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Date Posted: 16:03:33 04/26/13 Fri
Author: Mel
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Re: newly adopted australian sheperd
In reply to: Kendra 's message, "newly adopted australian sheperd" on 03:12:50 11/29/09 Sun

Hi Kendra,

I have an Australian Cattle mix puppy that has been an adventure the last couple of months. A couple of suggestions right off - Crate training is your friend. I got my dog already crate trained, which was great! It's difficult, but often deaf dogs are very needy and nervous without their owner's attention. The crate has been a safe place to keep her while I'm out of the house, and if she has done something bad - I use it for time out - for me to cool off and for her to understand that she also needs a time out. If you use it as a time out though, don't put the puppy in and then leave the house. Time outs should always have you near and short. This makes sure that the crate isn't associated with the negative action directly. Some recommend having them sit and watch you clean up the mess - but as you might already know, puppies have short attention spans and if it's broken glass, I don't want my dog getting hurt trying to make a point (actually happened btw - she broke a vase and I put her in her crate so she wouldn't step on the glass while I was cleaning)

Also - socializing is absolutely necessary for deaf dogs. They go off of smell and facial cues. My dog has picked up things from other dogs she never would have if she wasn't socialized. Just be careful of the associations. I notice my dog is a middle pack dog so she goes with whatever other dogs she's with are doing. If she's with aggressive players, she'll play aggressively. If she's with active players - runners, jumpers... she does that. Rotate play groups and if you have a doggie daycare (life-savers btw!!) have them rotate the groups your puppy is with. This makes sure she doesn't keep to one kind of behavior for too long.

For training, this site is pretty good as well. Also make sure your dog gets a lot of exercise. These breeds we have are extremely active and a dog that has been playing is much more attentive and less distracted if exercised first.

Also, because they are active and job-doing dogs, they need exercise and to be mentally challenged on a regular basis. I use puzzles, games, treat puzzles... and this can be used to train as well. When they are bored they get destructive, and that's never fun to clean up.

They use smell for everything! So if you have favorite things you use often, make sure you put them out of the dog's reach. It's the first things they will go for because they are very focused on you for their first year of life.

Routine is a must also! Try to be consistent with potty times, meal times and bed time. As they get older you can vary these things a little, but because of the dog type, and their focus on you, it's important to establish this communication early. This helps with potty training a lot. They might not understand that you want them to potty and they get distracted, but after a few times of taking them outside, or letting them out on a schedule, they get it. This helps later when they need to go out at times that are not around meals or waking up or going to bed. Mine sits at the door and waits - which is what we do before we go outside every time. This indicates to me that she needs to go out, even if it's just to bark, it's a good idea to respond to this positive behavior! Sometimes it's not convenient, but it's easier to let the pup out than ignore the positive behavior. If ignored, it could lead to behavior issues (which I've run into at times with my little one)

As for signs - I have a couple that I use that are part ASL and part creative thinking. As long as you are consistent with the signs used for actions or behaviors, they will learn them. They watch your face a lot at first so make sure your face matches your hand sign. (Which is hard to do at 5 am when they need to potty and you are telling them they did good by going outside...but it helps!)

Hopefully that all helps!

Good Luck!!

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