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Date Posted: 01:44:04 08/25/03 Mon
Author: Noofies
Author Host/IP:
Subject: You don't need a 'deaf dog trainer'
In reply to: Wendy 's message, "adopting a deaf dog" on 22:52:14 08/23/03 Sat

You just need a good trainer, period. When I was looking for a trainer for my first deaf dog I called several trainers in my area; the one I chose had never worked with a deaf dog before but she told me "if you can communicate with her, I can teach you how to train her." I liked that - what she was saying was "your dog is a DOG, and you train a dog the same way regardless of hearing status." She was absolutely right, too. I train hearing dogs and deaf dogs the same way, I use verbal commands as well as sign with both hearing and deaf dogs, and the hearing dogs usually learn the signs quicker than they learn the voice commands.

Please don't let Buzz's age deter you. One of the most easily trained deaf dogs I've ever had (a Dogo Argentino/American Bulldog mix) was 9+ months old when I got him. He learns so fast! Often, he "gets" things in one or two short (5-10 minute) training sessions and he is a blast to teach. It sounds like Buzz has been very lucky to have two people who've loved and taught him, he should make the transition to your home fairly easily.

Please, don't approach Buzz as a deaf American Bulldog - see him instead as an American Bulldog who happens to be deaf. Really, breed is more important than hearing status - if you can handle an American Bulldog, you can handle a deaf American Bulldog. And after an RR, an AB is going to be a piece of cake. :-) If Buzz is anything like my Lumi Spot, there's a very special dog about to enter your life. There's nothing sweeter than Bulldogger kisses in the morning......

As for where to meet other deaf dog owners, try the Deaf Dogs Atlas to see if there are any in your area: http://www.deafdogsatlas.com/. Also, why don't you join the deafdogs mailing list at Yahoogroups? There are over 1200 deaf dog owners on that list, many of us with more than one deaf dog. There are sure to be some on the list in your area, even if they haven't done a listing on the atlas.

Good luck, and be sure to come back and let us know how things are working out!

>We have fallen in love with a 10 month old American
>Bulldog male who was abandoned as a puppy and has yet
>to be adopted because he is deaf. He was rescued as a
>puppy by American Bulldog Rescue and has lived in 2
>rescue homes. The first rescuer raised him...the
>second and current one is training him. We have a
>Rhodesian Ridgeback mix female who is 2 years old.
>She is a very well behaved dog. We would love to add
>another dog to our family. We are nervous about
>"Buzz" being an older puppy. And we are a little
>apprehensive about our ability to train him. We have
>never even had a "playdate" with a deaf dog. We have
>read (over and over) the deafdogs.org website and have
>on order the book "Living with a Deaf Dog." We would
>love to meet deaf dog owners, but don't know where to
>find them in person. We also would be thrilled to
>find a deaf dog trainer in So. CA. Any advice or
>opinions would be welcome!

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