I can honestly say I have never lived with dogs like my deaf boxer boys Nitro and Bud. They are so different from my other dogs because they have to get into absolutely everything. They love to counter surf and until recently they  would get into any garbage can in the house so I purchased dog proof garbage cans (with a petal at the bottom).  I don’t know if it is because they are deaf and their sense of smell makes them a little more curious or if it is a boxer/bully thing. Now we have an additional two deaf dogs our Boston Terrier Bowie and our newest addition 8 year old red heeler Cornell so I have to be extra vigilant about keeping all my dogs (deaf and hearing) safe at all times. We officially have four deaf dogs and two senior hearing dogs.

I hear from a lot of our followers in our Deaf Dogs Rock community who have the same issues with their deaf  and hearing Pit Bulls, Great Danes, American Bulldogs and Boxers. Some of the stories I receive involve deaf dogs getting into the refrigerator (no not to fetch a beer), kitchen cabinets, counter surfers and some of our followers have deaf dogs that can open doors and gate latches to escape!

My deaf boxer Bud had gotten loose only once in the past couple of years and when he got out I felt like I was having heart attack. Instead of chasing him, I ran the opposite direction into the barn and he followed me so I did eventually catch him. A good rule of thumb is not to chase your deaf dog but to stop, drop and roll because the dog will be so curious he will come to see what the heck you are doing on the ground.

After Bud’s one time escape, I took safety precautions to a whole new level so I want to share some of my tips with all of you to keep your babies safe.  I hope these safety tips help you feel more at ease with your deaf and hearing dogs.

*****We do not accept sponsored posts or content anywhere on our website so when you see products I write about, these are products I purchased myself and I have no relationship with the company mentioned (and they probably have no idea we exist). 


Photo above: We have recently installed inside locks on all the front porch screen doors because the dogs could just push them open. We have also put a section of X-pen up at the front double front porch screen doors to keep the dogs from just pushing the doors open and running down into the front yard. The front yard is fenced and the gates are usually closed but I don’t want to have to down the stairs to retrieve them every time they dash down the front stairs (because I can’t call them back).

The gate in front of the screen door allows me to go in and out of the door without them following me. Since Nitro’s deer tick bite last year, he can not go down the stairs. He gets halfway down the stairs and panics so the X-pen is an extra precaution for him as well. With the X-pen section in front of the front screened porch door, I can let the other dogs go down the stairs to the front yard and I can go with them without having to worry about Nitro following us. Notice in the bottom left photo Nitro standing behind the gate behind Bud and his ball?


Photo above: If you have an open porch you can also buy lattice and do your own DIY gate so you can make it long. It can hook on a hook on each post. This cost less than $15 to make

Above: When we screened in our front porch we added front and side screened doors so we added hook latches to the door and just use an x-pen panel secured by a huge heavy bird cage to keep the dogs from running out the door (this also keeps them from scratching the screen). 

Side porch door with latch 

We recently added a door handle that catches when the screen door closes and we added a metal screen to the bottom of all the porch screened doors. So now the door has a hook, a door knob that catches and metal grating on the bottom of the door.

As you can see from our inside door which is the door we use the most, there are two doors (and inside door) and the outside screened porch door with the latch and hook (so this is a good double fail system so the dogs can’t get out).

Another thing Chris and I decided to do is put rope loops on all three front yard gates. This way it makes us stop and loop the gate just in case the latch doesn’t catch. It has been a wonderful addition because now I can stand at the top of the front porch stairs and I can visually see all three gates are securely looped before I let the dogs come down the stairs into the front yard.


Photo above: Take a light weight rope and tie it in a loop to loop over two sections of the fence to keep the gate closed (like a double fail method).

Just the other day I put Nitro, Bud and Bowie in the back yard but took Cornell to the front yard to get him to do his business. I was only going to be out with Cornell for maybe 2 or 3 minutes. As I was watching Cornell sniff around to pick a spot to do his business, I heard my back gate open (from the back yard), so I bolted over to the side gate at the front yard that has a straight view to the back gate to see if my deaf dogs were escaping.  Sure enough all of my deaf dogs came trotting out the back gate (loose)! I played it cool, opened the side front gate, did jazz hands, smiled a big smile and sign for them to “come in” and all of them came running in the front yard. I immediately shut the front gate and looped it! Whew…heart attack averted and at that very moment I realized I did not have a double fail system in place at my back gate. Sometimes when I shut that back gate, it doesn’t latch so we installed this awesome bolt lock. We make sure it is always locked and the cool thing is no one can come into our back yard because they won’t know how to trip the lock. Basically you just slide the top latch down and forward.

New bolt gate lock

Nitro can be pretty crafty when he sets his mind to get a gate open. He will flip open the baby gates I installed throughout the house so it is important I stop and take the time lock them behind me so he doesn’t unlock them for all the dogs.

Bowie escaped the other day and  headed straight towards the horses (which I nearly had a heart attack), I ran into the front yard to get his ball and he followed me because he knew the ball was in the front yard. I got lucky that time so I went to the store and purchased a whole bunch of tennis balls and put them in plane sight all over our farm so if Bud or Bowie get loose, all I have to do is grab a ball and run to the front field or to the front yard and they will follow.

Photo above: As you can see I have strategically placed them all over the farm just in case deaf dogs Bowie or Bud get loose (because they love balls – Nitro and Cornell could care less about balls). 

Photo above: Nitro and Bud are counter surfers. I caught this photo of Nitro counter surfing a few years ago. After a couple of corrections he doesn’t do this anymore (the few times he has counter surfed he was not allowed in the kitchen for like a week so he stopped). Bud steals napkins and paper towels from the counters so we are vigilant about making sure the counters are clear of trash. 

My most important tip to all of you is invest in baby gates! I have purchased extra tall gates for the hallway and basement stairs that can be locked so Nitro, Bud and Bowie can’t be in another part of the house if I get distracted. All of them need to be near me so I can monitor what they are up to because they like to get into things.




I got lucky with the gate below because I found it for $ 15 on a Yard Sale Page and it was like new (they sell for $ 44 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.

When Nitro was a puppy he lived on the streets for awhile so he was really good at just walking up to a trash can and knocking it over with his shoulder.  The first time he did what I call his “UFC Shoulder Move” was when we were at our local car dealership getting the car oil changed. He walked right into the dealership, took one look at the trash can, walked over to it, and then proceeded in knocking the can over with his shoulder with such finesse. At that point, I could tell he was some what experienced at “cracking open” any garbage can. For Nitro it was like taking candy from a baby but not anymore!

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.

If your dog hates crates there is another option of putting an extra tall dog gate in a hallway. We put electrical socket covers over the outlets for safety reasons. We use this as a “time out” area when the dogs are playing to rough or when the veterinarian comes over and we are tending to another dog in the living room.


Because I was worried about snakes and bees stinging Nitro and Bud in their outside kennels, we ended up installing kennels in our bedroom ($190 on Amazon) and they come with a shade/rain cover but we don’t use it inside – we added a $30 piece of plywood bottom).  I also worried Nitro and Bud would get overheated outside in the summer time so the inside kennels are a perfect solution.

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Photos above: In the kennels in the bedroom we added a large piece of covered plywood down to protect the carpet. 


Photo above: A few years ago we had four rail split oak horse pasture fencing in the front of our house but we did not use the pasture for our horses. We decided it would be best to take all the old fencing down. After we removed the old split oak boards, we refurbished the existing posts and ran wire fencing to create a one acre deaf dog park. We made sure to do a double gate system so no dog escapes by accident. We walk in the first gate, close it, unhook the leashes, open the second gate, and let the dogs out to play. When we leave the play area, all dogs must be inside the holding area and all leashes are attached before the outside gate is opened. This is exactly how they do it at most of our local dog parks. We do a lot of “meet and greets” with deaf dogs and their prospective new families (and their dogs) so this is also a great buffer for the dogs to meet each other for the first time with a gate in between them. 

Click here to read about our 15 DDR Life Hacks for Deaf Dog Families

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

Living/family room

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


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!

*****We do not accept sponsored posts or content anywhere on our website so when you see products I write about, these are products I purchased myself and I have no relationship with the company mentioned (and they probably have no idea we exist).