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How to Train Deaf Dog?

(May 12, 2010)

Training a deaf dog can prove to be a challenging task, especially for those who haven’t dealt with deaf dogs before. However, there are certain ways to overcome the barriers in communication and to impart training to your dog, as well as build a lasting bond with him.

Firstly, if you suspect that you dog may have problems in hearing, consult a veterinarian immediately. It is possible that your dog may have only a partial hearing disability. The veterinarian is likely to recommend some tests which will help to examine the neural activity and responses pertaining to hearing. Training a dog with a hearing problem requires patience and commitment. Most of the communication will be carried out through dog training hand signals and therefore these signs must be consistent, clear, visible from distances and distinct from other commonly used gestures and signals. The first signal that you need to teach the dog is the sign that indicates he has been good. This could be thumbs up gesture, which would convey to him that he did something right and will be rewarded for it. You may also follow the thumbs up sign with the giving of a dog biscuit or another reward. This will associate the two in a stronger way. Some of the other basic signs include sit, stop, down and stay.

Repetition is an essential part of deaf dog training. Only after repeated trials will the dog learn to recognize hand signals and other gestures. Teaching the dog to respond to your signals also means that you need to spend extra time with him. You can even create your own hand signals as long as both the dog and you are comfortable with them. The dog will also be reading your body language and facial expressions and hence these too have to be consistent.

Giving dog food is a good way of encouraging learning. Small snacks that the dog enjoys may be used as incentives to build his motivation and keep him learning. The food reward must only be given when the dog gets a command right. However, it is important not to bribe him into following a certain command. If your dog is looking away or is asleep, you can get his attention by thumping on the floor. He will experience the vibrations through this. However, do not sneak up on him when he asleep as this will startle him. You can also wake him up by placing your hand under his nose so that he can smell you.

Submitted by N M on May 12, 2010 at 07:03


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