I can honestly say I have never had a dog like my deaf dog Nitro who constantly has to get into absolutely everything. He loves to counter surf and until recently he would get into any garbage can in the house, that is until I spent $105.00 on garbage can that he can’t open. I don’t know if it is because he is deaf and he is a little more curious or if it is a boxer bully thing. I have a feeling it is a boxer thing.
I hear from a lot of our followers in the deaf dog community that have the same issues with their deaf and hearing Pit Bulls, Great Danes, American Bulldogs and Boxers. Some of the stories I get involve dogs getting into the refrigerator (no, not to fetch a beer), kitchen cabinets and some people even have dogs that can open doors and escape!
Recently, Nitro learned to flip open the baby gates I installed throughout the house so now I have to make sure I lock them behind me every time I go through a gate. I hope you can use some of these tips for all your dogs because I had to learn by trial and error which can be expensive. ~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock
(Photo of Nitro counter surfing. I keep a spray bottle of water near the sink and he gets squirted if he gets up on the counter. This is the only time I ever use the water bottle. Within about two days he stopped counter surfing all together because he didn’t want to get sprayed with the water bottle).
Here are a few more tips I have learned since adopting Nitro. Please keep in mind, my other three hearing dogs don’t have any of these issues and they never get into anything. Like I said it could be the boxer breed trait or the fact that he is deaf and very curious.
My most important tip to all of you is invest in baby gates! I have purchased higher end gates (taller and wider) for the hallway and basement stairs that can be locked so Nitro can’t be in another part of the house if I am distracted. He has to be near me in the house so I can keep him an eye on him so he will stay out of trouble. Keep in mind he is still young.
I got lucky with the Safety 1st gate below because I found it for $ 15 on the FB Roanoke Yard Sale Page and it was like new (they sell for $ 45 new). Let me tell you how much I love this gate because I can put it in place with only one hand verses two like I had to do with my old gate. They also have the wooden inexpensive baby gates at Walmart for around $ 17.
Nitro lived on the streets for a while before he was found down at the river so it’s no wonder when ever he sees a garbage can he just walks right up to it, rams it with his shoulder and all the contents come flying out. The first time he did what I call his “UFC Shoulder Move” was when we were at our local car dealership getting the oil changed. He walked right in the dealership, took one look at the can, walked over to it, and then proceeded in knocking the can over with such finesse. At that point I could tell he was somewhat experienced at “cracking open” any garbage can. For Nitro it was like taking candy from a baby.
I was actually impressed with his little shoulder move and at the same time I was a bit nervous too. In the kitchen we decided to go high end with a simplehuman step can and this garbage can totally rocks because he can’t get his nose under the lid to flip it open. The designers made sure the lid sits flush with the top of the can so no dog can pry it open with their nose.
Outside on the front porch we have installed a expansive swing wide baby gate at our side door opening. For the front of the porch stairs we made a pretty cool DIY gate out of framed lattice so we could make it long and then we just hang it at the top of the stairs on two hooks.
Front porch entrance gate
Here are more tips from American Humane Association.org - Here’s how to keep your companion animal safe in your home.
Use childproof latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets
Place medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves
Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched cabinet
Check for and block any small spaces, nooks, or holes inside cabinets or behind washer/dryer units
Make sure your kitten hasn’t jumped into the dryer before you turn it on
Keep foods out of reach (even if the food isn’t harmful, the wrapper could be)
Keep the toilet lid closed to prevent drowning or drinking of harmful cleaning chemicals
Place dangling wires from lamps, VCRs, televisions, stereos, and telephones out of reach
Put away children’s toys and games
Put away knick-knacks until your kitten has the coordination not to knock them over
Check all those places where your vacuum cleaner doesn’t fit, but your puppy or kitten does, for dangerous items, like string
Move common house plants that may be poisonous out of reach. Don’t forget hanging plants that can be jumped onto from nearby surfaces
Make sure all heating/air vents have covers
Put away all sewing and craft notions, especially thread
Move all chemicals to high shelves or behind secure doors
Clean all antifreeze from the floor and driveway, as one taste can be lethal to animals
Bang on your car hood to ensure that your kitten (or any neighborhood cat) has not hidden in the engine for warmth
Keep all sharp objects and tools out of reach
Keep laundry and shoes behind closed doors (drawstrings and buttons can cause major problems if swallowed)
Keep any medications, lotions, or cosmetics off accessible surfaces (like the bedside table)
Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing
Be careful that you don’t close your kitten in closets or dresser drawers
And look out for paws, noses, and tails when you shut doors behind you or scoot chairs.
Note from Christina: Last spring I got on Google and looked up what plants are toxic to dogs and I got rid of all of my poison flowers. If you have a lot of plants please be sure they are safe around puppies and dogs. Also I always keep my Emergency Vet phone numbers on the Fridge and in my cell phone. When something bad happens you do not want to have to take a couple of extra minutes to find a phone number because it could mean life or death for your pooch.
In the photo below is one of our Deaf Dog Rocks local adopted dogs Ellie admiring her own work. She loves to shred paper!