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I have been working with a 9 week old puppy that is deaf and blind. It is very bright and able to learn fast. I have only had it for a few days and it knows the routine of the household rules already; where to sleep, where the food is, etc. It does have trouble getting down stairs, it must have fallen.
I have been exhausted, but it has been worth it, taking it out all the time and encouraging it to go outside in the grass. I have slept on the couch for three days. I've had my hand on her at all times, since it can't handle a kennel yet. Aussie breeds have a voice that can shatter glass.
I found that putting flattened aluminum cans in areas I don't want her to visit has helped her stay away from cords, etc. I have found aluminum foil on the cords is a waste of time. I tried it and it attracted her to chew on the cords. So aluminum cans work so well to keep some puppies out of trouble and also to alert you to when they are somewhere they shouldn't be.
Also, I made a square of aluminum foil into a butterfly shape by cinching it in the middle and hanging them out by the carport. The birds had been messing a lot on our cars and now there is not much at all. Today I put those little toy windmills, those metal looking little thingies that blow in the wind, and they are staying away more than ever! They sit on the phone wires and stare and then fly off. How hilarious!
I am glad I found these things out about aluminum!
By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN
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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
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.
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 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.)
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.
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.
about 4 months ago i adopted a white pitbull. Turns out that he is deaf. However, I was told that he would be able to hear after a few months. Something having to do with his jaw interfering with his ears. His ears are completely closed. Is that how all deaf dogs have their ears? Any info would be great.
Jessica from Texas
I think you can forget about the deafness clearing up. Deaf is deaf. White pits have a tendency toward this trait. My husband is a veterinarian and we have seen many white pits with this problem. On a better note, deaf dogs can and do get along quite nicely once they understand what is going on and the people involved understand how to communicate. Hand signals are good. Not approaching from the rear is a good idea. Making sure children understand about the deafness is necessary. Sometimes dogs quickly bite or snarl when they've no idea something is near and they're suddenly patted. My dog is deaf (old age) and we've learned some things to make it better for us all. I walk around to the front of her so she can see me and I pat my leg so she knows to come to me. She's also almost totally blind so it's a bit more difficult to work out but it can be done. A fenced yard is something you're going to need.
We had a deaf rat terrier who had been in several homes before it was discovered she was deaf. Of course the people thought she was dumb and somewhat abusive. It takes alot of patience, but they can learn all kinds of hand signals and most respond well to lots of love and positive reinforcement.
To ask Molly if she wanted to go out we would get her attention and "walk" two fingers in the air, like in the old phone book commercial of "let your fingers do the walking". We would shake our finger back and forth to say NO NO! Luckily she was a very smart little gal and learned quickly. She was a real jewel. When I came home from work she would bare her teeth to "smile" at me. The dog had a wonderful sense of humor!
I also have a deaf white pitbull. She is almost two years old, but when she was a puppy we were told the same thing, that once her ears opened up she would hear. That is not true. Having a deaf dog is wonderful but it is a lot of work at first.
My advice to you is to work on a no and ouch sigh at first. because if you puppy is anything like mine the teething is going to be the hardest part. I also suggest that you enroll her in a training class to get you started. Pit bulls are very smart and she will catch on fast, as soon as you show her who is boss. Also have fun with you signs you can think up some unique one.
The last thing that I want to say is you need to invest in a chip and a vibrating collar (not a shock collar) for recall because that is going to be a very difficult sign to train, waving your arms or patting your legs doesn't really help when they aren't looking at you. Have fun and good luck
I hope this gets to you, I see that the post was back in 2008. I too have adopted a deaf pit. I am also doing research for a school paper on her. Any info that you can give me will be helpful.
Are a deaf dog's ears closed entirely or is the canal open and they just can't hear?
Depends on why the dog is deaf. If it was born that way, then probably the ear canal is open just some part inside did not form properly. If it is an older dog with chronic ear infections (like Cocker Spaniels) then deafness could be from long term damage and the canal may appear closed from the damage and inflammation.
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WyoKrista from Laramie, WY
I never had a deaf dog, but I was an interpreter for the deaf, and I'd recommend picking up a sign language book and finding basic signs you'd normally say to your dog and use them consistently when responding to her. (07/04/2006)
Our Golden Retriever is 13 and he went deaf in January. We trained him with hand signs so he is still able to understand his commands. We have also taught him the signs for "No" and "Yes". He knows them now. If you just find some and do them over and over and make her do what you are trying to teach her. She will catch on quickly. (07/07/2006)
Please Google "deaf dogs" and look around. There is a ton of good info out there. Best wishes to all. (07/07/2006)
There is a Yahoo group for blind, deaf, and blind and deaf dogs. Just go to groups.yahoo.com and search for deaf dogs.
Thank you for the responses so far. We think her previous owners worked with her with hand signals a bit. She knows signs for sit, lay down and we are learning roll over. She's also learning: stay, and go for a walk, and eat. I know some signs from my previous job of being a preschool teacher for some hearing impaired children.
She is mostly an indoor dog and has a dog run in the yard. We always keep her on her leash except when going the few feet from her dog run to the house. She is constantly looking at me or my husband for "what to do". We have also found that when she is in "trouble", like for barking inside, all we have to do is frown at her and point at her and she knows she is in trouble. She is very good at looking at facial expressions to know what our mood is.
Thanks again everyone
I have a year old bull dog who is deaf. Repetition, that's the best advice I can give you. My Gus knows sign language for treat, sit, come, shake, lay down, and many others. I made up the signals, but they work. Try it.