Also see: Hearing Dogs
Also see: Hearing Ear Dogs
By Kirsten Rockwood
Deaf dogs can be trained too
According to Wikipedia there are certain breeds that can
inherit the deafness gene:
"Researchers now know that deafness in albino and piebald
animals is caused by the absence of mature melanocytes in the inner
ear . This may affect one or both ears. The condition is also
common in other canine breeds that share a genetic propensity for
light pigmentation. This includes, but is not limited to bull
terriers, Poodles, boxers, border collies and Great Danes.
Similarly, Charles Darwin commented on the tendency of white,
blue-eyed cats to be deaf , while Warrensburg syndrome is the
human analog. There is an accurate test called the BAER test, which
can determine if the defect is present. Puppies can be tested
beginning at five weeks of age. BAER testing is the only way of
detecting unilateral deafness, and reputable breeders test their
dogs prior to breeding." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmatian_
Many would like to reject those dogs that are deaf.
Unfortunately many deaf dogs lose their lives because an owner does
not know they are deaf and turn them into a shelter that also does
not know they are deaf. The deaf dog will act differently than a
hearing dog. According to Spirit of Deaf Dogs web site the dog may
cling and watch his or her owner more carefully. They may be more in
tune with and see every little spider on the wall. They are easily
startled when they cannot see a person or be touched when not
looking at the person. There is no need to turn them into a shelter
or return to a breeder because one can train these dogs just like
one can train a hearing dog.
Deaf dogs can understand signs just as well as hearing
dogs can understand language. One of the first signs one should
learn when they are attempting to train a deaf dog would be "good
dog" according to Deaf Dog Education Action Fund. This will help the
dog to understand you when training. The need for encouragement will
help the dog to continue to learn the language that you want to
teach it. This goes for hearing dogs as well. In order for my dog to
understand she is doing something I want her to do I praise her with
The sign for "good" can be taught to a dog too. The deaf
dog can learn all the signs that a hearing dog is required to learn.
Such as sit, stay, lie down, be gentle, down, come, go on and so
forth. These commands will be done with hand movements or sign
language this is also helpful for dogs that are in obedience
training or such as a service dog that needs to obey the commands
that are given to them without a spoken word.
One needs to use consistent behaviors as well as clear
commands to help the deaf dog or any dog for that matter to
understand what is going on. This also applies to human students who
are attempting to learn ASL or anything for that matter. One website
suggests the following when training a dog.
"You will mostly be communicating with your dog
through hand signs. Think about what signs you
will use before you try to train them. Hand signals must be:
distinguishable from other signs and
gestures you commonly use
visible from a distance, and
One of the most important things to remember with the
training of a deaf dog or a hearing dog is to have great patience as
well as lots of love and treats which will help the dog and your
patience with the dog to survive the process of training any dog.
Deaf dogs can live a long healthy life and survive in a loving
family that is willing to take the time and the energy as well as
patience to help the dog succeed.
Also see: "Hearing Dogs"