From Christina Lee of Deaf Dogs Rock.

Hi DDR Community!

If your deaf dog is all of a sudden acting strange, sticking to you like glue, or just acting unusual, here is a story I want to share from Tanya Clair Yerkovich but before I share her story I also want to share a short story of what happens often to our deaf boxer Bud.

What I am about to describe only happens to our deaf boxer Bud (the other three deaf dogs in the family do not have this reaction at all). When a bug lands on my deaf boxer Bud he becomes anxious and won’t leave my side.  My other three deaf dogs don’t react like he does and over the past two years I occasionally get emails about deaf dogs being super anxious and they won’t leave their person’s side. It took me a while to figure it out but I did figure it out.

The first time it happened to our deaf dog Bud we discovered he had one flea on him. We had purchased and installed a new wood stove and we were bringing some of the wood inside our house to store next to the wood stove. My deaf boxer Bud always lays in front of the woodstove in the morning to nap and when he started sticking to me like glue and acting strange along with being very anxious, I knew something wasn’t right and I decided to check every inch of him. What I discovered was one flea on him (in the middle of winter). I gave him a flea bath  and he was fine for a couple of days then it happened all over again. I Googled “Does wood for the woodstoves contain fleas” and sure enough what I discovered is fleas live under the bark of firewood and can easily be brought into the house.  Our next step was to move all the wood outside. The next time it happened it was a fly that landed on him in his bedroom kennel. He was not happy. It took me several days of dropping boiled chicken in his kennel to get him comfortable again (every time he was anxious he became my shadow). Now I take a blanket and make a nest for him after he lays down. I cover most of his body and curl the part of the blanket around his head like a nest so if a fly lands on him he won’t feel it. This works great. I also make sure there are no flies in the bedroom when we go to bed (If you have a Windex bottle just spray the fly when it lands and then kill it).

The next time it was a stink bug. We have stink bugs here in the South. Those little stinkers come out from hiding in the winter when the wood stove warms the great room up and one landed on Bud head (sometimes they just buzz around his head which also freaks him out). My other deaf dogs will play with a stink bug but not Bud, he is freaked out and he will follow me everywhere. You can also desensitize your deaf dog to bugs landing on them by maybe getting a feather cat toy and tickle him often with the toy and then treat him so he gets the idea of something touching your deaf dog it is no the end of the world.  Make sure to use high value treats and treat, treat, treat during this exercise.  Redirection is going to be key when a dog is freaked out. Play some scent games by hiding treats out in open and pointing to them, give the “go find it” sign and then make it a little harder by hiding them out of sight and signing “go find”. Another good redirection treat is put some Peanut butter in a Kong for your deaf dog to enjoy. Puzzle games for deaf dogs are another great option.


Now on to Tanya’s story. Tanya wrote in her email her amazing story of all the surprising challenges she and her family experienced once she got her new deaf puppy home.  Who would have ever thought in a million years the very home they lived in would be causing their new deaf dog such intense stress and behavioral issues? After all a home is suppose to be our sanctuary right?  I hope these two stories help you if your deaf dog is acting strange. ~ Christina Lee – DDR 


Could What Happened to Our Deaf Puppy Happen to Your Deaf Dog? 

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This is the story that should be shared with many deaf dog owners who might be experiencing the same thing. These issues can also happen in a home with lots of children (lots of vibrations from the pitter patter of little feet). It is a deaf dog adoption story written by Tanya of her little deaf boxer puppy Dublin who also happens to be of our Deaf Dogs Rock sponsored Rocker Puppies. Dublin was rescued and fostered by Green Dogs Unleashed Rescue and did very well in his training before he went to his new adoptive family. Be sure to share this story with some of your friends who may be experiencing the same challenges with their deaf dogs. You just never know what unseen environmental stresses caused by sights, vibrations, lights, shadows, or certain scents which can cause a deaf dog to act out when moving into a new home. Also keep in mind some deaf dogs are totally freaked out by ceiling fans which is why we took all three  of our fans out of the ceiling and now we have stand up fans in different rooms.

~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock

Could What Happened To Our Deaf Puppy Dublin Happen To Your Deaf Dog? By Tanya Clair Yerkovich


We have recently had an experience with our deaf dog Dublin who we adopted in December from green dogs unleashed in Virginia that might be helpful to deaf dog owners as they learn about their new family member. Ill try to keep it short.
We adopted Dublin in early December of last year. Soon after we brought him home to our old cottage house on the farm, he began to display extremely intense behavioral issues, from urinating, deficating, and marking in the house, to severe leash and car aggression and pretty much everything in between. Although he and our resident dog got along famously outdoors (in a boxerly sort of way) Dublin would become aggressive with Bella in the house regularly.
Dublin also would challenge us physically and refused to be crated, attempting to escape by chewing through it. When we contacted green dogs unleashed and the foster he had lived with while in rescue to discuss these issues, they claimed to have never seen such behavior from him in the time he had been in their care. We were all intensely perplexed. We thought they had withheld his true nature, and they suggested we were not strong leaders. We thought of giving him back, but just couldn’t. It didn’t make any sense. Generally Dublin was sweet natured, loving, if a little spoiled.
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Over the next 8 months we worked diligently with Dubby and made a lot of progress in many areas, but he would still lash out at Bella and us from time to time. We had grown to love his sweet side but we were having an extremely difficult time trusting him in any way, anywhere. Life with Dublin was very tense. Bella was extremely stressed and spent most of her indoor time in her crate to avoid him, and we were constantly on edge awaiting the next dog fight.
Last month we decided to move.
We were anxiety ridden that the upheaval of the move would exacerbate Dublin’s issues or set back the progress we had made. We were fully prepared for even more fighting and who knew what else!
Oddly, there have been no problems at the new house at all. Everything is wonderful. Dublin is calmer and more even tempered than we have ever seen him. There have been NO fights, the tension has rapidly dropped and we are beginning to trust him for the first time.
Of course we are thrilled, but I couldn’t help but wonder why the change, and so I thought back on what might be the difference… It became glaringly clear that our cute old cottage on the farm with its nearly century old floors shook. The house shook all the time! Poor Dublin’s world was literally shaking all the time.
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With every step anyone took day or night Dublin would be jolted into alert/defense mode. He never got a break. He must have been exhausted. The poor guy had no idea why the house was shaking every time it shook, he just was doing his job. He would go straight to a door or window with hackles up, ready to fight. And that’s exactly what he did, he fought.
We have been in the new place for only a few weeks and Dubby has been a very different dog, the dog we could see glimpses of between episodes. He still has his issues with shadows and light, he still becomes overly excited visually, he still has to know where everyone is when he’s awake, but he isn’t constantly on alert. He and Bella are becoming close, Bella isn’t retreating from the family, and we are slowly beginning to trust him and love him the way we always wanted to.
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I thought this information might be helpful to someone out there, as I would have never thought something so minor to us could cause so much turmoil for our deaf buddy. It has been a terrifying, frustrating, beautiful, journey so far and we are better equipped after this experience to see the world  Dubby’s way. I’m so glad we held out for him. It sucks being misunderstood.