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  1. Training a deaf dog ?


    Ive been reading this forum for a few months since we got our first pit bull 6 months ago, she is now a year old and just a great dog, this forum has been a great help,

    so now Im going to do my first post,
    we got a am staff mixed puppy when she was 8 weeks. she will be 10 weeks this week, we beleave she is deaf, she is all white with some small black/brown spots and lots of ticking,
    she does not response to any sounds when she isnt lookin directly at you, she doesnt even twitch her ears,we have tried lots of noises, you can put a cell phone right behind her head and nothing, no ear movement ,

    she also plays really rough to the point that my other 2 yelp ( the pit is 50lbs) but she dosent stop, we dont let them play rough and she is corrected but im $#@!uming this is because she cant hear the other dogs yelp which would usually be the sign that she needs to be softer, she also crys and howls very loud for a dog her age and size!,
    she also crys as soon as she loses sight of some one and the moment she wakes up and your not there and she follows us every where, which is some what normal for a puppy but ive never had this one so attached so young,

    the dogs are never left alone when we arent here and there is usually always some one home with them, and my dogs also travel with me and go any wheres im able to take them, we are willing to put the time and effort in to her to make sure she is trained right and that she is safe with us, I use both hand and voice cues with my other guys for most things so doin hand signals with her wont be a problem,

    but what id like to know is if there is any sure way to test that she is indeed deaf, she has a vet appointmet next week for her needles so we will have her ears checked then,

    and if you guys have any first hand experince with training and living with deaf dogs, she is very smart for her age, once we have her attention she will sit and she will come and sit and wait,

    I would love to hear some tips or helpfull info or sites you might have

    Thanks so much :)

    here are some pictures of "IVY" (I do pet photography and she is a great model!!)

    and here she is with big sister kilo, dosent she look impressed ?

  2. #2
    Yes, your vet can test her hearing and may even refer you to a specialist. As far as training goes I can't really help you but many use hand signals for deaf dogs. I would see if your vet or a specialist knows of a trainer in your area that has experience with training deaf dogs.

    PS She is adorable! If you ever get tired of her you can send her to my door ;)

  3. #3
    BAER testing is the only way to be sure of her hearing impairment.
    I had a bilaterally deaf Dogo Argentino for 3 yrs. Training was a little different, but not too difficult. Before I adopted Elu out, just after his 3rd birthday, he had earned his AKC Canine Good Citizen Award, Therapy Dog Certification, ATTS Temperament Test Certification, United Agility 1 title (UKC agility), and multiple flyball titles (FD, FDX, FDCH & TF).

    I just used the standard old focus training method for everything. I didn't use the "deaf dog" methods: laser pointer, flash light, vibrating collar, etc.

  4. #4
    Just so you know, when Lily was first "adopted" by this guy, he brought her back the next day because she was 'deaf'. She was 10 weeks old at the time.
    When I first got her, she would not react to auditory stimuli the way you would expect of a hearing dog, and she did not respond to yipping, growling, or any verbal correction by me or my other dog.
    A month or so later we determined she was not deaf, simply by the fact that she began reacting to noises more normally.
    She's now 14 months old, and I can say without a doubt that this dog is not deaf in any way.
    She was a stray, found at 6 weeks, and my vet believed that possible malnutrition (she was less than 8lb when I got her) could have delayed her development, particularly in hearing.
    I would not consider a 10 week old puppy deaf until it has undergone BAER testing, like ultimatek9 stated, as that is the only true determinant.
    Good luck! Even if she is deaf, these dogs are very smart and in tune with their owner, I'm sure you won't have too many problems. She's a cutie also, looks just like Lily as a pup. :o

  5. thanks for the replys, we do beleave we will have to wait awhile or get the proper testing done to determine if she is indeed deaf, but if she is Id like to start training her now, so either way if she is indeed deaf ateast she will have her basics commands down, so we are using voice and hand signals with her as I do my other ones, I was just wondering if there is any thing we should be doin to help her at this age, Im going to call my vet and see if they do that type of testing or can recommend some wheres that does,


  6. #6
    Yes, BAER Testing is the only way to know for 100% certainty.

    If she is indeed deaf this is an excellent resource

    The following is from the above link:

    "What is BAER testing?

    A BAER test is the only 100% reliable method for determining that a dog is deaf (or for measuring the extent of its hearing loss). BAER (pronounced "bear") stands for "Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response" and is a procedure using computers to record the electrical activity of the brain in response to sound stimulation. This is the same test used to check the hearing of human infants, and measures the same range of hearing. This means that the test does not measure the full range of canine hearing, but it will tell you if your dog has hearing within the normal human range (some dogs will test as "deaf," but will still be able to hear very high pitches).

    The test is not painful and can be performed on any dog over six weeks of age. (A puppy's ear canals don't open until they are about two weeks old.) Sedation is usually not necessary, but some dogs (especially puppies) don't like being restrained, or having wires hang from their face, so it can be performed while the dog is sedated. A clicking sound is directed into the ear through a foam insert, earphones, or headphones and the brain's response is recorded. Each ear is tested individually and the test generally lasts for only 10 to 15 minutes. You can see pictures of puppies being tested, and what the printout results look like at this site - Dalghani Tibetan Terriers - Deafness and BAER testing.

    Since BAER testing is only available at select facilities and can be expensive, many people choose to rely on their own experiences with the dog and the opinion of their veterinarian in making the determination. For their own peace of mind, or because they are breeding a "high-risk" dog (like the Dalmatian), others insist on this testing. A complete list of BAER testing facilities can be found on Dr. George Strain's web page, (Dr. Strain has done a lot of research on the causes of canine deafness, and has found a few of the answers. Unfortunately, most of his writings recommend euthanizing deaf dogs. This is an opinion, not based on research, and should be taken as such.)

    In general, that is the only test that a dog can't cheat on. In spite of the rumors that deaf dogs are handicapped and can't function normally, they are some of the most adaptable and inventive creatures we know. As puppies, they learn to queue off the actions of their littermates. They are very attuned to movements and changes in light. They recognize vibrations (which is all that sound really is) and they sense the change in airflow or pressure that results from opening or closing a door. The same is true for dogs whose loss of hearing is gradual because of age or a prolonged illness. They just never admit to us that they cannot hear. Congenitally deaf dogs don't know that they are missing anything. How could those cute puppies be anything less than perfect?"

  7. #7
    I would simply start training her just like any other dog. I would try to focus on eye contact and watching you; in the case she is deaf this will help you immensly. But remember that she's a baby puppy, regardless of hearing ability. :)

  8. i got this american bulldog at about 1 year. the guy thought he deaf and it turned out the dog had a ear infection the whole time. but the training i put on him was all hand commands. for his off the leash work i used a e collar that had the vibrate tone that doesn't shock the dog just gets there attition

  9. Thanks for the tips, we def arent expecting to much outta her being as she is young, we just want to prepare ourselfs and give her the best start in training we can give her, Ive train quite a few dogs so i cant see her being much different just a little more work :)

  10. #10


    It's nice to see you starting training so early.... But please DO expect a lot out of her, regardless of her age! My 10 month old American Bulldog/Pit mix is completely trained because I started teaching her immediately when I got her. These two breeds are very smart and completely capable of responding to any training you provide. Also, it IS very different for a deaf dog. Although the hand signals are the same, remember they are the ONLY stimuli so they must be clear and consistent.

    For more information, join the Deaf Dogs group on Yahoo Groups. It connects you immediately to thousands of other deaf dog owners for advice and help. They were immensely helpful when I first got my deaf pup Lola!

    Good luck!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    South of Sanity
    Honestly, to me, training a deaf dog is quite simple. Lots of treats! Lots of patience! It's really no different than training a dog with full hearing. You just switch the verbal commands for hand commands.

    I've had a deaf dog for 8 years and I'm currently training another one (both are Boston Terriers). My little one, Divina, has her CGC and TDI and was an agility champion. My brother is actually gonna take the new little guy I've got here. He's 6 months old and I'm his 5th home because people "couldn't handle him." I'm not sure what there was the "handle" but this little man is one of the easiest dogs I've had to work with.

    People think that deaf dogs are difficult or untrainable, but I've never had a problem. I love working with them, watching them learn. It's just a different level of communication with the dog. It's pretty awesome.

    Good luck with her training! Just cuz she's young doesn't mean she shouldn't be learning and excelling. I expect a lot out of my dogs, but I always make training fun. That is the most important thing to remember! If it's not fun, they will shut down and stop learning. ;)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    the Nations Capital
    ok im sorry i cant comment on the impaired hearing part but i just wanted to add that she is sure you know but i had to say it.lovely pup. that first pic is a winner

  13. #13
    Training a deaf dog is easy! :) They pay attention to you and you just show them what you want them to do. :) I train them like any other dog, just more hand signals instead of verbal.

    Casper my Dogo is deaf and I've fostered 3 other deaf Dogos.

    Wendy deaf Dogo pup (already adopted) and Casper my deaf boy.

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