Training a Deaf Dog

Training a hearing-impaired dog presents some special challenges.

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Q. We have two dogs, one who has completed intermediate training and one who has almost finished puppy class. We are adopting a deaf Boxer puppy and were wondering how different her training would be. We've read that we should use a light instead of a clicker and a vibrating collar to get her attention, but what other adjustments will be needed? Would she benefit more from private training or a full class?

A. Training a deaf dog does present some special challenges, so starting your pup in private lessons with an experienced trainer would be a great idea. You and the trainer would be able to focus solely on your puppy that way, without a distracting crowd of other dogs and people. Work on teaching your puppy visual and tactile (touch or vibration) cues for attention, come, sit and down. Also, teach her a signal that means, “Well done, pup! You’ve earned a reward!”

Reward your puppy with tasty treats and other things she likes. The more your dog learns to enjoy training, the stronger her focus on you will grow.

All dogs, regardless of their hearing ability, need to learn to pay attention to their owners when around other dogs, people, and exciting situations. After you’ve started your pup’s initial education with some private training, attending a group class could be quite beneficial for building her focus on you.


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Christina   Salem, VA

4/8/2011 12:30:02 PM

News Story on my deaf dog
Nitro
http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2011/04/deaf-puppy-lear- ning-new-tricks/
This story ran on 4-8-2011 on WDBJ 7, abc news online and Life With Dogs.

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Christina   Salem, VA

4/8/2011 12:28:37 PM

News Story on my deaf dog
Nitro
http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2011/04/deaf-puppy-lear- ning-new-tricks/
This story ran on 4-8-2011 on WDBJ 7, abc news online and Life With Dogs.

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Christina   Salem, VA

3/4/2011 8:08:17 PM

My deaf Boxer puppy Nitro has gone from a puppy class to a level four training class in 6 weeks. I personally don't think a person with a deaf puppy needs individual training because one the puppy learns in puppy class he gets rewarded for looking at his owner, he is so focused from that point on. I can be in a class with 10 other dogs and because Nitro is deaf he is hardly distracted at all. I would also recommend using the flash of your hand instead of a light because you hand will always be "handy" verses always having to locate a flash light. I now do a three finger flash so I can hold a treat in the same hand. We also will be using a vibration collar in agility to make sure he looks at me when the vibration goes off. I think what folks don't realize about having a deaf dog is it is an advantage when it comes to training if the person is dedicated with working with their deaf dog every single day. I take my boxer out and about at least 5 times per week and go to a minimum of 2 classes a week. You can read about Nitro at
www.theworldaccordingtolexi.com
Thanks! Christina Lee - Salem VA

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Janet   Bethlehem, PA

12/15/2010 4:20:47 PM

thanks for the information

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