About Deaf Dogs
Links to pages and
external resources concerning deaf dogs
With deaf dogs the key method of
communication at any distance is by hand signals and body language.
When they are
within reach you can also communicate by touch.
You must bear in
mind that hearing is only one of a dogs five senses and it is not
the most important one in a dogs world.
A dog relates to its
world first through it's nose, second through its eyes and then
through it's ears.
Body language is an important method of
communication for dogs so use it to communicate along with hand
Unlike blind dogs, direct physical
contact is not so necessary for reassurance or communication but
deaf dogs need to be looking at you for any form of communication to
be effective at all. Exaggerated hand and arm signals along with
distinct posture is how to communicate instructions.
This is the problem.
The dog has to look at you. When a dog is out sniffing around
the last thing it tends to think about is looking back at its owner.
Teaching a deaf dog hand signals needs to be done in a certain
order. First you need to teach the dog to keep looking back at you.
Then teach it to drop like stone when told to. Then teach it to come
back to you straight away and in a direct line when asked.
teach it not to stray too far away from you unless specifically told
These basic commands in place will help avoid hazards and
conflicts. Then comes more interesting stuff.
We have seen
deaf dogs herding livestock, working in scent discrimination and
competing in agility and flyball. They tend to make a better team
with their handlers because both parties need to pay particular
attention to each other in order to carry out tasks.
a good understanding of hand signals by dog and handler it would be
very risky to let a dog run loose other than in a secure area.
For most people this means their garden as public parks don't tend
to be secure and are full of distractions.
It would be a shame
if a dog had to be walked on a lead and could not run free simply
because it was deaf.
We have come across people using radio
controlled vibrating collars to get a deaf dogs attention.
dog is trained to look at the handler when the collar vibrates and
can then be given signaled instructions.
This is fine when the
batteries are charged up and the dog is within range of the
transmitter but in the eventuality of flat batteries or range
problems you will find yourself in trouble.
If a handler depends
on this method of getting the dogs attention, the dog is less likely
to look back at its handler unless it feels the vibration.
best not rely on this method of getting the dog's attention. It may
have a place as a training aid in the early stages of training but
having the dog keep looking back at you because it is trained to do
so habitually is the best method to rely on.
Below are a few links to external
recourses relating to deaf dogs
If you are interested in adopting a Border Collie from us,
please phone 0845 604 4941 during office hours.
(2 pm to 5 pm Tuesdays to Thursdays)
Please do not write to us or email us about adoption - we want to speak to you before we start the process.