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Date Posted: 21:19:42 02/04/05 Fri
Author: Kristin
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Re: New puppy - Deaf?
In reply to: Donna Lemley 's message, "Re: New puppy - Deaf?" on 20:25:27 02/04/05 Fri

Hi Donna,

Well, you're dealing with a baby. 7.5 weeks old is even too young to be away from siblings yet, although most breeders mistakenly sell their dogs at six weeks. As a performance trainer, I don't like puppies to leave their littermates until at least 8 weeks. Some trainers even like 12. It helps the pups learn "doggie" language better and also helps keep them from things like what you're going through.

I understand the family issues, however the only way to deal with this is to ignore the screaming puppy. Because of her age, if she does scream to go out, I would respond. If a puppy of her age learns it's OK to soil a crate, it will make potty training very difficult. However, once she's eight months old or so (whenever she can show good bladder control), I would quit responding to her calls to go out at night.

But now you must not respond to the screaming after she's been outside. Instead of putting canned dog food in the Kong, try some other things. I sometimes make "peanut butter sandwiches." I get very gooey white bread (the more gooey the better, as it becomes difficult to get out) and I put a little bit of that in, then a little peanut butter, a little more bread and a little more peanut butter. I stuff them in hard and throw the Kong in the crate. You can also take a Kong, fill the small pin-hole at the end with Peanut Butter and freeze it. Then, take chicken broth and pour some into the Kong and freeze the broth. I sometimes have four or five Kongs sitting frozen and ready to go in my freezer.

I have discovered that one of my deaf Shelties has a peanut butter allergy, so he gets frozen Bill Jac dog food in his Kong. Frozen Bill Jac, when thawed, is very sticky and goes great in Kongs.

Make sure you don't give too much food in the Kong, though. You do have a baby, and he needs his puppy food for good nutrition.

I would strongly recommend having the puppy crated by your bed, especially considering the age. I know one trainer who keeps her baby puppies in crates by her bed for a few months after they come home. If they wake crying, she just hangs her hand/fingers over the side of the bed and into the crate and goes back to sleep. A puppy has had it's siblings and mother to sleep with, and all the sudden it's asked to sleep alone in a crate - rather scary really. And if it doesn't have object permenance - then you can imagine how scary that would be!

Don't give into letting the puppy sleep in your bed, though. This can be a bad thing for a new puppy. I've written about this in other posts.

I don't think feeding her is the issue. If she's going to sleep the first time in the crate, then the real issue is she's just not tired when she goes back in at 1 or 2 a.m., and you leave, which scares her. It's just an issue of training her that the screaming won't make you return.

And, I'd see a trainer, soon. Sometimes these crate problems can turn into seperation anxiety, which is a big issue, difficult to deal with.

Your vet may also have some good recommendations, including possible mild seditives for those nights that Lola wakes up. After she's gone potty, you can maybe give her a mild seditive and a tasty Kong to help her get back to sleep.

Unfortunately, puppies are hard work. I'm always amazed when I get a new puppy how tough the first two or three months are. It's not much different than having an infant because indeed - that's what you have! The good news is that they grow up. The family will have to deal with this, though.

And, also because of her very young age, the biting issue may take more than two weeks to see improvement. Work it for a month, and then see if you've gotten any improvement. If not, write back, and I'll give you more ideas.

It sounds like you're determined to make the situation work, and that's great. However, it will mean demands on you and the whole family. Once a puppy is nicely trained, though, you've got a great companion for his life.

And remember, this is indeed an infant. Be patient. Don't loose control. I know this is trying, but in the big scheme of things, it's a small amount of time.

Good luck. Keep us posted.


I think you'll really need to get a trainer. You don't have to have someone who has worked with deaf dogs before. While there are special issues with deaf dogs, really good trainers will have a good understanding of those issues. Where in the country do you live? Ddeaf.com has a list of trainers who have experience with deaf dogs. You can check them out to see what they say.

Also, I'd be interested to hear with the bad websites you visited about deaf dogs said first. I know many breeders still put down deaf dogs. I think it's a travesty. My sheltie whoops up on hearing dogs in the agility and obedience rings. Deaf dogs can do anything hearing dogs can do.

Thanks Kristin! I thought that was the problem.
>Lola is only 7.5 weeks old. So I think she's too
>young to have either bladder control or object
>permanence development. But she does have a strong
>desire not to soil the crate. (Even to the point of
>eliminating through the bars so the waste goes outside
>the crate).
>I stuffed the Kong with Iams puppy food (the mushy
>stuff). I wasn't sure what else would be good for
>such a little puppy. Do you have any suggestions?
>Lola only weighs two pounds, but she can bark really
>LOUDLY. Also, the crate bark is a high pitched panic
>rather than her usual pay attention to me bark. One
>early morning she had managed to hang her foot in the
>bars of the crate, so it's really hard for me to
>ignore. It is much more of a distress cry than a bark.
>I also think the panic is caused by not being able to
>hear and only knowing we are still alive and will come
>back if she can see us. She has another "I'm lost"
>bark that she uses when she wakes during the day.
>When I'm at home during the day she naps on her dog
>bed in the kitchen. Upon waking she goes to my office
>and sits under my chair quietly until I notice her. If
>I don't notice quick enough, she starts to pull on my
>pants leg. If I'm not in the chair she'll bark until
>I come to her. This is one of the reasons I think
>she's deaf. Twice I have been in the kitchen or
>living room talking on the phone but out of her sight
>when she woke up. Even though I call to her she walks
>straight to the office and calls for me.
>The real problem with the crate screaming is that I
>have a school age daughter who cannot sleep during the
>rampage and a husband who gets up very early to teach
>and is very grumpy about the disruption. Neither one
>of them do well with less than 8 hours of sleep. I
>can make it on 5 with no problem, so I'm sacrificing
>for them, but as we discussed training the dog to
>continue the misbehavior in the process. I have her
>crate as far away from the bedrooms as is possible and
>every door is shut. But the wake up in the middle of
>the night scream is so very loud and frantic and
>increases in volume as it continues that no one can
>get any sleep at all. I've tried putting the crate
>by the bed, but all that does is bring the racket
>closer. To give you an example of how loud it is,
>today I had put Lola (sleeping) into the crate because
>I had to leave to go to my daughter's school for an
>hour. The crate was in the house, and all the door
>were shut. I could still hear the screaming when I
>pulled into the driveway in my closed van with the AC
>and radio running BEFORE I opened the garage door,
>much less walked into the house. There is no way
>ANYONE could sleep through this and after half an hour
>my daughter is in tears, my husband is very grouchy
>and I'm in tears. Getting Lola to sleep in the crate
>to begin with is no problem. It's getting her back to
>sleep if she awakes during the night. Any ideas for
>getting her to sleep longer? Should I be feeding her
>earlier? Or something else? Thanks so much for your
>help. I'm feeling a bit desperate! I'm going on two
>weeks of very little sleep and we're all feeling a
>little overwhelmed with the idea that our beloved Lola
>is deaf. We'll adjust with time and I know everything
>will be fine. I'm actually glad that we chose her
>rather than one of her siblings because I know she'll
>be loved and cared for with us and I'm worried about
>what would have become of her with someone else. The
>recommendations for what to do with deaf puppies that
>I found on the first few websites was appaling!
>Finding this site with lots of people with positive
>things to say really helped. It also looks like you
>have had quite a bit of experience and are willing to
>share with those of us who are unsure of what to do.
>I really appreciate it!
>I did get a lead on a trainer who has worked with a
>deaf dog before today at the local pet store. The
>lady I talked with wasn't sure if he was still in the
>area but gave me the information she had. I'm going
>to see if I can locate him tomorrow.
>>Hi Donna,
>>Actually, you've sort of answered the crate issue
>>yourself. By going back to your dog after she
>>pitches a fit in the crate at night, what is she
>>learning? The more often you do this, the more
>>difficult it will be to break this behavior. She is,
>>in effect, training you very well.
>>You say letting her bark isn't an option. Well,
>>actually it's your only option. You're just going to
>>have to put up with it for a few weeks, until the
>>behavior extinguishes due to lack of reward.
>>Returning to her crate is her reward. This behavior
>>will only get worse until you determine NEVER to
>>return to her crate while she's pitching a fit. Even
>>returning occasionally will be reward enough to keep
>>the fit going.
>>You don't mention how old Lola is. If she's over,
>>say, eight months old, she should be able to hold her
>>bladder all night. By pitching a fit when she wakes
>>up, she's also training you to come to her crate to
>>let her out. Then she gets what she wants...You! If
>>she's old enough, I wouldn't let her out of the crate
>>when she wakes up. Yes, there's a chance she really
>>does need to go out, but the worse thing that will
>>happen is she'll soil her crate. Better that then
>>continually training you to come when she throws a
>>fit. If, however, she continually soils her crate,
>>then you must get up to let her out. She really does
>>need to do that.
>>Something else to try, in case she really is scared
>>when she wakes up, is to put her crate in your
>>bedroom, positioned so she can see you all sleeping.
>>My deaf Sheltie's crate is right next to my bed. When
>>he wakes up at night, he can see me sleeping, and he
>>knows I haven't left him - a fear he has. He goes
>>back to sleep. Because I'm a light sleeper, I've had
>>to get a soft-sided crate with a sheepskin mat to keep
>>the crate noise down. This works well for him.
>>He has always had huge crate issues because he can't
>>hear me in the other room. I found he didn't develop
>>"object permenance" (ie. if mom leaves the room -
>>she's a permenant object and will return. She hasn't
>>fallen off the face of the earth) until much later
>>than my hearing puppies. Because of this, he would
>>get very frightened when I would leave the room and
>>leave him in his crate where he couldn't follow me.
>>This fear lingers for him, I think, and sometimes his
>>crate issues reappear.
>>When he was a puppy, his crate manners were so bad
>>that I had to put him on the opposite end of the house
>>from the bedrooms. I shut ever door between him and
>>me that I could. I would put him in his crate at
>>night, and he'd just throw a fit. I'd put in a Kong,
>>stuffed with something VERY good (what are you
>>stuffing your Kong with?), and then I'd go to bed.
>>He'd finish the Kong in about 20 minutes, and the
>>barking would begin. He'd sometimes bark for an hour.
>> I never returned.
>>Over time (and yes, this took months), the barking
>>went from an hour to about 10 minutes. Then, I moved
>>him to a room next to mine, so I could hear at night
>>if he was in distress. I don't normally like my dogs
>>to sleep away from my bedroom. I want to know if
>>they're in trouble during the night. His barking got
>>a little worse with the change of habit, but soon, he
>>was back to Kong for 20 minutes then 10 minutes of
>>After another couple of months, his barking was pretty
>>minimal, so I moved him into my bedroom. He doesn't
>>bark, ever, now during the night.
>>When you take on the responsibility of a dog, it does
>>sometimes mean sleepless nights for the whole family.
>>This is what must be done to train the dog. If you do
>>not, the dog's behavior will only get WORSE.
>>As far as the biting goes, this may be normal puppy
>>biting, depending on the age of your dog. However,
>>just because it's normal, doesn't mean we shouldn't
>>train it away. I've found the best method is when the
>>puppy bites (and usually this is during play or
>>petting), your play or petting stops. You just
>>IMMEDIATELY quit, make a no sign and walk away. You
>>can resume playing in a couple of minutes, if you'd
>>like, but only resume playing if it's your idea. This
>>will probably take care of the situation, because the
>>puppy will find that biting isn't rewarding.
>>However, sometimes the above doesn't work. If in two
>>weeks of CONSISTANT (that means EVERY time the puppy
>>bites ANYONE in the household, the above is done)
>>training the puppy isn't showing any signs of
>>improvement, write back, and I'll give you more ideas.
>>Everyone in the house must do this, everytime, or it
>>won't work. If you're not consistant, then anyother
>>system won't work either.
>>I'm pleased you're looking into a trainer. Check out
>>your local Petsmarts. Some Petsmart trainers are good
>>- others not so good. Talk to the trainers there and
>>see what experience they have aside from the training
>>they get at Petsmart. See if they do doggie training
>>activities away from the store (like showing in
>>performance events), and see what experience they had
>>before becoming a Petsmart trainer. Some Petsmarts
>>hire their most outgoing cashiers or groomers to train
>>who don't have any previous dog training experience.
>>Some Petsmarts hire great dog trainers with loads of
>>previous experience. Check it out.
>>Good luck. Keep us updated on how it goes and what
>>trainer you've found.
>>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
>>>to vibration or movement more than sound. I'm
>>>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
>>>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
>>>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,
>>>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
>>>before I put her back in, but she wakes as soon as I
>>>take my hands off of her. I've also tried giving
>>>treats, a kong to play with, clothing that smells
>>>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
>>> 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
>>>and wind up sitting dozing in the recliner with her
>>>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
>>>but I don't know what else to do. Letting her bark
>>>and keeping the whole family up isn't an option.
>>>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
>>> Any suggestions on what to do until I find someone,
>>>would be really appreciated.

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