You Know You Have a Deaf Dog When… « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowYou Know You Have a Deaf Dog When…

You Know You Have a Deaf Dog When…
Published on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 by
  • Halloween and Fourth of July?  No problem!
  • You can sneak things in to the house and your dog will never know.
  • The sound of the refrigerator?  No problem!
  • You find yourself being silent around ALL animals.
  • NOTHING goes undetected by your dog’s bionic sniffer.
  • Loose dog following behind you?  No problem!
  • Dogs barking from across the street?  No problem!
  • The scratch on your dog’s nose attests to the fact that she can’t hear a cat hiss.
  • Your neighbors think you are always angry, seeing you stomp your foot every time you walk in the house.
  • No dog greets you at the door. Rather, you begin a game of, “Where is the dog?”
  • “Excuse me, do you have experience training a deaf dog?” “Ok, thank you.”
  • “Excuse me, do you have experience training a deaf dog?” “Ok, thank you.”
  • “Excuse me, do you have experience training a deaf dog?” “Ok, thank you.”
  • No wait, the dog is asleep!  Don’t touch her whatever you… LOUD STARTLED BARK!
  • You become bilingual quickly.  In sign language.
  • “Mom, what is the sign for potty?”
  • Emma!  Come here Emma!  Emaaaa…….. oh yea.
  • You don’t have to spell the word B-A-T-H.

deaf dalmatian

mom blog

  • I can't imagine dealing with a deaf dog, but Dalmatians have always been a favorite. I had one about twenty years ago and his energy was amazing. Luckily, he didn't suffer from that genetic defect.

  • Well, it appears you have a very interesting life where your dog is concerning. I do know that they can all spell BATH.

    Have a terrific day. 🙂

  • What a sweet face she has. She almost looks like she's smiling in that picture.

    Can you wake her by stomping on the floor or do you have to wait until she wakes up by herself.

  • KZ

    Do deaf dogs bark any less than other dogs? I'm not sure exactly why I would think that, but I do for some reason.

    • KZ, in training today I actually learned something about this. My trainer is deaf but has hearing aids. He has worked with many deaf dogs and while we were there Emma barked. He went, “Hmmm….” and tested clapping on each side of her. On the right, she moved a tiny bit. He said that if they are born completely deaf they don't bark, but if they are born with even the slightest bit of hearing, even if it is for a tone, they will bark. Emma DID bark. It is a normal sounding bark. Now, I know she can't hear – even if she is sleeping right next to the door, if you walk in she won't hear you, even if you stomp or slam the door… but she definitely has reacted to a noise or two off and on.

    • KZ, in training today I actually learned something about this. My trainer is deaf but has hearing aids. He has worked with many deaf dogs and while we were there Emma barked. He went, “Hmmm….” and tested clapping on each side of her. On the right, she moved a tiny bit. He said that if they are born completely deaf they don't bark, but if they are born with even the slightest bit of hearing, even if it is for a tone, they will bark. Emma DID bark. It is a normal sounding bark. Now, I know she can't hear – even if she is sleeping right next to the door, if you walk in she won't hear you, even if you stomp or slam the door… but she definitely has reacted to a noise or two off and on.

    • KZ, in training today I actually learned something about this. My trainer is deaf but has hearing aids. He has worked with many deaf dogs and while we were there Emma barked. He went, “Hmmm….” and tested clapping on each side of her. On the right, she moved a tiny bit. He said that if they are born completely deaf they don't bark, but if they are born with even the slightest bit of hearing, even if it is for a tone, they will bark. Emma DID bark. It is a normal sounding bark. Now, I know she can't hear – even if she is sleeping right next to the door, if you walk in she won't hear you, even if you stomp or slam the door… but she definitely has reacted to a noise or two off and on.

  • Sounds like trying to get my 10 yr old's attention except if you try to open a candy bar very quietly she comes out of NOWHERE!! I swear to gawd she knows what clingfilm sounds like as it is creeped up to snag a piece of a brownie when no one is looking.

    She is a cute dog though!

    M

  • Awwww. Emma is so super cute!

  • I LOVE that you don't have to spell the word B-A-T-H! Or W-A-L-K. Or C-A-R. Or V-E-T! 🙂

    • We STILL say b-a-t-h and then catch ourselves… it is so weird having a dog that can't hear! I had not thought about “vet” but you are right, we ALWAYS spelled out v-e-t too!

  • Nelson's Mama

    I had an Old English Sheepdog that was deaf (sadly he died at 1 1/2); but he learned when we lightly stomped on the floor that we wanted his attention. We also could motion to him with our hands.

    And to answer KZ's question, Casey barked INCESSANTLY and in a high-pitched, shrill way, that was totally unlike what you would expect from an Old English – because he could not hear himself.

    • How sad he died so early. 🙁 I am sorry! Emma actually barks once in a while but it is normal sounding. She barked during lessons and the trainer went, “Hmmmm….” He clapped behind her on the left, no movement from Emma. But on the right she moved a bit. I think it MIGHT have been from his movement BUT… he said when they are born completely deaf they don't bark… but if they have partial (even the slightest) hearing, even if it is for a tone of some sort, they will bark. I have noticed her react to a few sounds/pitches off and on but I can never recreate it… I have always thought she can hear some kind of particular vibration. So I wonder if your sheepdog could hear something, if ever so slight.

      • Nelson's Mama

        You know, that's completely possible. I was only 19 and did not have any experience with a deaf animal. I bought him from an inexperienced breeder and picked him from the litter because he had beautiful blue eyes. Sadly, I learned within a couple of weeks that the same trait that caused deafness in white cats (and Dalmations) also affected Old English Sheepdogs.

        At 1 1/2 he was injured and lost an eye – up until that point he'd lived a life spending most of his time outside during the day, romping and running on my parents farm with his buddy Clancy, an Aussie. After that, life as a one-eyed, deaf dog would have meant being penned or closely contained and it just didn't seem like the life he was destined to live – an older, more mature dog might have adapted to the circumstances better, but after a long, heartfelt conversation with our vet we made the difficult decision to put him down.

        • I am surprised he didn't adapt… but if you think about it, when your eye is hurt it makes you dizzy, off balance and sick feeling. I know you thought long and hard about that decision – truly one of the hardest you have to make. Sometimes it is best to stop the suffering – so sad – I am sorry!!!!

  • My girl Honey is losing her hearing. We have both dogs trained with hand signals anyway, so it's not really much of an issue. I talk to her constantly whether she can hear me or not! Emma is a BEAUTY!

    • Thank you for your Emma compliment. The neat thing about her is her fur is puppy soft… most dalmatians have course fur but hers is soft as can be… I love it.

      That is really amazing that you have taught with hand signals… I assume before Honey started to lose her hearing? Why did you do that… did you have an experience with a deaf dog, or you read to do that? Or did it come naturally? I think that is incredible.

      Emma had her first training/eval… she did really well, but she is easily distracted. He wants me to concentrate on getting her attention by holding a treat (she isn't very motivated by them, so it will probably change to a ball) and making her sit and stare in to my eyes while I hold my finger to the side of my nose. She does pretty well, but she is at that stage where you have to have something that motivates her. It will certainly be interesting!

      Let me know about your hand signals… that is so wonderful!

      • I've always used hand signals for my dogs. My only exception was Willie, my German Shepherd. We used German language commands for him. The real trick is getting their attention focused on you. I use bits of hot dog (cooked, of course) because even dogs who are not “treat” motivated react to the really yummy smells like hot dogs. Try it! The hand signals are more effective than voice commands. When they see me give the sit signal, they both react instantly. Same with down. I start off with words and hand, but then usually just go with hand signals. If they are outside and can't see me, I call for them, and they will come, unless Harry is chasing a squirrel, that is. Then all bets are off!

  • Some of these points are real funny and She is really very cute.

  • Emma sounds adorable. different but adorable. Have you asked the trainer about those low or is it high frequency whistles? He might be able to respond to those.

    • He thinks she can hear “something” of some sort b/c she barks… he said the completely deaf dogs don't bark at all. She doesn't hear a dog whistle though… I wish I could find that pitch she hears. He is helping me make a vibrating collar for her. NOT a shock collar… a vibrating one. Then you make it vibrate two times for “come here.” and I'm not sure what one means… but with more sessions we will get there! 🙂

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