Owning a deaf or hard of hearing dog requires proper training. To train a deaf animal, complicity is necessary. Elizabeth Vigia, behaviorist and dog educator at Connexion Canine Lyon gives us her advice.
The owner must modify his education to disable his dog
Owning a deaf or hard of hearing dog means learning to adapt their communication system to their pet. To communicate with his dog as much as possible, the owner will have to prepare an appropriate education.
“Hearing dogs will allow them to adapt to their environment, hearing and understanding verbal communication. Hearing has an adaptive function (to warn of potential dangers), a hunting function (localizing prey or game), and of course a communication function. So let’s imagine our dog without these signs!” Elizabeth Vigia, behavior scientist and dog educator at Connexion Canine Lyon.
The owner of a deaf and hard of hearing dog will have to adapt to the disability of his animal. As Elizabeth Vigia points out, educating a hard-of-hearing or deaf dog essentially includes the unwavering principle of complicity and trust: “A relationship will be stronger, more intense, unique and exceptional.”
Thus, the master will be an essential component of the relationship with the dog. In moments of doubt or anxiety, the animal will indicate its owner, so it is another language that must be learned and developed.
How do you make your deaf or hard of hearing dog understand it?
As you understand, trust and mutual respect are key components in educating a deaf or hard of hearing dog.
Deaf dog training cannot be improvised. The owner will have to invest in the right equipment. This especially starts with the “vibrating collar”. A training supplement that is not dangerous to the dog. These are not electrical impulses but vibrations.
“The vibrating collar takes the place of the dog’s name. This makes it possible for the dog to interrupt its activity so that it looks at its master, and thus gives the latter the required instructions. Vibration is used to replace the dog’s name. Vibration is not used as a reminder.” Elizabeth Vigia says.
The behavioral scientist warns that teaching a disabled dog can only be positive: “We will reinforce good behavior and ignore bad ones. Reinforcers for expected behavior should be of higher value than would be selected for the sighted dog.”
What commands can you give a deaf dog?
If you are the owner of a deaf dog, it is possible to give him instructions similar to a hearing dog. The most important one, of course, is the “reminder”.
For Elizabeth Vigia, this is also the number one command to teach a deaf or hard-of-hearing dog: “A summons is a request aimed at the safety of the dog and the master.”
Once the retrieval process is mastered, the teacher can start learning other instructions (sitting, lying down, many fun instructions…!). Giving you rewards (rewards, stuffed animals, toys, etc.) will reinforce the expected behavior of your dog.
Since the method of learning is different and subtle, it is recommended to approach a state-certified behavioral teacher in the positive way, accompanying the owner to become a tonic for progress.
Even if it is possible to educate a deaf and hard of hearing dog on their own, it is best to approach a dog trainer who can best help the owner and the pet.
Are there safety measures to take when you want to teach a deaf dog?
As the editorial staff at Wamiz explained to you above, training a deaf dog can’t be improvised.
To begin teaching him instructions, it is important to invest in safety equipment.
For a deaf and hard of hearing dog, it will be necessary to purchase:
- dog harness
- Harness sign “Deaf dog”
- Vibration collar + GPS
- name and phone medal
- 20 meter long rope.
The owner of a dog who is deaf or hard of hearing must be alert at all times. A vigil has to be stricter than a dog master who does not suffer from this handicap. Forget the time for a walk with your headphones on! It is important to be connected to the animal and to be informed.
Note these few tips: An owner should never let a deaf or hard of hearing dog get lost in an unknown or unsafe environment.
If you want to give away dogs, you will have to use them in a vibrating collar.
It will also be necessary to take care not to surprise him from behind or while he is sleeping in order to avoid a reaction.
“The dog should feel safe and give it a framework that ensures its safety,” explains Elizabeth Vigia, Connexion Canine Lyon, a behavior scientist.
Does training a deaf or hard of hearing dog take longer?
In general, training a dog takes time. You have to be patient to educate your pet as much as possible.
With a dog who is deaf or hard of hearing, education will take longer: “The dog, like a master, must adapt to an unusual learning situation. Once the dog has internalized the way we are going to teach him, he will understand expectations more quickly, but this association is necessary.” Elizabeth Vigia.
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