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Date Posted: 15:43:38 06/03/04 Thu
Author: Kristin
Author Host/IP: 66.19.102.115
Subject: Re: Deaf puppy-Barking
In reply to: Laura Dallas 's message, "Deaf puppy-Barking" on 13:51:06 06/03/04 Thu

I have to admit, barking was an issue with my deaf pup as well. I think, at that young age, they don't have object permanence yet. In otherwords, when you leave their sight (and they can't hear you in the other room), as far as their baby minds know, you've fallen off the face of the earth. And the earth is only as big as what they can see. They don't know that when an object isn't in view, it still exists.

I think it took my deaf boy longer to learn this because he couldn't "hear" things - like the fridge, washing machine, me, etc. - in the other room. So, if he couldn't see them, they maybe ceased to exist.

He seemed to develop object permanence at about 12 weeks of age. Until that time, I think he got very frightened everytime I left his sight. This caused crate issues, and I'm still dealing with the remains of that today (he's 15 mths old).

As far as the barking goes, first, don't give into it, or you've rewarded the bad behavior (which I think you already are aware of). I taught quite by first making a C with my hand when my dog would bark to tell him "quite." Then, if he didn't quite, I would gently (and gently is the key here) put that C hand around his muzzle and hold it there - gently - until the barking stopped. Then, you can, if you're used to clicker training, use a small flashlight as the click and then treat.

A word on the flashlight as a clicker substitute for deaf dogs. It does work. I purchased a blue flashlight from Radio Shack because it gave a different hue light, and dogs can see some colors, blue being one of them. As Noofie, one of the posters here, has pointed out, flashlights can become a probelm for some dogs who become obsessed with them. If your Aussie starts to chase the light, you'll need to come up with another clicker substitute. Any visual cue will do.

Also, a word on the gentle part of holding the nose. If you grab the nose quickly and harshly, you will get the baggage of the dog ducking everytime you reach to pet its head. So, make sure you move slowly to hold the muzzle, and that you are being very gentle. If the dog starts to avoid having you pet its head in normal situations, you will need to go another route to stop the barking.

I hope others post with other ways of dealing with the issue. I personally feel you will need more than the average amount of patience to teach a deaf dog not to bark. I think it's harder for them to know they are barking, and that that is the behavior you are trying to stop.

Good luck.

-Kristin




I just yesterday took in a foster puppy, a completly
>deaf Australian Sheperd. Six and a half weeks old,
>poor thing was to be put to sleep by the breeder.
>
>Anyway,
>
>I wonder what is a good way to correct her for
>barking? She barks her head off, very very loud, for
>long periods of time, especially when confined or when
>I am not giving in to her demands (like not picking
>her up). She is a bossy little thing! Normally with
>hearing dogs I would give a stern "No bark!" which
>usually startles the dog into being quiet for a few
>seconds, then click and treat for the brief quiet, but
>I don't know how to approach this with a deaf pup.
>
>If anyone has any advice on this matter I would
>appreciate it. I just want to start working on this
>asap because I forsee it is going to be a problem.
>
>Laura Dallas

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