Raising a Deaf Dog

I have just rescued a 4 month old, deaf, red-nosed Pitbull puppy from being taken to the pound and most likely euthanized due to the breed and his disability. He is sweet and supposedly had all his shots, but no rabies tag or papers proving that, so I will get him all up to date for sure.


I have never owned a pure Pit (if he is, which he sure does look to be). But I have had several years of handling a very high strung extremely alpha 110 lb. Chow.

The deafness part is a bit tricky I'm discovering in only one day. It's just teaching him a bunch of hand signals, after I get his attention. Is there anyone else with the same type of situation who may have a suggestions?

I can tell you; I know who spent a lot of time with him and I am sure he played rough, period, with him whenever he was around. So said my dog, Chance only plays rough, mouth games. After learning with my Chow, Dude, you don't raise a dog with that sort of temperament, tugging and chewing, and pushing down unless you want a possible loose cannon for a dog. But a response to this would be appreciated.


By Jim from Augusta, ME

December 26, 20090 found this helpful

I have a shep/rottie/dobie cross who is deaf. I taught her hand signals; pretty funny trying to get her attention, though, so I can USE the hand signals. They work well, but it took a LOT of patience! Good for you for taking in this deaf dog. You are right to break the "rough mouth games" habit, especially with a pit. These dogs take more patience than hearing dogs, but it's worth it. My "Gog", as my granddaughter calls her, is a sweetheart. To get her attention, I keep an assortment of soft things in my pockets, such as small squeaky toys, then when I need her to pay attention, I toss one at her...doesn't hurt her, just gets her to look at me.

It's really funny having a deaf dog. She doesn't bark when people come to the door, because she can't hear them. So when someone knocks on my door, my cat runs over to the dog, hits her on the nose, then runs away. The dog barks at the cat and gives chase. This "game" lets me know there is someone at the door! And lets people know I have a dog! All I can tell you is, "Be super patient and give lots of rewards and hugs". Enjoy your dog.

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December 26, 20090 found this helpful

I was in the process of adopting a deaf dog, but it didn't work out with other animal members in the family. I did some research to learn how to communicate with hand signals. One of the things I learned was there is a collar that vibrates to get the dog to look at you for a command. I think someone even had a website on how to make such a collar. I also remember using lights at night to signal the dog when its outside. Good luck with your "gog".

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January 1, 20100 found this helpful

I would think you could get his attention by flashing the lights or stamping on the floor to make a vibration, giving him a treat when you do those things and he notices you. (I've worked with deaf students.)

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October 26, 20100 found this helpful

I too just got a deaf red nose. She is only 5 weeks old. I have no idea how to go about training this dog but I am looking forward to it. I have Googled deaf dogs and there is a good bit of info on this subject. It's just kinda weird knowing that she cant hear me. Anyway I don't really have any suggestions now but maybe we could help each other. If I learn something that seems to work well I will share and if you learn something maybe you could do the same.

Thank you.


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March 1, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Jim,

I have a pit puppy that is deaf as well. I am doing research for a school paper on her and would like any info that you can give me. I too live in Maine and would also be very interested in possibly meeting and sharing different training techniques if that is something that you would be interested in. It would be interesting to see our two pups together and see how they interact with one another.

I look forward to hearing back from you.



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