This charming pup, Otis, is deaf.
I had some interesting correspondance with Becky of Boardman, Ohio, Otis’ human mom. She wrote asking if I knew anything about training deaf dogs. I didn’t but I had noticed that my webpage on books about training deaf dogs does get quite a lot of traffic. I asked her to tell me more, and she said:
Thank you for your e-mail! Our dog is deaf; he was born around Dec.18,2006. So we have to try signs with him. It is very hard to get him to stop biting, as he is cutting teeth. Our one dog has helped me to teach him to sit and give his paw with signs. I’m working on trying to get him to speak when I want but is has been hard.
We have no real idea what to do with this deaf dog but we will keep him forever. I have two rescues here that would not have had any kind of life if they were not with me, I feel.
I wrote her back and asked her permission to put this on the blog, which she agreed to. She added more details and the charming photo above.
My husband can not believe how well I’m teaching him without any knowledge of training deaf dogs.
I think this deaf dog will be the smart one in this house. Already I have taught him to sit using my other dog to help me out. And to give me his paw all with hand signs. I clap when he does something good and right and give him pieces of his food not treats.
Tonight I was able in less than 1/2 hour again teach him to lay down. I put my hand flat on the floor and towards me.
I taught him to speak by putting my finger to my mouth. To do this I had him sit real close to my other dog so that he may feel him speaking. This took the longest to have him learn.
I will work real hard with this pup. We do have to get a vibrating collar not a shock collar, because somehow we have to make him learn to come to us just in case someone would accidentally let him outside. He would never hear us.
I think Otis is one lucky pup!
Here is an inspiring story of another happy deaf dog: