When I came across Hear, Hear! A Guide to Training a Deaf Dog, by Barry Eaton, in a local library, I couldn’t resist reading it, even though I have never had a deaf dog and don’t know any. The only thing I knew about training deaf dogs was that some people use flashlights instead of clickers to train them.
At 64 pages, Hear, Hear! is a quick read… and a very useful reference if you need it. I had no idea that many times deaf puppies are euthanized, because people think the puppies will not be trainable or that their quality of life will be too low. Eaton makes short shrift of such claims.
Eaton and his family acquired Lady, a Border Collie, who was born deaf, and as the photos in the book show, he trained her to do a number of things. I was pleased to see that he used positive methods. He has advised other owners of deaf dogs, and this book grew out of that.
He says you’ll need lots of patience but the rewards are great.
Topics include socialization, communication, getting the deaf dog’s attention, praise and reprimand, thoughts about training, specifics of how to train (sit, down, stand, getting your deaf puppy to come back to you, heel, stay), unwanted behavior, and more.
I also found another book on deaf dogs Living With a Deaf Dog: A Book of Advice, Facts and Experiences About Canine Deafness seems to cover similar ground (perhaps more comprehensively) — I find I can always learn more from reading a second book on a topic. This was written by someone who had a deaf Boston Terrier. The book includes a list of hand signals to use.
Also, as ever, the internet itself is a fabulous resource.
Here’s that second book: