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How to Train a Deaf Dog

Training a deaf dog may require extra time and patience, but the experience offers plenty of tail-wagging moments for dog and owner to share.


  • Step 1: Use a flashlight or flash the porch light to train a deaf dog to come inside after dark. Be sure to motivate the dog with rewards for a job well done.
  • TIP: Keep hand signals consistent.
  • Step 2: Consider using a vibrating collar to get a deaf dog's attention when training the dog to come.
  • Step 3: Introduce a deaf dog to neighborhood smells so it is able to find its way home via a scent trail if it leaves the yard. Have patience and seek professional support from a veterinarian or dog trainer if you need additional guidance.
  • FACT: In 2008, a German shepherd named Blue successfully received a stem cell transplant to treat a degenerative hip condition.
  • Step 4: Use the technique over time to add new words to the deaf dog's vocabulary.
  • TIP: Keep training sessions to under 15 minutes.
  • TIP: Always use clear visual clues to train a deaf dog.
  • Step 5: Use American Sign Language as a basis for teaching basic commands like sit, stay, no, down and stop. Once the dog has learned these basic commands, introduce more difficult works like car, walk, and treat.
  • Step 6: Begin training sessions by eliminating distractions, and getting the deaf dog's attention by thumping the floor with your foot, or waving your arms.
  • Step 7: Give the command sign and immediately put the dog into the command position. Reward the dog with a treat, a smile, and a “good dog” sign when they pay attention, and then repeat.
  • Step 8: Establish a thumbs up or clap as a "good dog" sign, and train the deaf dog to link the signal to your approval using treats and praise.

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