If deafness is a disability in dogs as well as humans, our doggie friends are quick to adapt to it. On the other hand, in the context of their education, the impossibility of using voice disturbs many owners of deaf dogs. However, it should be noted that any animal, deaf or not, can be effectively educated not without words, but with movements, posture and facial expressions that are well adapted to the dog’s hearing failure.
deafness in dogs
In dogs as well as humans, deafness is a disability that can have many origins. For our friends the doggies, it is sometimes due to lack of hygiene or an otitis that is poorly treated or not treated, but in some cases, it is impossible to know the origin.
Dog deafness affects some breeds more than others, especially those with dominant white clothing.
Be careful, because a dog who doesn’t obey you doesn’t have to be deaf, he may not listen to you and choose not to ignore your commands.
How to recognize deafness in dogs?
Ask your veterinarian for advice if you think your dog is deaf is the best solution. The practitioner will be able to perform the examinations necessary for diagnosis. However, on a daily basis, some signs can alert you:
- if your pet never turns around when you call his name;
- if he does not return his walk away from you and you call him;
- if he seems surprised when you approach him or if he responds aggressively when you touch him without him noticing that you are coming;
- if he is particularly attentive, if he is in front of you, in your actions, in your posture, in your facial expressions;
- if he is not startled or if he is not awakened by unusual and sudden noises (the closing of the door, the bell on the front door, the vacuum cleaner, etc.).
Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian in this case.
Educating a deaf dog: what are the precautions? What communications?
To educate your deaf dog, you need to adopt other habits to adapt learning and your approaches to his or her disability.
How to get the attention of a deaf dog?
To be successful in training your deaf dog, you need to get his attention so he can “listen” to you. There are specific collars that transmit vibrations to the animal’s neck, without any pain. They are helpful in allowing you to tell your dog to come to you.
To help him understand this “vibration = master” association, you need to associate these vibrations with a positive element, especially a medicine. So, in the beginning, when you send a vibration around your little partner’s neck, you give him or her attention to allow him or her to make the connection. Practice your sin to avoid interference with other sources of arousal.
If he already understands the interaction of the two elements, the collar can be effective for the implementation of learning.
Bypass the handicap to better communicate with your deaf dog
Deafness is a disability, but the fact that it forces the owner to use other more effective methods of educating it helps to improve communication between the dog and his person and to build stronger and more balanced relationship. . In fact, if you can’t “speak” to your dog, you will be forced to call on other resources related to non-verbal communication, such as movements, posture, facial expressions, etc., elements where dog, in fact, is more receptive than just voice.
You have to learn to be a referent, your dog’s guide. Your little friend needs to trust you to feel safe and learn, which will help build your trust with each other and your pooch’s cooperation.
To do this, you need to work on a much larger scale than just education.
- You need to meet the basic needs of your pet on a daily basis.
- You need to use a consistent attitude in your education and communication.
- You need to establish boundaries and a strong and reassuring living environment for your pooch.
Learn to communicate with a deaf dog
The consistency of your communication is essential to the successful training of your deaf dog. He should be able to understand you easily, which means you should always use the same movements and the same posture and facial expressions to say the same thing.
Non-verbal communication is the key to your relationship and your success. The dog is very sensitive to your body language, especially if he cannot hear your voice. It’s up to you to externalize your emotions and figure out how to interpret them clearly so your dog understands your purpose and the message you want to convey to him. Play with your hands, your posture and your facial expressions to make communication clearer and definitely understandable.
You are not alone in your dog’s disability. If communication and education are difficult to establish, do not hesitate to accompany qualified professionals. You can seek valuable personal advice from your veterinarian, behaviorists and dog educators.
Cautions to follow with a deaf dog
Before moving on to learning, we consider it important to remind you of some basic safety rules that are important to keep in mind with a deaf dog.
- If your deaf dog has not yet conditioned the vibration collar and has not yet learned to recall, do not let him wander around.
- Don’t let your deaf pet be released into an unfamiliar or unsafe environment.
- Avoid any expense of shocking your dog by approaching or touching him without him seeing you. Out of fear or anger, he can be aggressive.
How to educate a deaf dog? Learn the basic commandments
Remember that in the education of a deaf dog, movements, postures and facial expressions are important and constitute important learning tools.
Let’s look at how to learn the three basic commandments “sit!”, “Lie down!” and “at the foot!” of your deaf dog.
How to learn the command to “sit down!” to your deaf dog?
Face your dog and stand up straight. This will show your animal that you are asking him for a static position.
Using your hand, make a motion from the nose to the tail. To track your movement, your pooch will be forced to sit up. In this case, if she sits as she pleases, give her some attention, her favorite toy or give her a playful petting.
If he backs away instead of sitting down, start again with his back against the wall. And if he doesn’t follow the motion of your hand, put his favorite toy or medicine there to entice him to follow.
Repeat these steps as needed until you master them.
How to learn the command “down!” to your deaf dog?
Start by sitting your dog down. Once he is in position, stand stable in front of him and wave your hand from the bottom of his nose to his front legs. Logically, your animal will lie on the ground to follow the movement.
Don’t hesitate to “cheat” in the same way with a drug or his toy if he doesn’t follow the move.
When he falls to the ground, reward him with a medicine, his toy, or a gentle pet. Of course, here again, the steps have to be repeated until they are completely mastered.
How to learn the command “on foot!” to your deaf dog?
Stand facing your dog, at a distance. There are many solutions to teaching him the command “on the heel!”.
- You can place your arm on your body, one finger pointing at your feet.
- You can move to attract your dog to you.
- You can tap your leg to attract your pet.
It is up to you to choose the move that best suits your dog. However, if he doesn’t listen to you, go in the opposite direction as dogs are accustomed to hearing. If he obeys you, consider rewarding him.
If your pooch masters this order at home, you can slowly try it out. However, while the recall is not yet fully recoverable, it is best not to allow your animal to roam around without a leash.