Dog Training 101 : Deaf Dog Training
Just like people, dogs can experience hearing problems or even complete deafness. Some dogs are born deaf, while others lose their hearing later in life due to an accident or disease. Many people mistakenly think that deaf dogs are useless and cannot be properly trained.
This is simply not the case — deaf dogs can be as well-trained as other dogs using the right kind of deaf dog training program.
Training a deaf dog requires different methods. Which methods you use will depend on your needs and preferences. Here are some tips about training a hearing impaired or deaf dog.
Even though your dog cannot hear, he can see and smell. A deaf dog often has a stronger sense of sight and smell than a normal dog as these senses overcompensate for the deafness.
Be patient. Training your deaf dog may take longer than training a dog that can hear would. This is because it is a little harder to capture and keep your dog’s attention in a distracting environment such as a yard or park.
Be sure to begin training in an area free of distractions before introducing a more distracting environment.
It is fine to use verbal commands combined with body signals. Although your dog cannot hear what you are saying, he will be able to soon recognize the signals you give him. American Sign Language can be used to give basic commands to your dog as long as they are easily recognized.
Even though your dog is deaf, he still needs lots of praise for a job well done. Treats are always a good reward. You can even implement a special hand gesture that means “Good job!” Use this technique when giving negative feedback as well.
If you’re uncertain about your ability to train a deaf dog, don’t give up your canine friend. Find a professional trainer experienced in working with deaf dogs. They will teach you basic dog training and communication methods. With a lot of love, patience and consistency, you will see amazing results from your deaf dog.