Deaf Puppy... Ideas/considerations?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by lindseycharlotte, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. lindseycharlotte New Member

    One of the 6 week old ACD puppies I'm fostering is deaf. I didn't know at first, and I was having so much trouble adding verbal cues and getting him to respond to my voice. So I did some tests when he was sleeping... definitely deaf or at least very close to deaf (I went from clapping to eventually banging two pots over his head... no reaction). Mostly, it has not slowed down his learning... in fact, he is the quicker learner of the two puppies.

    So, any creative ideas for a marker signal? Right now I use a thumbs up, but that only works when he's looking at me. I tap his back too, but that only works when he's close to me (and it's not as easy to do as it sounds).... so one idea I have is little squirt gun! Like the kind you get from the dollar store. That would have obvious drawbacks though, lol... Is there such thing as an "air gun"? Something that would shoot tuffs of air at him? That'd be cool. Any one have any other ideas or know of a technique?

    What other training considerations should I have when prepping the pup for a new home/prepping a home for the new pup? I was thinking I should focus on reinforcing frequent eye contact and "checking in" when he's off playing by himself... what else??

    OOH! I just had an idea... getting him to target a laser light would be helpful, wouldn't it?

    Thanks for the idea guys!
    MaryK likes this.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    I would talk to Sara one of the members here. She has a lot of experience with deaf dogs, and have done amazing things with her deaf dog.
    bekah1001 and MaryK like this.
  3. southerngirl Honored Member

    That's a great idea to teach him to check in with you and his future owners. I would have several people work with him to insure he will do the things you teach him with other people.
    MaryK likes this.
  4. lindseycharlotte New Member

    Thanks SG, I will contact Sara...
    Yes I think that would be especially important with a deaf dog. I need to get better about that with my foster dogs in general! Especially because I am NOT a good teacher of people. :( ...I will be visiting my family for 2 weeks so, perfect timing.
    MaryK and southerngirl like this.
  5. sara Moderator

    Ok so first thing's first, treat him like any other dog. No thinking that he's "challenged" or anything. He can learn the same as any other dog. Now, that being said, there are considerations to him being deaf. You must be aware of your body language, and what you're saying to him, more so than a hearing dog, because he reads your body and face, without the benefit of hearing your voice. (you can talk happy, but give different body language :) ) and, obviously, you will talk to him with your body and hands. But be sure to actually talk to him too, as they learn to read faces and you will be more genuine if you're talking too. Besides, my first deaf dog learned to read lips for a few behaviours :)

    As for a marker signal, I use an LED light for specific training sessions, however, that doesn't work on bright days. It does work well, as they will see the flash, even if they're not looking in a low light situation. You can get a vibrating collar (NOT A SHOCK COLLAR) to use as a marker (buzz once for click :) ) or you can even use it for recalls (though not for both) I've never used one, as my dogs have all been too small.

    I wouldn't use a spray bottle, as alot of dogs really don't like it. But a puff of air might work... you can get keyboard cleaning cans of air... but it might be too bulky to use. My dogs have the light and thumbs up for a "click" and clapping hands for "good dog"

    Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask!
    Mutt, MaryK and southerngirl like this.
  6. sara Moderator

    Shoot, I missed a couple of your questions. Yes, you can teach him to give eye contact regularly, but better, give him a treat every time he comes near you for the first few days/weeks (depends on the dog) when he seems to be checking in with you regularly, start only giving him treats when you cue him (arms waving or whatever you choose as a recall command) but praise him (pats, hugs, etc) when he comes without a cue. this will help alot with recall training later I had a deaf dog (my mom stole her :) ) that I could let off leash anywhere, because I did what I'm telling you, and she checked in every 15-30 seconds just incase I might call her so she could have a treat! LOL This cannot be done with alot of deafies... but Scout is perfect LOL

    As far as the laser goes... Alot of deaf dog owners say that they cause OCD. Now, I don't believe that, however if your puppy has tendencies towards OCD behaviours, than don't use one. It's not fun for the dog to be obsessed with lights (trust me, Scout is, and it causes serious stress when the light goes away) If you use it in a structured way, and have him target the light only (but NOT chase it) then you should be just fine. but please never teach him to chase it (like my cat does LOL)

    Oh, by the way, there are several other deaf dog owners on here, (a Dachshund named Gator, and a Calvin named Calvin LOL) plus there have been a couple others who've signed up, posed a few times but haven't since.

    There are a couple of Deaf dog Facebook groups I'm a part of as well, one new one that's all about clicker training deaf dogs, and one general one that's chalk full of ACD's from Australia :) If you're interested, I'll post the links

    And last but not least. Please send me the pup's information, his pic (and if there's a Petfinder link, all the better) where he's located and how to get in touch with you, and I will get the info out to the deaf dog community.
    Mutt, MaryK and southerngirl like this.
  7. threenorns Well-Known Member

    i second the vibration collar - i've heard over and over again that it really helps, esp when the dog is off at a distance (such as on the other side of the dog park).
  8. kassidybc Experienced Member

    If your looking for a puff of air, not sure how well this would work, but you could use the small pump that comes with the balloon animal kits.

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