If you’re consider adopting a deaf dog, here are 10 tips written by members of the Deaf Dog Network (DDN) to help you bring your new dog home and settle them into their new environment.
It’s not as daunting as you might think!
This is Jasper, his owner recently told K9 Magazine about his journey from a puppy to his 1st birthday.
1. Join a group or community, such as DDN for support – there are a lot of owners out their with years of experience with deaf dogs.
2. Think about the hand signals (or signs) that you will use and make them easy to remember.
3. Talk to your dog – body language and facial expressions are an important part of communication.
4. If they’ve done something right – smile!
5. Don’t treat them differently to how you would a hearing dog – they can’t hear but they’re certainly not daft – have high expectations.
6. Be patient, dogs learn at different paces and some things take longer to master than others… Stick with it!
7. A reliable check-in is needed if you want your dog to be under your control at all times and to be able to come off lead.
8. Socialise, socialise, socialise! Greet new people, introduce new dogs, go to new places, the more new experiences your puppy has the more likely he/she will grow up to be a balanced, confident dog.
9. Educate others and raise awareness – Sometimes people make assumptions that deaf dogs or owners are ignorant, “that dog isn’t listening to me when i’m saying hello” or ‘that owner isn’t even calling his/her dog” so explain why you are doing what you do.
10. Remember that dogs interact using their sense of smell and vision more than we do. There are also ways that dogs can access sound without using their ears (!) so a lack of hearing doesn’t need to be a disability, we are the ones that disable deaf dogs by not communicating in a way that they can understand. Adapt and be patient (with your dog and yourself).
Read more about dogs with special needs seeking new homes here: http://www.dogsblog.com/tag/dogs-with-special-needs/