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Date Posted: 10:48:06 02/04/05 Fri
Author: Donna L
Author Host/IP:
Subject: New puppy - Deaf?

We have a new Boston Terrier, Lola and I think she may be deaf. She doesn't respond to voices at all and seems oblivious to noise. The only responses we've gotten to our at home hearing tests seem to be related to vibration or movement more than sound. I'm taking her to the vet next week to see what he says.

In the meantime, I'm having trouble with two issues, barking at night and biting. I'm not good at training animals. Our last Boston was managable, but I think she trained me more than I trained her. So I really need some guidance. I know that without being able to hear there are extra considerations and the margin for error is different and I really don't want to mess up here....

At night we put her in a crate. Some nights she sleeps fine until 5:30 or so. I then get up take her out to the bathroom, play, get her some breakfast, and move on with our day. Our usual wake up time is 6, so 5:30 is fine. Other nights she wakes up at 1 or 2, yelping in a high panic. I get up take her outside then try to get her back in the crate. She goes into high panic whenever I put her back in the crate. I've tried putting her to sleep by holding her before I put her back in, but she wakes as soon as I take my hands off of her. I've also tried giving her treats, a kong to play with, clothing that smells like us, putting a blanket over her crate, basically everything I've found suggested in books or on websites. Nothing seems to work. With our last dog, I just put the crate in the laundry room, turned off the light and let her bark for a minute. When I didn't come back she'd settle in and go back to sleep. With Lola, she just gets more frantic, barking for over half an hour, waking everone in the house and making us all miserable. We've never managed to wait it out long enough for her to go back to sleep. I always give in so that the rest of the family can rest and wind up sitting dozing in the recliner with her in my lap until I give up at 4 or 5 and make coffee. I know this isn't the way to go and I'm letting her win, but I don't know what else to do. Letting her bark and keeping the whole family up isn't an option. Any suggestions on how to help her quiet herself?

Also, she sometimes bites too hard and isn't responding to "no". I usually get her to stop by giving her a chew toy to bite on but it feels like maybe I'm accidentally rewarding her with the toy and encouraging the biting rather than discouraging it. The other biting problem is that whenever any family member lays down on the floor Lola views it as an invitation to attack. She bites noses and ears HARD and growls and snaps. I've told my family to quit laying on the floor around her, but it seems like I'm training the family and not the dog. What should I be doing?

I feel incompetent and lost. I am looking for trainers in our area, but haven't found anyone so far. Any suggestions on what to do until I find someone, would be really appreciated.



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