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.