Hard to Train Myth
One of the myths regarding deaf dogs is that they are very difficult to train. However, from the perspective of most individuals who have deaf dogs, training is no more difficult and in fact, many deaf dog owners say it is actually easier.
A New Language
Many deaf dog owners learn American Sign Language (ASL) or develop their own signs. One advantage to using ASL or standard “obedience” signs is that others, i.e. trainers, shelter workers, veterinarians, groomers, etc may also know them and be able to communicate with the dog.
Dogs, deaf or hearing, do not speak English. Learning signs or hand signals is very easy for dogs because it takes advantage of their native language—so to speak. They are very adept at interpreting body language and facial expression. It is how they communicate with each other. Remember to use your voice when you are signing. Your body language and facial expressions will be more natural.
A deaf dog, like any hearing dog, will require time and energy devoted to training and socialization to help them become well-adjusted and well-mannered. The process you use to train is important and may be the difference in your success or failure. You are developing a relationship. Getting and keeping your dog’s attention is crucial so make sure hands
are always positive. They are the tools used for communication. Make training sessions short and fun. Remember, your dog is a dog first, his breed second, his individual personality third and deaf last. It’s a whole new world. Enjoy!
See the following for more detailed information.
Deaf Dog Education Action
Training Your Deaf Dog
by Stacy Braslau-Schneck, CPDT
A Comprehensive, yet concise explanation for teaching your Deaf Dog basic commands.
Nothing In Life Is Free
by Debbie McKean
Address unwanted behaviors with a program that is positive and simple.