Any advice for training a deaf puppy?
January 19, 2017 8:24 PM   Subscribe

Starting tomorrow, I will be fostering this little guy, a 12-week old dalmatian mix. He's deaf, and I have zero experience working with deaf dogs. As per the rescue group's requirements, I'll be taking him to puppy socialization classes (yay!) but I think the training is going to be up to me. Can anyone offer any advice or suggest resources that might be helpful? Also, I'd love to hear some name suggestions.
posted by bibliowench to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Would a collar with radio-controlled buzz signal (pleasant noise not shock) work like a clicker does with hearing dogs?
posted by anadem at 9:21 PM on January 19, 2017

One thing that owners of deaf dogs will do for training is use lights. For example, they let the dog out to do its business and then they'll flick the porch light switch up and down when time's up. We had a bulldog that was very hard of hearing and we would often flip a light switch if we needed to get her attention. There are also vibrating collars that are made for deaf dogs. Hand signals can be fairly easily taught to dogs as well.
posted by azpenguin at 9:27 PM on January 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

First off, thank you for fostering this pup and for your humanity. Perhaps your local pet advocacy groups would have some resources for you.
posted by metajim at 10:49 PM on January 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

I am having an actual meltdown looking at that photo.

Winston? Spot? I would like to name every dog Helianthus, which means sunflower.

My sweet maltese, Zoey, was a senior and almost fully deaf when I brought her home. I communicated to her through hand signals and showing her items (food, bowl, leash) to indicate my intentions. It wasn't always 100% successful, but we were able to communicate and she was super demonstrative, even leading me to the kitchen to fetch ham for her because I, as a silly human, had apparently forgotten that it was right there, right there in the fridge, right theeeeeeere.

So yes, hand signals.
posted by mochapickle at 12:24 AM on January 20, 2017 [7 favorites]

Oh, and the hand signals have to be super-consistent. So if you put up the palm of your right hand to mean stay, everyone else in your household has to know and use the same signal.
posted by mochapickle at 12:30 AM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

Seconding the use of lights and hand signals. My old deaf dog loved being outside and would purposefully position herself away from being able to see the door, so she could ignore me waving at her to come in. Also, walk heavily inside, thumping the floor, so the dog can know if you are coming up behind him. If he's sleeping and you need to wake him, be extra gentle, so he doesn't get startled. He's cute, good luck!
posted by fourpotatoes at 2:17 AM on January 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

I had a friend with a deaf dog who would loudly stamp his foot when in their house to get her attention as he had wooden floors the dog could feel the vibrations. She's come to him from the other side of the house if he did that, scared the heck out of you as a visitor if you weren't expecting it though.
posted by wwax at 8:54 AM on January 20, 2017

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