Recently I posted an article written by Kate Stolle of Columbia, Missouri, giving tips on training deaf dogs, based on her own experiences with a deaf dog, Lilly. Here are more tips from Kate again.
Kennel: we don’t kennel her very often but she knows that it is her safe zone. We have lined her kennel with old pillows off of our bed so it smells like us and an old blanket. She will burrow in-between the pillows and she feel safe there. We have gotten to the point with her that she has free roam of the house while we are gone. We just make sure that the door to her kennel is unlocked and slightly open. She has figured out how to open the kennel door with her paws and how to shut it surprisingly. Nine times out of ten when we come home she is in her kennel curled in a tiny ball.
If there is any real advice to training a deaf dog, it’s consistency. Make sure that you use the same commands over and over again and reward when they do what you want. One of the plus’ of having a deaf dog is that they can’t be distracted by noises when you are trying to train them like hearing dogs. I still talk to her and give verbal commands while I am signing to her. Now our other two hearing dogs know what the signs mean as well as hearing them!
Also, having a companion for your deaf dog is a great idea. It’s another dog to watch out for them and to let them play with. They seem very happy with another dog around. They are big into the buddy system.
It’s all in how you want to train them. What works for you and your dog. It’s trial and error.
See the Deaf Dogs section of this site for more from Kate and others. And here’s a book on training deaf dogs. It’s older but well-regarded: