hear the sounds that you of course take for granted. The growls, threats or approaches of other animals can't be heard, which creates increased potential for conflicts and fights. With some planning and gentle but firm physical control, these risks can be easily minimised.
Your dog, if deaf, will sleep deeply and be easily startled. Make sure the whole family know to approach them from a point that he can see you coming from, so he knows what to expect.
Never startle a deaf dog, especially when he's sleeping. A hard stomp that sends vibrations through the floorboard may be enough to wake your dog, or you may need to touch him gently on his body.
Don't let a deaf dog roam! A leash and a secure fence is a deaf dog's best friend. Off-leash recreation isn't a good idea for these dogs, who can't hear a car approaching or come to you when called. Some owners of deaf dogs have fashioned vibrating collars to cue dogs to look for hand signals, and with a simple Internet search, you can find information on these and on training deaf dogs. Lastly, as with all dogs, it is best to have them microchipped.
Living with a deaf dog does mean a little more work for you and the dog, but in the end it will be one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Many people who own deaf dogs will tell you that they have a stronger bond with their deaf dog than they have with any other dog before. If your Dog's hearing loss is untreatable, you will need to learn to communicate and supervise your dog differently than before. Owners must train their dog to respond to hand signals. Much like a deaf person responds and communicates through sign language. In order to be successful training your deaf dog, you will need added patience and understanding.
Another important change you need to make is in the way you supervise your Dog. Since your Dog won't be able to hear oncoming traffic and other dangers in his environment, it will be up to you to pay close attention to his whereabouts and activities. Even partially hearing dogs can get confused and disoriented not knowing what direction a sound came from. As a safety precaution, always keep your deaf Dog leashed to prevent accidents from occurring. And to help you locate your dog even within your home you could place a bell on your dog's collar so you can hear him moving about. Remember, your deaf dog won't hear you calling him for dinner.
Always use positive reinforcement techniques! One of the biggest worries about training a deaf dog is the fear of surprising him when approaching or waking. Since your dog will not hear you coming, it is recommended that you go through a training process to get your dog used to being woken up. One of the best techniques for this is to wake him up with a gentle touch on the head or shoulders and immediately giving him a treat when he wakes up. This will give your dog the chance to associate being woken up with something pleasant.
The same concept is used in a lot of training though it is especially important with a deaf dog. Consider replacing treats with bits of your dog's kibble in order to avoid over-feeding. Once your dog has clearly associated waking or anything of that nature with a positive experience through feeding you should slowly wean your dog off of the treats so they do not come to expect them every time they do what you are looking for.
Dogs that have lost their hearing are usually more easily startled when approached from behind. This can cause them to react negatively. The best approach to a dog that is hearing impaired is always head on. Also, if your dog is sleeping, stomp on the floor before approaching him. The vibrations will wake him so he sees you coming. This is an important safety tip and one particularly important for children to know about concerning handling their deaf dog.
DEAF DOG COMMUNICATION TIPS:
1. Learn to communicate with them their way.
2. Always let them know when you are nearby.
3. Approach them slowly from the front where they can see you.
4. Always be gentle with touch and gesture.
5. Use only praise, encouraging touch, and positive reinforcement. And lots of it !!
6. Allow them to approach a newcomer first by smelling the person's fist. Never allow a stranger or anyone to rush in.
7. Keep them on leashes and close to you when out on walks.
8. Tether them to you in the house in order to help with initial adjustment, house breaking, bonding, and helping them feel safe. Massage is also a great way to establish closeness and trust.
9. Provide outdoor fencing that is secure and essential for their safety. They can't hear dangers.
10. Work with them in an established and continual training program. Our pets are our adopted members of our families, and daily attention is "a non-negotiable" just as it is for any child or loved one.
11. Watch Your Body Language. Deaf dogs tend to be absolutely expert at reading body language and cues, so pay extra attention to your gestures and your stance. For example, even a slight lean forward - among dogs, that is a stay away signal, can keep a deaf dog from approaching as close as possible for a recall, because they are scouring you visually for clues on what you want.
12. Keep Your Cues Distinct. Just as a hearing dog may be confused by word cues that sound alike, a deaf dog may mix up cues that look alike. It is hard to make them distinct. But of course, that is actually good news if you are still thinking you might not be able to train your deaf dog. You may wind up having to get really creative with your signals. Jump up and down on one foot to mean "Fetch my slippers," maybe?
13. Keep Your Deaf Dog Posted Concerning Your Whereabouts. You must always let the dog know where you are. Although it is so terribly tempting, it is unfair to leave while the dog is asleep and let him or her wake up with a start and have to race around to see if they have been left behind, which they have. It is a fast track to separation anxiety, of course, but besides that it's just mean.
14. Place his bed against a wall or in a corner.
15. Set up food and water stations outside of family traffic patterns.
16. Teach young children a hand signal for greeting the dog. Although the dog might not need such a formal salutation, teaching kids to pause and sign, "Hello, Buster!" will result in a gentler approach.
17. If your dog is ot watching when you leave the house, leave him a "note", such as slippers by the front door, to signal that you will be back shortly.
18. Set up a room or secluded area your dog can use when he needs to retreat from young children or energetic pets.
19. Develop a "visible doorbell" to inform your dog that guests are about to enter the house: flash a hall light or stomp your feet before you open the door.
20. Be sure your neighbors know your dog is deaf, tell them you never let him out alone. If they spot your dog wandering unattended, instruct them how to react - phone you, approach the dog and so on.
21. To get your dog's attention, thump on the floor with your fist or foot or wave. Some people use a flashlight or a laser light. If your dog is outside at night and you want to call him in, turn your porch light off and on.
22. Food rewards are the best way we can reward the deaf puppy since they cannot hear the tone of our voice. (You can taper off the food rewards, as your dog grows older and reward with lots of loving and enthusiasm. The sign for good job is clapping your hands. Some people use a thumbs up.) Carrots (!) are healthy treats, begging strips, dog jerky.
23. IMPORTANT! When waking him, do it by always touching him GENTLY in the same place. Shoulder is the best. Or put your hand in front of his nose and let your smell wake him. Give him a treat and/or lots of love every time you wake him. Startling the deaf dog out of sleep is usually the touchiest area. The treat will make waking up less traumatic and he will take eager instead of angry. Tell visitors not to touch your dog if he is sleeping, especially children.
If you have a deaf dog you need to make some special accommodations to keep it safe. These include keeping hazards that the dog may not notice away from it, as well as keeping control of the dog so that it does not get into trouble itself. Keeping your deaf dog safe will also require that you make accommodations for it both inside and outside of your home. If you care for your deaf dog properly, you can help it to lead a safe and satisfying life.
How to Keep a Deaf Dog Safe OUTDOORS
1. Put a collar and tag on your dog A collar and tag can help you get your dog back if it accidentally gets loose. The tag should have the dog's name and your contact info on it, but it should also state that the dog is deaf. Stating that the dog is deaf on the collar tag will allow anyone that finds your dog to better understand your dog and the situation. Having your dog microchipped with your contact information is a smart idea.
2. Make sure your yard is completely fenced Your dog should only be allowed off leash in a completely enclosed area. Unlike with a well-trained hearing dog, even with a well-trained deaf dog it can be hard to get it to come back if it gets loose. This is simply because it cannot hear auditory commands. Even in an enclosed yard consider putting a bell on your dog. Putting a bell on your dog will allow you to keep tabs on it in the event that it gets loose. Using an invisible fence system with a vibrating collar is a humane and sensitive way to help your dog understand the boundaries of the yard.
3. Keep the dog on leash outside In general, it's not a good idea to let a deaf dog off leash in an unenclosed area. Even if the dog is well trained, it will not be able to hear you if you call for it. In addition, it will not be able to hear possible hazards, such as cars, coming towards it. There are some owners of deaf dogs that do let their dogs off leash eventually, once the dogs are highly trained and behave reliably. If you feel comfortable doing this, it is advisable to keep the dog within your eyesight at all times.
How to Keep a Deaf Dog Safe INDOORS
1. Eliminate hazards There are many hazards to deaf dogs outdoors. However, there are also some hazards to them inside their own homes. Above all, keep all items that your dog may be attracted to but that are not good for it out of reach. This includes cleaning chemicals and foods that are toxic to dogs, among other things. You may not be able to get a deaf dog to stop bad behavior as quickly as you can get a hearing dog to stop. This means that if you see your deaf dog eating something it should not, for example, you may need to physically remove the item from your dog instead of being able to give it a verbal command to let the item go.
2. Learn how to interact with the dog Deaf dogs can become snappy and defensive if they are startled and are not trained to be used to unexpected touch. Because of this, you need to interact with them differently than you would with a hearing dog. You will need to use vibration, movement, and light to communicate with the dog. For example, in order to wake your dog up, try standing nearby and allowing the dog to smell you before you touch it. If that doesn't work, you should make vibrations on the floor near it. Never touch it unexpectedly in a sensitive area.
Create your own sign language system and teach it to your dog. Even if you only have a sign for sit, stay, and lay down, it will make communication and interaction easier with your dog. Also work on desensitizing the dog to unexpected touch. Train it, as you would train a dog to sit, to have a positive response to gentle touch. Do very light touch on the shoulders or back and when the dog responds positively, give it a treat. With repeated exposure to positive outcomes from unexpected light touch, the dog should adjust to it.
3. Learn how to get the dog's attention Keeping your dog safe requires that you are able to get its attention. You even need to learn how to get the dog's attention when it doesn't know you are nearby or when it is sleeping. This can be done in a variety of ways with a deaf dog:
The easiest way to get a deaf dog's attention is to wait until it looks at you and then signal for it to come to you.
Make vibrations on the floor that the dog can feel. This is easily done by stomping on the floor.
If you are in a dark space, you can use light to get your dog's attention.
4. Consider using a vibrating collar Part of keeping a deaf dog safe is the ability to get its attention. If you have not been able to train the dog sufficiently to check in with you and you have not been able to get the dog's attention in other ways, then a vibrating collar may be called for. A vibrating collar usually has two different functions. One is that it will make an auditory sound. This will allow you to find your dog. The other is a vibration, which is designed to get your dog's attention. A vibrating collar is not a substitute for thorough training. In fact, your dog will need basic training for a dog to understand that a vibrating collar signals that it should come to you.
The feeling created by a vibrating collar is not painful but not particularly pleasant. It is not as strong as a shock collar but it does sometimes irritate dogs. Because of this, it is better to train your dog in other ways so that you can get its attention instead of using this collar. There are also collars that release a spritz of citronella, which many dogs find unpleasant, as a painless training aid. This may be an option to consider, as well.
BEST TOYS FOR DEAF DOGS This article proudly presented by WWW.DOGVILLS.COM and Nicole Etolen
Today, we will check out ten fantastic toys that stimulate your dog's other senses and provide hours of entertainment! We will also quickly go over what to consider when buying deaf dog toys.
What to Consider When Buying Deaf Dog Toys? Overall, buying a deaf dog toys is not much different than buying them for a hearing dog. In fact, you can even buy them squeaky toys! Just because they can't hear the sound does not mean they don't enjoy the experience of tearing the squeaker out! Go for toys with a fun tactile experience! Puppies spend just as much time exploring with their mouths as they do with their ears and eyes. Tactile toys like crunchy water bottles, soft plush, and rubber teething toys give your dog a chance to experience new textures. Along with buying some of the toys below, you can also make your own fun crunchy dog toy!
Just put an empty plastic water bottle inside a sock, then tightly tie the sock shut. Choose mentally stimulating toys - Interactive puzzle toys offer plenty of mental stimulation for your deaf dog. Choose visually stimulating toys like glow in the dark balls or light-up toys engage your dog's sense of sight and may even help calm him down. Don't forget the plush! Plush toys may not seem all that stimulating, but they are still an important feature in your deaf dog's toy box!
Remember, whether you have a deaf dog or a hearing dog, it is a good idea to buy a variety of different types of toys to prevent boredom! Ideally, you want to engage all of your dog's other senses, so try to choose one from each category!
Top 10 Deaf Dog Toys
1. Light-up NERF Barbell Dog Toys Review The lights inside this fun NERF dog toy make it a great visually stimulating toy but only if you very carefully supervise playtime. NERF toys are not indestructible but they do last a relatively long time, even in my house with my aggressive chewer.
2. Chuckit! Flying Squirrel Review The Flying Squirrel is not designed for Frisbee champs but it is a fun little toy to toss over short distances! If you have an aggressive chewer and you want this toy to last, make it a "togetherness time" play toy. Basically, play fetch with it, then put it away. Don't let your dog tear it apart.
3. Chuckit! Max Glow Kick Fetch Ball Fun for both you and your dog! It's big enough for you to kick or punt. Glows for up to 30 minutes per "charge". Made of rubber and foam so it can float on the water, too. Grooves make it easy for your dog to pick up. Durable enough to hold up to outdoor play.
5. DIFFLIFE Snuffle Mat for Dogs Review Snuffle mats are all the rage right now because they encourage your dog's natural hunting and foraging skills. Encourages hunting, foraging and nosework. Made of strong, durable wool that won't easily tear.
6. Kong Stuff-a-Ball Review KONG toys are pretty much a standard feature in just about every house with a dog for a good reason: they are designed to last! KONG toys are great for encouraging your dog to use his nose and his noggin to get the treats out of the middle. Just remember, the red toys are not made for aggressive chewers. You will need the black ones for that.
7. ZippyPaws Hide and Seek Unicorns in Rainbow Dog Toy Review It's insanely adorable! Super durable squeaker in each of the unicorns. While your deaf dog can not hear the squeak, he will still enjoy feeling it inside his toy. Great interactive puzzle. Put the unicorns in the rainbow and watch your dog dig them out! They are relatively inexpensive toys so even if you have a chewer, they are worth grabbing!
8. Outward Hound Ottosson Puzzle Brick Dog Toy Review The puzzle provides your dog with mental stimulation while also encouraging their hunting skills. This one comes with three different treat hiding features so once your dog bores of one, switch to another. Since it's made of plastic, it is easier to clean than the wooden version.
9. PETGEEK Interactive Smart Dog Toy Review For the ultimate interactive fun experience, try the PETGEEK smart toy! Made with super durable high-quality plastic and each component is locked up so your dog can't chew his way through to them. Toy rolls around and changes directions, giving your dog the thrill of the hunt. Activated with just a gentle touch from your dog.
10. BarkBox Subscription If you want a constant supply of fun new toys for your deaf dog, considering getting a BarkBox subscription! Each month revolves around a different fun theme and goodies are never repeated. Gives you a chance to try out new treats as well as toys! Toys are exclusive to BarkBox and include some really hilarious designs! All of the treats are made in the USA with high-quality ingredients. 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE
First of all, there are no "wrong" hand signs, you can use whatever you feel most comfortable with, as long as you are consistent. There are a few basic obedience signs, but not enough to truly communicate with your dog. The advantage to using these is that most people who have trained a dog will be able to give your dog basic commands.
Some people make up all their signs, you will probably still want an ASL dictionary, as it can be a challenge to invent signs with nothing to go on. Most people end up using a combination - obedience signs, and then one handed ASL. Anything you choose is "right" for you and your dog. The examples and ASL suggestions given on this page are just that, examples. Feel free to use, or not anything given.
WATCH DOG & PUPPY VIDEO !!! Using signs instead of words The major difference in training a dog with a hearing impairment versus training a "normal" dog is the fact that they will not be able to hear your commands. One of the best ways to combat this is to teach your dog to react to signs. American Sign Language is one of the easiest languages to learn and will greatly benefit you and your dog. It will give you a language that both you and your dog can learn in order to communicate properly.
No matter what technique you use to get your deaf dogs attention, the idea is the same - teach him as many signs as you can in order to effectively communicate what you want them to do, whether it be to sit, stay or roll over.
Just as dogs can learn many different words and phrases they will be able to learn many different signs and combinations of signs. This means that your deaf dog will have just as much means of communication with you as any other dog would!
DEAF DOG HAND SiGNALS Dog hand signals is yet another great way to teach your dog commands. Since dogs understand gestures and body language better than spoken word, training a dog to pay attention to hand cues is not that hard. Plus it is especially helpful if you or your dog is deaf.
"Good dog!" You can use the ASL word for "Good," or a "thumbs up" or anything else that feels comfortable to you. To teach it, sit with your dog and a handful or so of really tasty treats. Use your "good" sign, and give the dog a treat. Repeat this several (approximately 3 to 10) times. Then give your sign and see what happens. If she looks at you as if to say "well, where's my treat?", she understands! Give her the treat.
"No" is probably the most overused word in dog training. It is better to tell the dog something that she can do, rather than just to yell "no" all the time. For instance, if your dog jumps on you when you get home, what does telling her "no" do? Well, she knows that you aren't happy when she jumps, but she doesn't know what to do instead. So she tries something else and gets another "no." This could go on for quite a while as she tries to figure out what the proper greeting behavior is (and your dog could get the idea that you don't like her very much). It is far easier on both of you, to tell her to "sit" and skip the "no" part altogether.
You need to tell the dog what is "right," and "constructive criticism" will get you there a lot quicker. So teaching no is a little less precise, since all that it really means is "stop." Most people end up teaching at least 2 versions of no, one for minor problems, and one for big problems. The first one is for "No, that's not what I want," and just means to cut it out, do something else. You can shake your head and close your eyes, cutting off eye contact, to reinforce your disapproval. The second no is more serious. "Stop" means you are in really big trouble, and should be accompanied by a very "mean" face and angry body language. This one should be used only after the first has failed, since if you overdo it, it won't be a "big deal"
Teaching a "Release" Word Teaching a release word is also important. If you do not tell your dog that it's OK to move or do something else, he will have to decide on his own. Obviously, if you are teaching your dog to "stay," this is not a good thing, but it comes in handy at other times as well (such as when it is "OK" to go out the door). It is a fairly simple thing to teach. Whenever you finish practicing one thing, sign "OK" before going on to the next. When you end a training session, sign OK, and then put away the treats. "Leave It" is a way to tell your dog that he cannot have whatever it is he is looking at. To teach it, hold a treat in one hand, open palm (if you sign your release word with your right hand, hold the treat in your left, and visa versa). Sign "leave it", and when the dog tries to take the treat, close your hand and turn it over. Do not pull your hand away or raise it up high. The dog will probably nose or lick your hand, or maybe paw at it. When he gives up and turns away, even for a second, sign "OK" and let him have it (still don't move your hand either forward or back or lower). As you practice, your dog will realize that he cannot have the treat unless you tell him that he can. Eventually, you will be able to hold a treat right under his nose and he will not touch it. Once he knows that, you can sign "leave it" regarding other things as well (such as food on a coffee table). You will need to practice, starting slow (such as putting food on the floor, then on a table, and so on), but this behavior usually transfers well.
"Walk Nice" Dogs are taught unintentionally to pull on the leash. Whenever they are taken for a walk, they pull, and their person follows along behind, so the dog think that is what a walk is. It is easier to teach a puppy with no bad habits how to walk nice, but an older dog can be taught too. Teaching your dog to walk nice on a leash is often easier to start training off leash first. Start with a handful of treats, and while out playing, reward your dog every time she walks next to you. As she starts to do it more often, introduce a sign. Once she seems to be doing well at that part, introduce walking on the leash. After she will walk nice in the back yard, try walking on the sidewalk. Dogs that have already learned to be very determined pullers can be controlled by using a head halter. There are several manufacturers, but all work basically the same way.
The principal is the same as a horse halter - when the dog pulls, her head is turned and her body must follow. A small person is able to walk a large strong dog using one of these. Your best bet is to find a trainer to help you learn how to fit and use them, as most dogs will object at first - much like they did when first introduced to a leash and collar. Some dogs will not adjust, and something else will need to be tried, but most will get used to it. The only real drawback is that a lot of people will think that your dog is wearing a muzzle. There are many other ways to teach a dog not to pull. Two of the most common are to stop moving whenever your dog pulls, eventually, she will come back to see why you are not moving, or to turn and go the other way when your dog pulls. Sometimes your best bet is to talk to a trainer for help, as some techniques really need to be demonstrated to be effective. Regardless, your dog can be taught to walk nicely, it just takes practice.
Dog Hand Signal for SIT: Teach your dog to SIT by using a quick flip motion of your hand from palm facing down to palm facing up. With your dog in front of you and a piece of kibble in your hand by your side, bring your arm up to a 45 degree angle, with your palm facing downward. Next flip your palm up and move your hand slightly over your dog's head. Because your dog is following your hand holding the kibble, his bottom will hit the floor. As soon as he sits also use the verbal command SIT and reward him with the kibble. Continue to practice using verbal cue and gesture for 3 times. On the fourth time do not say SIT, just use the hand signal only and your dog should comply. Alternate times you offer a treat reward so your dog learning to respond to the hand signal and not just to get the reward.
Dog Hand Signal for STAY : Teach your dog to STAY by raising your arm up straight and palm facing forward. Once your dog is in the SIT position, hold your palm in front of his face and say STAY and take one step back. If your dog does not move go back to him and give him a treat reward. Start again but this time take 2 steps back. If your dog still does not move, go back and reward him again. Now go 5 feet away and raise your arm up with your palm facing your dog and say STAY. Wait for a count of three and if your dog does not move, go to him and hand him his reward. Next time take a few steps away from your dog and give the hand signal only - walk a few more steps away and show the gesture once more. Wait for a count of 5 and if your dog remained in the Stay position, go back to him and say good stay and give him a well deserve treat.
Dog Hand Signal for COME : Teach your dog to COME by using a sweeping motion with your right arm going across your chest to your left shoulder. Have your dog in front of you and at least 3 feet away. Next, with your hand by your side, show your dog that you are holding a piece of kibble in between your index finger and thumb. Next sweep your arm across to your opposite shoulder and say COME, and at that exact moment take one step back. Once your dog comes towards your praise and reward him with the treat and begin again. Repeat the steps above for 3 more times. If your dog successfully complies, on the fourth time do not say COME. Just use the hand command and reward your dog when he complies.
Dog Hand Signal for DOWN : Teach your dog to lie DOWN by bringing your arm straight down, pointing to the floor. Have your dog sit in front of you. With a piece of kibble in your hand, slowly squat down while lowering your arm towards the floor. Say DOWN while passing the kibble in front of your dog's nose. One he goes DOWN praise and reward him. If your dog does not go DOWN, while you are in the squatting position, place the kibble up under your leg and as soon as your dog goes down to get it say DOWN and then reward. Continue the entire process from a sit to down position for 5 times. Be sure to use the down command and treat reward to mark the successful action. On the sixth attempt, do not use the verbal cue. Just motion your dog to the down position and treat when he complies.
Dog Hand Signal for HEEL : Teach your dog to HEEL or walk nicely next to you by using a lowered arm motion and a pat to your leg or hip. In an open area of a large room or outside, begin by slowly walking around with a treat in your hand and your arm lowered to your side. Lightly pat your hip or upper thigh and say HEEL. Your dog will follow you closely to get to the treat. This one will take some practice so plan on having lots of treats available. You can also teach this command on leash, too. After several successful heel positions have been achieved, step 2 feet away from your dog and tap your hip. Your dog will assume the heel position for his reward.
SEND DOG somewhere with this sygnal This is great for teaching a deaf dog if you want him to go somewhere, i.e. a kennel or mat, or to fetch something. You can also use it for "sending" the dog if you are working on agility.
Thumb Up! Just like for people, you can use this sign to mean "good," or "yes." Since they can't hear a clicker, this can be a great way to "mark" when your dog does something right.
Okay Sign This is another sign you can use to as a replacement for "good" or "yes." Remember to also have positive facial expressions that help your dog understand you are happy.
Finger Pointing Down This is the most common sign for telling a dog to "lie down." Like the one for "sit," it's natural to do and easy to remember, which is important!
Hand Flat Out You can use this symbol for "off," or to teach your dog a "stop" or "freeze" cue. Just remember you can't use it for both, so decide in the beginning and stay with that decision. You will really confuse your dog if you try to switch the meaning later.
Time Out Symbol Although not commonly used in dog training, you could use it for "leave-it," "drop," or "quiet." The nice thing about this sign is it is clearly different from the others, making it less confusing for your dog.
Hand Out This is usually used as a cue to get your dog to "shake" or "high-five." However, for a deaf dog, you may use it to mean "come to me" or "bring me your toy" as well.
Two Fingers Pointed at Eyes You know the hand-to-eye signal the use in comedies to say "I am watching you"? Well, you could use this same gesture to get your deaf dog to "watch you", i.e. give eye contact.
Call Me Another uncommon signal, this one would be cute for a recall or "watch me" cue. Again, it's a nice symbol to use because it doesn't look like the others, make it easier on your dog to learn.
Start to use your signs exactly as you would normally speak to a hearing dog. Start with some everyday pleasant events such as a sign for "dinner time" and a sign for "walkies".
These are two activities that most dogs love. So, for example, get your dog's attention with a gentle tap near the shoulder blades and sign for "dinner" and then put the food bowl down or sign for "walkies" and immediately get the dog lead off it's hook. You will be amazed at how quickly your deaf dog will come to associate the hand signal with the event that follows. Keep using your chosen sign and watch your dog's reaction. If they respond with excitement expecting walkies or dinner then you have successfully communicated to your deaf dog. Congratulations. It is a great feeling isn't it.
Once you have successfully taught your dog a couple of easy signs you will be surprised how easily and quickly the rest of the signs will follow. Your deaf dog soon learns that your hands and movements are telling them interesting things. Once that happens you are both well away.
Are deaf dogs hard to train? Clearly it takes a bit of extra effort and creativity to train a deaf dog. And maybe even an extra dose of patience and humility as you navigate unfamiliar ground. Deaf dogs are different, for certain. But are not we all just a little bit different, yet equally precious?
Most people find that it is no more difficult than training a hearing dog. As mentioned above, dogs learn to respond to hand signals quite easily. Well-trained deaf dogs make eye contact with their people on a regular basis, repeatedly checking in. Deaf dogs can be trained using the basic premise of clicker training, but instead of a clicker sound, you can use a flick of a pen light or a hand signal, such as a thumbs-up sign, to mark the desired response. A positive reinforcement method such as clicker training lets your dog have fun while learning and also encourages the development of a trusting relationship with you.
Once your dog learns that responsiveness is rewarded, obedience and control hand signals can be taught and reinforced exactly like voice commands for hearing dogs and they will have just as much fun learning them! This is one of the times when treat training is extremely effective. You should slowly introduce your dog to the vibrating collar and do not expect them to understand it right away. When you make the collar vibrate and they acknowledge it, give them a treat. Do this several times a day in short sessions. After a few days to a couple weeks your dog will have successfully associated this vibration with something positive (the treat). Slowly wean your dog off the treats until finally the collar vibrating gets your dog to pay attention to you. Once you have your dog's attention you can use a sign (as mentioned above, usually from ASL) to communicate what you now expect of your dog.
When you decide to bring a puppy into your home it is a long term decision. Finding out that your dog is deaf can be difficult but that does not mean it has to bring your relationship with your dog to an end. There are many more techniques on how to train your deaf dog so that he can lead a full life. It is recommended that you keep your dog on a leash most of the time when outside the house, yard or dog park. This is more for the dogs own safety than any other reason - after all, they will not be able to hear that car coming down the road when they go chasing after a squirrel they smelled.
When it comes to teaching deaf dogs to make eye contact, reward them quickly when they turn around in response to light lead taps or floor-stamping. Eye contact should be encouraged and periodically reinforced, even after it is well established. Just avoid staring at your dog, as despite your best intentions it might appear threatening to them. The bottom line is that you and your dog will need to work together to fill in missing information. Acting as your dog's ears and taking extra safety precautions is your part of the deal, and will complement your dog's natural inclination to make the most of her sight, smell, and touch. As Bonder will confirm, deaf dogs are pretty savvy about capitalizing on their other senses.
Do I Need a Vibrating Collar? Not unless you or the dog really wants one - the majority of deaf dogs and their people do just fine without them. The vibrating collar is a paging system for the dog and its owner. It is not the same as an electronic or shock collar. We recognize that the shock from these collars is, or can be, very mild, but it's not an approach we will recommend. After all, even though a static shock from someone scuffing their feet along the carpet is not "painful," it isn't pleasant either. We want to teach the dog to "check in" with us and we want that to always be a happy thing for the dog.
The biggest drawback to the vibrating collars currently available is their weight. The collars weigh between 2.3 to 7.8 oz (65g to 221g) and are really too heavy for smaller dogs or puppies, to wear comfortably. Think about it: if the dog weighs only 20 lbs. (9 kgs), it would be like having a 2.3 pound (1 kg) weight around the neck of a 150 lb. (68kg) person. What fun would that be?
A vibrating collar does not really teach your dog to "do" anything. It is a cue to "look at me" or "watch me." It is an attention getter, like calling the dog's name and if you haven't established good basic training with your dog, what will you do once you get its attention?
The collars available today come with a number of available features. If you choose to use one, be sure that it will fit with your planned usage and lifestyle. If it is a combination vibration/shock system, make sure that the shock setting can be turned off. Check the range and the collar's resistance to water. Many of the collars have a tone feature that may seem pretty senseless on a deaf dog. But, just like finding your misplaced keys or TV remote, the tone can serve a purpose if you need to track down a sleeping or otherwise occupied pet.
This idea is not new with me, and I'm not a clicker training expert, but I'd like to present some of the things I have learned so that others can try it too. The first thing I want to do is clarify a common misconception about clicker training - It's not about the clicker! It's unfortuntate that this training method was named after only one of the possible tools. "Marker Training", or something similar would have been a better choice, because that is what it is about, marking a specific behavior, to tell the dog exactly what he or she did right, at the exact moment that they did it.
It doesn't really matter what you use for the marker, just so that it is quick, accurate, and preferably the same every time. Most dog trainers use a little plastic box that was originally a kid's toy, called a "clicker." Dolphins, seals, and other sea animals are taught using a whistle. Some people use a "special word", usually "yes", or a squeaky. With a deaf dog, a specific hand sign, or a flashlight is often used. I use the same terms that hearing dog clicker trainers use, because I think it only adds more confusion to call it "flicker training" or any of the other cutsie terms that you might see. So when you see "click" on my website, it means flash, sign, whistle, squeak - whatever applies in your situation.
Another common misunderstanding that the "click" is rewarding all by itself, and then when the dog doesn't seem to respond, people decide that it won't work for them. The very first thing that you need to do when starting to clicker train any animal is to teach them what the click means. It means "what you did right there is what I want, and you get a reward for it."
The reward can be anything that The Dog likes. It won't work if you decide that you are going to use a thrown ball for a reward, but your dog doesn't like to chase balls. Most trainers use food, because it's easy and most dogs "will work for food," but you could use some type of petting, if your dog finds petting really rewarding, chasing a toy, playing tug, throwing a ball, anything at all that the dog likes. Use "good" treats - small and stinky is usually good. If you are worried about weight gain, mix part of your dogs kibble with the more wonderful treats, and the smell will rub off on them and make them "better" (mixing treats is good anyway, so you have higher value rewards available when you need them.
Remember, the dog determines what is rewarding (not the human). Gwen does not like petting, so I can't use that as a reward. You must be sure to reward the dog every time you click, even if you clicked the wrong thing, because you risk making the click meaningless again if you aren't patient and consistent.
To begin teaching your dog, get out your chosen clicker and a bunch of yummy treats, or whatever you are using. Click, then give a treat. Do it again. Repeat. After about 5-10 times, when your dog is getting pretty excited about this new game, click and then pause briefly. Most dogs will go "Hey, where's my cookie?" Congradulations, you can start training now! If your dog doesn't do this, repeat a few more times till she does. use a small flashlight, but some people have had good luck using a specific hand sign too.
I am not as crazy about that idea, because I think you can run into the "same every time" issue, and the dog must see your hand (so either he is watching it, or you must be quick to get it in his line of vision. I don't recommend lazer pointers. The dot is really too small unless the dog is really watching for it, and you can hurt your dogs eyes if you point it at them. Some people have used vibrating collars as well, but if you use it for a clicker, it can't be used for anything else. There is also "lag time" between the moment the button is pushed and the time the dog feels the vibration. You could end up reinforcing the wrong thing!
The drawbacks to using the flashlight are the same problems that you run into with any deaf dog training. First off, they need to be at least kind of looking at you, but a deaf dog can't "listen" if they aren't looking at you anyway). Second, they don't work very well at a distance or in bright light. One other problem that can come up is the dog getting obsessed with the light, and trying to chase either it or the shadows that it makes. Gwydion had a real problem with it when he came to me, and while he's MUCH better now, I still need to be careful. The thing to watch for is that the dog should be looking for the flash, not the spot of light. If your dog is watching for the spot, choose something other than a light for your "click."
The best kind of flashlights to use are either the ones that come on keychains, where you squeeze the sides or push a button. You don't want to use one that requires moving a switch or twisting part of the light because they aren't quick enough, and the dog isn't receiving the feedback in time, so the learning process is slowed down. I like the squeeze type, as they are relatively cheap and they are small. I usually buy several at a time because I lose them. When you flash the "clicker," you point it sort of in the dog's general direction, but not directly in her eyes. The dog should be watching for the "flash" not for a spot on the floor or wall.
DEAFNESS IN ALBINO DOGS This article proudly presented by WWW.HEALTHYPAWS.COM and WWW.DEAFDOGS.ORG
All deaf dogs are albino? Deafness in dogs is caused by a variety of conditions:
Ear inflammation or infection Tumors of the ear canal or brain Trauma to the ear, physical or noise Congenital defect or disease Heavy metal poisoning Drug toxicity Old age
The gene for albinism in dogs was only discovered last year by researchers at Michigan State University. What we found was a gene mutation that results in a missing protein necessary for cells to be pigmented. Some defects in this same gene cause a condition called oculocutaneous albinism in humans. But contrary to popular belief, albino dogs are no more likely to be deaf than non-albinos.
Double Merle and piebald dogs, on the other hand, are known to suffer hearing loss more often. Both are types of coat patterns in dogs, caused by a specific gene. The distinctive pattern features mottled patches of color with blue or mismatched eyes, when two merle or piebald dogs are bred, the gene's lightening effect is doubled, with a 25% chance of creating what some call "lethal whites." Double Merle and piebald dogs are often deaf or have partial hearing loss in addition to eye issues.
10. Deaf Dogs Rock because they are not afraid of 4th July fireworks, thunderstorms or neighbors shooting their guns while doing target practice!
9. Deaf Dogs Rock because they excel in therapy dog work, emotional support dog work, and service dog assistance as they do not have the fear or anxiety that usually comes with loud noises like hearing dogs do.
8. Deaf Dogs Rock because when you are in a big group dog training class with new people they are not distracted by the sounds of other dogs barking, and you can give them cool secret hand signals to do tricks.
7. Deaf Dogs Rock because you can sneak into the kitchen for a late night snack, open a bag of potato chips and your deaf dog does not notice, unless you are close enough to the dog he/she can get a scent of your snack.
6. Deaf Dogs Rock because they can smell an intruder and feel the vibration of a car coming from a distance way before your hearing dogs can see an intruder.
5. Deaf Dogs Rock because if they are asleep when you get home from work, they stay asleep (that is until they smell your scent) instead of jumping all over you when you walk in the door.
4. Deaf Dogs Rock because you can take your deaf dog to big events like pet expos and they can not hear all the other dogs barking.
3. Deaf Dogs Rock because you can play rock/country/hip hop/rap music or sing in your car, at home, or in the shower as loud as you want and your deaf dog wwill not even notice!
2. Deaf Dogs Rock because they are the ultimate Velcro dog - no matter where you are located in your house you always will have a shadow following you around from room to room.
1. The number one reason Deaf Dogs Rock is because they Hear With Their Hearts!
BOOKS ABOUT DEAF DOGS This article proudly presented by WWW.AMAZON.COM
Use identification: Microchip your dog and have him wear an ID tag with "deaf dog" noted on it.
Use a GPS tracker collar on your dog, especially if you are traveling.
Always keep your dog on a leash when you are out walking. It's a good idea to write "I am deaf" on the dog's collar, harness or bandana to alert people when they are approaching him.
Attach a bell to your dog's collar for easy tracking if she escapes or becomes lost.
Allow your dog to be off-leash only when you are in an enclosed area.
Train your dog to be comfortable in a crate - it can be very useful in behavior management and training.
If your dog gets anxious when she doesn't know where you are, get her attention when you are about to leave the room and allow her to watch you leave. She may or may not decide to join you, but at least she will know where you went.
Always approach a deaf dog in a gentle way to avoid startling her.
As with any dog, a deaf dog needs socialization, so take your dog for walks in a variety of environments: parks, city streets, the country.
Enlist help from friends, family or neighbors to help socialize your dog. Before allowing them to approach or touch her, make sure your dog is aware that new people are present.
A "watch me" signal or physical cue, such as a light tap on the shoulder, is a great way to teach the dog to focus on you. Also, treat your dog frequently and at random times to encourage and reinforce her desire to always be checking in with you.
It is also important to keep your dog safe around hearing dogs, since they don't understand or tolerate deafness the way humans do. If a dog isn't aware that another dog wants to play, the action of ignoring that dog could lead to attacks, peer shunning, or any number of problems. You can learn techniques to use in situations where other dogs are present to alert your dog that another dog is approaching.
Does it take a special type of person to adopt a deaf dog? Many different types of people take deaf dogs into their homes and families. Experience with deafness is not necessary. Love and commitment to the adopted pet are the most important things.
Is a deaf dog a good pet for a family with children? If a deaf dog is well socialized to children, the dog is as safe to have in a home with children as any other dog. Consider all the same factors you would if you were to adopt a hearing dog, such as size, age, history, personality, behavior and activity level.
Will a deaf dog require more of a time commitment? Deaf dogs, just like hearing dogs, require time, patience and energy devoted to training and socialization to help them become well-adjusted and well-mannered. As with any dog, it's important to develop a trusting relationship and build the dog's confidence through positive interactions. Because your hands will be the primary tool that you use for communication, take care to always use your hands in a positive way.
How safe is a deaf dog off-leash? It is generally not safe to allow a deaf dog off-leash in an unfenced area, especially in a place that's close to traffic. Most people who have deaf dogs do not let them roam off-leash in an open area.
Can a deaf dog be my only pet or is a hearing companion pet needed? Deaf dogs do not need a hearing companion as a guide. The personality of the individual dog will determine whether another pet in your home is desirable. If your deaf dog is amenable, however, a furry friend with great dog skills can be a wonderful mentor.
How do other dogs react to a deaf dog? One of the challenges of living with deaf dogs is managing them around other dogs, who often misread the deaf dog as being socially inept because he or she doesn't respond "normally" to canine vocal cues. To keep your deaf dog safe around other animals, you will need to establish a "heads-up" prompt to alert your dog when other dogs are approaching. You should also watch each dog's body language for signs of discomfort, fear or aggression. On the flip side, dogs with great social skills can help deaf dogs to learn and practice similar skills.
Are there any special considerations when adopting a deaf puppy? If you adopt a deaf puppy, you will need to focus on bite inhibition as soon as possible. Mouthing is a natural dog behavior, but deaf puppies are unable to hear the squeal from an animal or human that lets them know that they are biting too hard. So, you should develop a sign for "be gentle" and redirect your puppy's attention to a toy when rough play occurs. Supply a variety of toys and appropriate items to chew. Also, adult dogs with good social skills can be a big help because they will use their body language to teach a puppy good manners.
How do I get my deaf dog's attention? In the house or on a deck, you can stomp on the floor and the vibration will alert your pup. When your pup looks around, motion for him to come towards you and as soon as you get a positive response, give tons of praises and rewards. I even use the hallway light when my pups are upstairs and I want them to come down. I flick the hall light on and off, and they come running.
Inside or outside - use a variety of tricks. Send your other dogs to go and fetch, wave my arms to catch their peripheral vision, or throw a toy in their direction. I have also used a flashlight or laser light - careful to never point a laser light towards eyes!!! This doesn't work very well on sunny days but it's great on cloudy days, in the morning or evening, and on the snow!! There is also collar that vibrates only but has limited range. We tested a collar that has the choice of vibrate or shock - NEVER would we use the shock setting!!! It has a much larger range, but we didn't like the price or the shock option. Hogan trained well to it but our Georgia was scared to death of the vibration. We didn't force it with her because she was so fearful. We have also used scent to attract them - a whiff of their favorite treat gets them coming in a flash.
How do I housebreak my deaf pup? Getting your deaf pup to go "potty" outside is really no different than for a hearing dog. Regular trips to the same spot in the yard are critical. It is also extremely important to walk your pup 15-20 minutes after eating and after he takes a drink of water. Always use the sign for potty: put your thumb of your right hand between your index and middle fingers of a closed fist. Gently shake your fist back and forth. When your pup does the deed, praise, reward, praise, and reward.
How do I teach my dog to come? Remember: "Come" may be the most important sign you teach your pup. It could save your pup's life.
Again, teaching the recall is the same for a deaf dog as for a hearing one - you just have to get his attention first and make coming to you the best thing in the world!! This is when you use the most delectable treat of all!! Of course it must be one that will not hurt your pup. I use small pieces of chicken. I use small pieces of roast beef. The only times we use these treats are when we are teaching our pups to come. It's got to be special. Teaching the sign for cookie helps, too. If I sign "cookie," they come running.
How do I begin to desensitize my deaf pup from being startled? To desensitize my pups from being startled, I would gently walk up behind them when they didn't know I was there and touch them. When they saw me, I would give a vigorous rub down. Of course, each pup is different and will accept "vigorous" at different starting points. Do not expect it to take only a few days. You can add a favorite reward when you awaken or "startle" your pup - make it something that is delicious and saved for this training. Confidence and feeling safe takes time. Remember that the saying, "Let a sleeping dog lie," started with our hearing pups. We need to desensitize all our pups from being startled when sleeping or at any time. I also took walks and asked many people to approach from the front and give treats.
I also recommend that you exercise your pup at least twice a day in hard, aerobic fun - something he or she absolutely loves to do. Just playing at will in the yard doesn't count. I played Frisbee, ran them in lure coursing, or on our mini agility course, and took them on brisk walks. My pups bonded closer to me than I ever imagined they would. Many deaf pups bond tighter, love harder, and learn quicker. The rewards are awesome.
Firstly, when an older dog starts going deaf it is not painful, unless of course there is an ear infection involved. Second, a good rule of thumb in noticing your senior dog might be going deaf is if you notice that your dog is not reacting to door bells, other dogs barking, sirens or things your dog has always reacted to in the past but is not reacting to now.
Another sign your older dog might be going deaf is if you feel your dog is sleeping heavier than normal and does not wake up to noises in your home.Deafness in Senior Dogs Your dog may also seem startled when you try to wake him up from a deep sleep.
If you suspect your hearing dog might be going deaf then try standing behind your dog to test the dog's hearing by clapping your hands or jingling a set of keys. If your dog's ears do not move, twitch or the dog's head does not turn towards the sound you are making, then there is a good chance your older dog has probably gone deaf. If you think your senior dog has gone deaf, then you need to see a Veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out an ear infection.
The good news is older deaf dogs are very easy to train with regards to learning sign commands. In fact, they are probably already reading many of your visual cues. It is important for dog owners to incorporate hand gestures in their dog's training so that all the dogs in the family learn commands by voice and hand signals. This way if both auditory and visual commands are used when the dogs are being trained, it won't be such a big deal for an older dog to make the transition from hearing to deafness as the dog ages.
If you find your senior dog has gone completely deaf and you haven't already been training with sign commands, then by all means go back to using a treat based positive reinforcement training, using treats, toys or praise as a reward along with a sign command. Once you get started, you will be amazed at just how fast your senior dog will actually catch on to your new training methods when using sign commands. For more information and valuable tips on training with sign commands, visit:
Deaf Dog Awareness Week is the last full week of every September. Petfinder celebrates it by showcasing the many homeless pets listed on our site who are available, adoptable, and deaf. Deaf pets, like other special needs pets, make wonderful furry family members. Their deafness in no way reduces their potential to bring joy to your life and become a loving companion for your family.
Deaf dogs get along better than most might think. Why? Dogs view the world very differently than humans. A human communicates in this order: Hearing Seeing Smelling
While a dog communicates in this order: Smelling Seeing Hearing
Depending on the breed, a dog's sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000 times more sensitive than a human's. A human has 5 million scent glands, as compared to a dog that has 125 million to 300 million. When a dog smells something, it can tell a lot about it. It's almost like reading a book where the object has been, what it has eaten, what it has touched. Deaf dogs rely on their nose and eyes, and those senses become even more sensitive. It is important when grooming a deaf dog not to cut off its whiskers, as dogs use these to sense the distance of things around them.
A dog that is born deaf does not know he is deaf, or rather, he does not know everyone else can hear. To him, the world is what it is. A human who is disabled in some way, in most cases, is very aware of it. Humans have a tendency to dwell on their disability. Dogs do not dwell on what they do not have because they do not think about it that way. They do not sit back and reminisce about the past, or plan for the future. For a dog, it's all about the now and what it is doing at that very moment. Besides the three senses, hearing, seeing and smelling, dogs possess yet another sense we humans lack. Dogs can read energy. If a person is nervous, they know it; if a person is scared, they know it. If a person is feeling sorry, they know it. While they can read these emotions, they read them differently than a human. To a dog, nervous, scared, pity are read as weak. Yes, if you feel pity for a dog it reads it as a weakness in the human.
A dog is an animal that instinctively lives in packs. Within the pack is a hierarchy. The definition of a hierarchy is system of persons or things ranked one above another. When a dog lives with humans, the humans become his pack. Even a family of humans has a hierarchy, in the sense that the parents are above the children, making the rules and dishing out the punishments when the rules are not obeyed. For a human it's culture. For a dog, it's a primal, animal instinct which tells them there MUST BE an order! In the vast majority of cases where a deaf dog has behavioral problems, it is due to the lack of leadership on the humans' part and / or the humans' emotions that are being directed at the dog. A human may be able to hide their true feelings from another human, but we humans can never hide our emotions from a dog.
Never feel sorry for a deaf dog, because he does not feel sorry for himself! Deaf or not deaf, be your dog's strong, confident, firm pack leader. Provide plenty of daily exercise along with lots of consistent boundaries and discipline. Teach the dog to heel on a lead and to enter and exit all door and gateways after the humans. After you have provided those things for your dog, give him love and you will have a well-balanced dog, deaf or not.
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