Post # 1
I just have to say, I’ve had Blue for 9 months now, and he is the love of my life (besides my boyfriend)! He is the smartest dog I’ve ever owned, which is partially breed related (aussie/blue heeler) but his being deaf hasn’t hindered any of his learning!
I use sign language (mostly things I’ve made up) to talk to him, he knows how to sit, lay down, roll over… he can heel, follow directions when I point in a direction he’ll walk there… He can go potty almost on command. And I can even tell him to go get a specific toy so we can play fetch, I can point to a toy across the room and sign to put it in my hand and he’ll do it (sometimes reluctantly). He also knows “no” and “shh, no barking” and he’s turning into a very aware guard dog surprisingly… He loves to look out the window and if he sees something different he’ll let out a low growl, until we look out the window and give him the “thumbs up” sign to say “it’s ok, good job”.
I can even take him on hikes and take him off leash !I’m hoping to start working on some basic agility training soon!
I just had to share my experience with deaf dogs, and just say if you are looking into rescuing a dog, don’t turn them away because they are deaf. With slight modifications to normal training techniques it’s no more difficult to train deaf dogs!
If you are interested in adopting a deaf dog or want more information just ask!!
And a few pictures of my boy:
When he was just a little pup:
And now he’s a 50lb dog!
Post # 3
Wow, that is incredible! I had no idea you could teach dogs sign language. He is absolutely adorable.
We have cats, but are thinking about adopting a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia since they are often put down just because they can’t move as well as “normal” cats. But the truth is that they’re just as wonderful as pets! Here’s a video of a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia named Charley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJQG6V1MOVY
Post # 4
omg! I almost adopted a cat with that. Sadly he passed away (pnemonia from a spasm related vomiting incident) before I could get an apartment that allowed pets, but he absolutely stole my heart!
As long as you take care to keep the cat from high places and make sure they don’t get on the second floor (or a balcony!), and I would recomend checking for breathing difficulty (any chest rattling is cause for concern, hard to tell when they purr all the time!). I say go for it!
His name was Hopkins,
Post # 5
Aww! How sweet! There’s actually a deaf border collie at the rescue we’re going through but we couldn’t do it. Rather than the deaf girl following Bones and his response to our commands we’re pretty sure he would follow her and we would end up with two “deaf” dogs!
Post # 7
What a cutie! There is an Australian Shepherd in the rescue group we foster for right now who is both blind and deaf. He needs a new foster home, and I want SO badly to foster him, but I know that if I put that kind of time and energy into a dog I wouldn’t be able to give him up. Considering we want to start TTC in about a year, though, it wouldn’t be a good idea, (older kids who understand Ajax is special and can use care around him are one thing, but a small child wouldn’t understand this and even with proper supervision it only takes a second for an accident to happen).
Post # 9
He’s a beautiful dog! My dog knows hand signals better than voice commands. He knows when I point to him, that’s sit. If I put my hand up, that’s stay. He also knows when I point to a direction, he’ll go thataway. 🙂
Post # 10
What a wonderful story! Major props to your command modifications and all the time and effort both of you have put into his training! This story made my day!
Post # 11
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
That’s so awesome! I definitely agree with you on teaching dogs sign language! Neither of my dogs are deaf, but we have tied certain “signs” to various commands (for example, hold up one finger when we want them to sit, along with saying “sit”) and often they respond better if we just do the sign than if we actually say it!
Post # 12
We’ve always taught our puppy sign language in addition to voice command, so that if he’s far away but in visual contact we can still control him.
I think it sounds like you’ve done an amazing job with your sweetie. Congratulations!