I ran across this article in my issue of Modern Dog and I decided to look on-line to see if I could link to it for all of you deaf dog owners or folks who are thinking about adopting a “deafie”. This article “Training Deaf Dogs” was written by Dr. Jennifer Messer and you can sure tell she has a deaf dog. All her points were right on target. I hope you enjoy this article.
Training Deaf Dogs
By Jennifer Messer
Dear Dr. Messer I have a wonderful little Boston Terrier/French Bulldog cross that I just found out is profoundly deaf. It only makes her that much more precious to me, but I would be interested in an article about the trials, tribulations, and successes with deaf dogs. I give her a thumbs-up sign when she does well, but I’m not sure if I should ever give her a sign for “no,” or only for good. I am ignoring the people who say a deaf dog cannot be trained, but I could sure use some tips.—Alison, by email
Alison, You’d be amazed at how common it is for deaf dogs to fool us into thinking they can hear. Just as deaf humans tend to capitalize on other senses, most deaf dogs take full advantage of their superb sense of smell, sight, and touch. In fact, they sometimes compensate so well for lack of hearing that it even gets them into trouble!
Take Whisper, a 3-year-old Australian Cattle Dog. Her first owners had no idea she was deaf, so pegged her as a “stubborn puppy” for not coming when called and “obstinate” for blowing off loud scolding. When they eventually realized she could not hear, they handed her over to a rescue organization.
With over 85 breeds affected by inherited deafness, you would think that the myths about deaf dogs being untrainable and making terrible pets would be ancient history, yet euthanasia is still shockingly common. Lucky for Whisper, Elise Bonder knew that such claims are nothing short of tall tales. Adopting Whisper with full knowledge of her deafness, Bonder was keen to make the few adaptations to standard training that were needed to bridge communication in Whisper’s silent world—including learning how to say “no!” Let’s take a look at how basic training can be tweaked to help deaf dogs share our lives with all the joy, freedom, and safety we can offer them.
Click here to see full article from Dr. Jennifer Messer on moderndogmagazine.com or click on the link below: