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When I came to live with this family, my new mom & dad searched bookstores and the web for information about deaf dogs.  Well, there wasn't very much available.  

There was no information in bookstores, the library, or at pet supply stores.  There was some great information on the web that was helpful though.  There are some links to good sites at the bottom of this page.  

One thing about the links....some of the "experts" quoted say that deaf dogs should be destroyed - I just want to say that I think that really stinks.  Deaf dogs might seem harder to train at first, mostly because humans aren't used to them - but deaf dogs are just as smart and sometimes even smarter than boring dogs and if you are nice to us, we'll love you forever!  

Biting:
You know how much I like play-biting, even though some people don't think its so great.  Here are some of the reasons the scientific people give for why deaf dogs bite more often than regular boring dogs:
   We get startled more easily.  Since we can't hear, sometimes people or things just seem to sneak up on us so we get scared and bite.  The best thing to do is make sure I see you coming so I don't accidentally think you're a bad guy or something.  If I'm sleeping - wake me up gently by putting your hand on me softly.
   We can't hear people or other dogs say "ouch". Sometimes when I play with my friends and we're rolling around and biting each other, I bite too hard but I can't hear you cry out so I don't realize I've hurt you.  My mom always flicks me on the nose when I bite too hard and I don't like that, but I know it means I did something she didn't like.  She also gives me the "no" finger right after I bite her too hard or if I bite the other animals too hard, so I'm starting to get the hang of it.

Barking:
   Even though I can't hear, I can still talk just fine.  (I don't bark as much as my brother Pilot though.)  Mostly I bark if my other dog is barking and I can tell by looking at him, or if I see something out the window.  
   I can smell really well too - so when I'm out in the yard and I get a whiff of someone or something - I bark at it even if I can't see it.
   I bark at that scary ghost dog that comes to the patio window at night.  I hate that dog - he always copies me.

Hearing Things:
   Sometimes I just think I hear something and I get sort of freaked out and I bark.  This happens at night a lot when I'm supposed to be going to bed.  But I just get so nervous sometimes that some bad guy (or a stupid cat) might come in so I keep jumping up and barking.  
   I think I can hear some things though.  I don't know if all deaf dogs can hear things, but I can hear really low pitched rumbly noises or really loud noises - like a loud bang or a big truck or an airplane rumble.  I can hear really high pitched noises sometimes too like a smoke alarm and some squeaky sounds that dogs can make.  Maybe I don't actually hear stuff, it could be that I feel the vibrations that the loud or unusual sounds make.

Training:
   You can train a deaf dog with hand signals and cookies.  It's almost like training a regular dog.  So like if you want you dog to sit and you push his behind down, instead of saying "sit" you make a hand signal instead.  You should decide in advance what your signals will be so you can have enough different ones.  My mom found a web page from a lady that taught her dog sign language and we use some of the same signs that she said to use.  
   House breaking:  Take your dog outside like every half hour to see if she needs to go.  This is a good idea if your dog can hear or not.  When your dog does her business outside, give her a cookie.  (You could even give her two cookies - I think that's better.)  If your dog goes inside the house by mistake, try to catch her and give her the "no" finger and put her outside.  Make a grouchy face too.  I hate seeing the grouchy face.  


Links to web sites with excellent information about deaf dogs:

The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund - This must be new or something because my mom didn't find it last time, it has excellent information and it's specifically for people who want to help and love deaf animals.

Cricket's Training Page - This page is by a lady who has a deaf dog and shows some of the basic hand signals you can use.  My mom printed this page out and taught me these signs.

Book Review - Living with a Deaf Dog - This person reviews a book by Susan Cope Becker.  She had a deaf dog and wrote a book about raising one - it's the only book on the subject we have found so far.  

Super Dog - Deaf Dogs Page There are links and information about deaf dogs here.  Go to the Super Dog home page for lots of other great general information about dogs and dog training.

The Deaf Dogs Web Page - A little hard to read but has useful information about us deaf dogs including a dispelling of the myths about deaf dogs.

Deafness in Dogs and Cats - This site is by one of those guys who thinks deaf dogs don't deserve to live, but it has links to lots of information for nice people who take care of us.

Maggie Mae - "A very special pet" who has the Double Merle gene that makes her mostly pink and white and causes her deafness.

Training a Blind Dog - no info about deaf dogs, but great info about training a blind dog!

Dr. P's Dog Training - An exhaustive list of links to sites about training all types of dogs including deaf dogs, blind dogs, barking dogs, digging dogs and many more.



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