We here at Deaf Dogs Rock are so excited to add deaf dogs who do training to compete in levels in agility, rally, scent work, fly ball, lure coursing and obedience just to name a few. Kate is such an inspiration to new deaf dog owners everywhere. Deaf Dogs Rock is so proud to feature a deaf dog owner like Kate Heater who has made the decision of making training her deaf dog Cleo a priority. Because of her consistent positive reinforcement training commitment, she has taken Cleo’s training to the next level just so Cleo could ROCK her Agility course by earning her Agility Championship medal. Thanks Kate for sending us Cleo’s story! ~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock

Cleo Rocks Her Agility Title – By: Kate Heater

Meet Cleo! Cleo is an 8 year old Jack Russell/Rat Terrier Mix. She was a rescue that I acquired after somebody dumped her near my home. I believe that she was dumped due to her being deaf. I’ve had Cleo since she was about 2 years old and I was just a freshman in high school. At the time, I knew nothing of training a deaf dog, but I was already interested in training animals so Cleo and I began our adventure together. After Cleo became a permanent member of our family, I enrolled her in my local 4-H group and got her started in obedience training.

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Cleo and I learned very quickly to pay a lot of attention toward one another. It was especially fun to see her watch the other dogs in our class while patiently waiting for her turn. Cleo would watch the other dogs then look up at me and when it was her turn, she already had a pretty good idea of what she was suppose to do next.

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After a year of Cleo attending obedience class, I quickly became interested in the Dog Agility Class. We soon joined the Agility Class as well. Looking back to our early training days I wouldn’t want to do what we did any other way. We nailed it with every step we made and every accomplishment brought us to exactly where we wanted to be today in her training.

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Kate and her deaf dog Cleo relaxing in the sunshine. They are BFF’s!!!

I love this little deaf girl Cleo to pieces and I can’t imagine my life without her. I am so proud to be the owner of such an amazing and skillful little deaf dog. Being a deaf dog and overcoming so many obstacles is just an amazement to me. I know it must have been so scary for her in the first two years of her life; not knowing what was going on and being so frightened all the time.

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Today she holds the fastest record time at the Wilson County Fair with a striking 34 second run on a 3 minute course!

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For her Agility Awards she holds a Grand Champion, two Top Blue, two Blue, and three Red at County level. As well as a Grand Champion, a White, and two Blues at State level. Today my deaf dog Cleo also knows many hand sign commands including sit, look at me, shake, rollover, play dead, spin in a circle, jump, touch it, leave it, and
lay down. Her directional sign communication is so well established that it has helped her achieve the higher levels of Agility with her training.