Raising a Deaf Dog.
Here's What I've Learned.
I am always asked, 'How difficult is it to raise a deaf dog?'. My answer: Not difficult at all!
It doesn't feel any different to me than raising and training a 'hearing' dog. We just speak a different language. My American Bulldog, Georgia, appeared on the Tucson Cause for Canines website as a 4-month old deaf puppy. I didn't even hesitate. It was love at first sight. Truth be told, I didn't think that we'd bond like I've bonded with my hearing dogs over the years, and boy, was I wrong! She looks to me for everything and I can speak to her with my eyes, my smile, my frown ...and, of course, my hands.
I got her a vibrating collar with a remote about two weeks after she came home and I am now able to 'call' her to come to me even if she can't see me by 'buzzing' her, very much like the vibration of your cell phone. Using treats as a reward, she learned what a 'buzz' meant within a few hours. She has learned many signs just through repetition and I use facial expressions to get my point across when signing 'good' and 'bad'. That helps a lot and it's amazing how she responds to facial expressions.
I recently adopted a second deaf dog, a 9-month old Great Dane named Luna. I'm very interested to see how different the learning process might be with her. She seems to be a bit more stubborn than Georgia ever was and more distracted but she also follows Georgia's lead on many things, just like a hearing dog would.
My two deaf dogs are an absolute joy and I would say don't ever let a hearing impairment keep you from allowing a very special dog into your home. They are a gift. They also sleep through an Amazon delivery and the UPS guy. Not a bad thing at all.