How to educate a deaf dog?


The owners of a puppy that suffers from deafness despair at the impossibility of educate a deaf puppy.

While it is true that it is not easy, it is also not impossible, and it is very enriching for the owner to educate a deaf puppy when he begins to achieve great results.

In fact, there are many owners of a deaf puppy who ignore that it is. Breeds such as the Dalmatian or the Bullterrier are prone to deafness.

Do deaf dogs have learning difficulties?

Hearing is a very important sense for dogs, as it allows them to better understand their surroundings and all the sound stimuli that the world offers. However, deafness in dogs does not reduce their cognitive, emotional or social capacity. In other words, a deaf dog of birth or a dog that has totally or partially lost his hearing is no less intelligent, less able to learn, nor will he have greater difficulties in creating a healthy emotional bond with his tutor.

As dogs maintain a complex and varied body language, which includes numerous body postures, actions and facial expressions, communication and intelligence they are not limited to the emission and capture of sound stimuliThey also depend on their powerful smell, their good vision and their other abilities. In addition, when properly stimulated, deaf dogs can develop their vision and smell better, somehow "compensating" for the total or partial loss of their hearing.

A deaf dog has the same cognitive, emotional and social abilities as a dog with intact hearing. Thus, can train successfully, learn a variety of tricks, tasks and sports, and enjoy your family just like any other dog. However, you will need to be specially educated and receive some specific care for deaf dogs, since you will not have the hearing to understand and interact with your environment.

This does not mean that a deaf dog may not have a learning problem, but this problem will probably be related to the use of inappropriate methods They can impair the training of any dog, and not specifically with your deafness. Therefore, we will never use counterproductive or dangerous techniques to educate a deaf dog, such as hanging collars, punishments or scolding, but we will use positive reinforcement to stimulate their learning and reward their achievements and efforts.

How to educate a dog that does not listen?

Although it may seem very complex, educating a deaf dog correctly is based on the same techniques and on the same pillars that govern the education of any dog. However, as our best friend has totally or partially lost his hearing, we must use signs instead of words when teaching them the basic orders of canine obedience.

That is, we will not use our voice to give our dog a verbal order, but rather we will use our body to give a nonverbal order, making the sign or gesture that we have chosen to express each command we want to teach a deaf dog.

So, instead of teaching our dog to associate the word "still"with the act of stopping and waiting in the same place, for example, we will work so that he assimilates a sign or a gesture to this same act. simple and obvious signal for the order to stay it could be, for example, to position our hand in front of his face and at his level with the open palm.

For Get attention of a deaf dog, you can not call him by his name, since he will not be able to hear you. However, since deaf dogs can feel the vibrations, you can gently tap the floor with your foot to get their attention, ask for something or start a training session.

Use of vibration collar for deaf dogs

Another effective option to facilitate education and communication with deaf dogs, but also more expensive, is to acquire a vibration collar. In the market we will find several options: necklaces that emit only vibration and necklaces that, in addition to vibration, perform electric shocks. They are also known as "educational collars", as they are generally used to prevent a dog from barking.

However, it should be taken into account that the use of electric shocks is not adequate or effective to educate a deaf or hearing dog, since it is based on punishing the animal every time it barks or carries out a behavior considered inappropriate. In addition to causing an uncomfortable and even painful sensation to the dog, these tools are counterproductive, since the dog associates learning negatively.

Collars that emit exclusively vibration or educational collars in the proper mode do not emit electrical currents, but they do vibrating waves, which arouse the attention of the dog without causing pain, fear or any other negative emotion. In addition, it is a safe and effective way to Get attention of a deaf dog outside the home (during his walks, for example), where the blows on the ground will not be very effective, especially at medium or large distances.

We should only use the vibrations when we really need to communicate with our dog. Issuing them without communicating anything and even using them excessively can cause us to stop paying attention. It could also generate a picture of stress in the dog.

Is there sign language for deaf dogs?

Yet does not exist a universally accepted sign language for training deaf dogs, as well as there are no good or bad signs when it comes to educating a deaf dog. The most important thing is to establish, before starting to train with a non-hearing dog, a clear and specific sign for each order We intend to teach you. In this way, we do not confuse our dog with very similar or confusing gestures. Remember that the goal of a communication is always that both parties understand each other and can interact in a positive way.

A simple and effective solution is to use the basic signs and signs of ASL (American Sign Language) or Spanish Sign Language (LSE), which are designed for communication between non-listeners, and between listeners and non-listeners. listeners Then, we will work with our dog so that he assimilates each signal with the order we are communicating. Of course, that requires that you learn the basic signs of ASL before starting to train with your dog to be safe and firm when using them in training sessions.

The training sessionswith a deaf dog They follow the same guidelines as with a hearing dog, but we must be even more careful with the environment where we choose to teach to avoid any accident. Of course, we will apply positive reinforcement to stimulate the intelligence of our furry, rewarding him for every good attitude and achievement during his training. In Expert Animal, we tell you how a dog training session should be.

Basic tips to train a deaf dog

If you want to train your dog at home, we invite you to meet our tricksof training that every tutor should know and that they are effective both to educate a deaf dog and a hearing dog. But then we also offer you some tips To educate a deaf dog correctly:

    Learn to interact with a deaf dog on a daily basis. Even if they don't have the capacity>

If you want to read more articles similar to How to educate a deaf dog?, we recommend that you enter our section of Basic Education.

Deafness in dogs

As with humans, some baby dogs are born deaf, This is called congenital deafness. For other dogs, deafness can come from many sources, such as chronic ear infections or injuries related to toxic drugs or old age.

There are about a hundred of dog breeds that are more prone to congenital deafness than others. Dalmatians, for example, have a very high degree of risk, with 30% of pups born deaf in one or two ears.

Other breeds affected by this disease are: the English Setter, the Australian Mountain Dog, the Leopard Catahoula Dog, the Whippet Hound and the Russell Terrier Parson.

Scientists still don't know exactly why these dogs are likely to be born deaf, but it seems obvious that deafness mainly affects white headed dogs or mostly white heads. According to an American study, the lack of pigment in the head means that pigmented cells in the ear have difficulty developing or may even be non-existent.

The lack of pigmented cells It causes the death of nerve cells, which are essential for the proper development of hearing. Interestingly, white dogs like the Samoyed You do not know these problems of deafness, therefore, the mystery is not completely solved.

How do I know if my dog ​​is deaf?

Yes do you think your dog is deaf, do a simple test. Wait until your dog is asleep or does not look and make a loud sound behind him.

You must be sure that the animal cannot see your movement or feel any vibration (which excludes hitting its feet on the ground). Then try different types of sounds. Use a whistle, clap loudly and hit a battery.

These sounds are different enough to understand the complex hearing levels and they will help you check if your dog is deaf, totally or partially.

If you notice that your dog suddenly begins to ignore you or does not come running when you put his croquettes in the bowl, it would be interesting to do this test to make sure that it’s not your hearing that’s damaged. If your dog does not react to these sounds and you want perform a more complete test, call your veterinarian, who can suggest different tests.

Train a deaf dog

Yes a few years ago train a deaf dog It seemed impossible, many dog ​​lovers have investigated the matter and the education of such an animal is now as simple as any other.

The main difference is that auditory stimuli They must be ignored for obvious reasons. Instead, as with humans, you are going to use hand signals, you will associate each action with a clear and distinct hand signal.

No matter what sign you use, you will soon be constant and always use the same sign for the same action.

There is the myth that the lack of hearing It makes the dog more aggressive and in fact, any dog ​​if it is stimulated in the wrong way will bite you. It is the awakening that can be more difficult for a deaf dog, so it is important exercise with him from an early age.

Wake up your dog with a treat in your hand, several times during its first months and soon associate this awakening with something positive. If you don't want to surprise your dog, you can wake him up by kicking on the floor or on the bed where he sleeps, the vibrations will wake you up gently. Apart from that, there is absolutely nothing you can do to adapt your accommodation to your dog.