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Date Posted: 00:18:21 04/18/04 Sun
Author: Kristin Kaldahl
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Re: Rescued pup
In reply to: Kathi 's message, "Rescued pup" on 10:56:46 04/17/04 Sat


Congrats on your new baby! While it can be overwhelming when you first discover that you're new pup is deaf, it's really not as difficult a training issue as you may first think. Go to the DDEAF.com web site and read up on training. They have some great stuff that can get you started.

I have a deaf 14 month old Sheltie that is competing in agility and Rally obedience. Deaf dogs aren't too much different that their hearing counterparts. All dogs actually watch our body language more than listen to our words to get their cues on what to do anyway. Remember, dog's don't verbally talk. But they're masters at non-verbal communication, so a deaf dog doesn't miss too much in doggie language.

After reading the DDEAF site, get yourself a good trainer. The DDEAF site list how to find a trainer, I believe. Read up on this and go searching for someone who feels qualified to train a deaf dog. Then follow through, go to classes, practice and get the pup trained!

An owner of a deaf dog must be dedicated in training. If I'm laying down comfortably on the sofa watching TV, and my hearing Sheltie starts chewing my shoe across the room, all I have to do is say "No!" or "Eck, Eck!" The behavior will stop.

However, if my deaf Sheltie does the same thing, I must be willing to get off the sofa and go over to him to give him his negative (No) hand signal (which for us is a fist). (Of course, my dog understands the "No" fist now, so I don't need to follow up with other corrections or distractions at this point in his training.)

What I'm saying is that you have to be more willing to get physically involved in training. If I decide I'm just too tired to get off the sofa, what have I taught the dog? That chewing my shoe is OK.

Attention getting is another big factor in training a deaf dog. DDEAF has some great ideas on that, so read their web site. I've used the vibrating collar to great effect.

At the vet, you will want to make sure your pups eyes are healthy. You'll also want to see if the vet can detect any reason for the deafness, although this is just for informational purposes really. But, otherwise, he's just a normal dog, and you'll ask the vet all the questions you'd ask if your dog was hearing.

Another thing to remember about deaf dogs is that if they get lose from their yards, they are at great danger. They will be unable to hear noises that can mean danger and death (like cars), so be extra vigilent in keeping your back yard escape proof.

The best advice is get to a good trainer ASAP. They'll help you teach your dog to come, even from long distances. My sheltie responds to my come signal from 100 yards away, and runs excitedly straight to me. Not hard to teach with the right trainer.

Good luck! Don't be overwhelmed. Any well-trained dog, hearing or deaf, is a pleasure to own. Have fun training!


We rescued a
>pup yesterday who was roaming a gas station parking
>lot, dodging cars and looking desperately hungry.
>Note - we've never rescued a dog before. We've also
>never trained a dog. Our JRT came pre-trained.

>I've spent the morning reading at deafdogs.org, and
>other sites. Feeling a little relieved but a little
>overwhelmed. Of course we want to keep him, and train
>him... he's a GOOD doggie and he wants to be obedient.
>He seems to have been an indoor pup at one point, he
>doesn't wee on the floor, he heads for the door and we
>let him out. He'd never seen a cat before, though - OH
>MY! Neither had he been on a chain. That was quite an
>adventure. Wish I'd had a camera to record that big
>snake attacking him!
>I guess I need to know where to begin... not ever
>having a RESCUE DEAF dog to TRAIN - heh... overwhelmed
>with 1001 questions.

>What else do we need to know? What do we need to ask
>the vet?
>Where do we START in training - guess it'll be in
>getting him just to pay attention when we want him to,
>What else do I need to know? Are we in for any

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