Communicating with a deaf dog

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If you have a deaf dog, then you have a hard time communicating with the animal. The dog watches your body movements and responds to that alone. If your dog does not respond to your auditory commands, take it to the veterinarian. Do note that if you abandon your deaf canine, it could be euthanized.

Other senses grow

A deaf dog’s other senses are correspondingly amplified to compensate for lack of hearing. The animal’s peripheral vision and sense of smell gets heightened. Body language becomes one of the key communicators. Deaf dogs keenly observe the body language of others. Normal dog training will not work as this kind of training use verbal cues. For a deaf dog, verbal techniques will obviously not work. These dogs need specialized training. Verbal training is not an option for deaf dogs. Communication between the deaf dog and you should stress on visual senses. It is important that you must be deliberate with body, hand, and face elements. The verbal maker and the auditory one are quite similar. The training shift is not that much of a change. It can be quite easy after both you and your dog gets accustomed to it.

Hand-flash

In deaf dogs, “hand-flash” is a visual marker. The hand flash begins as a fist with all fingers together and then the fish opens into a palm hand and the fingers all straight. Then the fist comes back on. Similar to any marker, there is also a constant reinforces so that gets converted into a conditioned reinforces.

Your dog must know that hand flash means it will get good things. The marker must reinforce something good. A treat should always follow the hand flash. The next step is to make the dog do something which you like. To give an example, reinforce your dog sitting when you told it to by a visual hand flash. This must be done multiple times to make sure your canine knows you are happy when you see it sitting down.

It is harder to get the attention of a deaf dog as you cannot call out to it. It is thus imperative to cultivate a “check-in” behavior. You should reinforce your dog’s behavior of looking at you periodically. Vibrations are an excellent way to get a deaf animal’s attention. Do wave your arms when your dog looks at you. Another way to get your dog’s attention is to switch the house lights on and off during the night and the evening time. If you use a torch, do not shine the light directly on to the animal’s eyes. A laser pointer is not suitable for such tasks. Use the flashlight as a visual clicker and judiciously use the marker.

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