Mom forgot that puppies are a lot of work because Peg was 14 years old and Sandy was 13 years old when I came to live with them.
Dad didn’t want to adopt me because he wanted a “normal” dog. He focused on what I could not do. Mom needed some support from someone who knew dogs in case my “special needs” were too much for her so she signed up for class so the teacher could train her. The teacher had only trained one other deaf dog, but his dogs were old and they were deaf, so technically he owned deaf dogs, even though they weren’t born deaf like me.
Training consisted of:
- Hearing dogs hear a verbal command, I see a hand sign command.
- Mom coaxes me to correctly perform desired action like “sit”
- When I perform the correct action, I get a treat.
- Hearing dog hears verbal “good dog,” I see a “thumbs up” hand sign
- Repeat because practice makes perfect. It really helps my mom to practice 🙂
As I got older, mom gave me fewer treats, just the “thumb up” hand sign because I have figured out that thumbs up means “good dog.” Now that I’m older and less active, it’s more diet-friendly for my waist-line. I’m not fat, I’m fluffy. Just ignore my dad when he says I’m portly.
These are a few of the basic hand signs that we use frequently.
- Come – motion with one hand toward chest and clap hands
- Sit – Both hands – tap pointer and middle fingers together, crossed like an “x”
- Stay/wait – palm of hand towards dog’s face
- Down – hand palm side down, motion down to floor
- Sit up – hand palm side up, motion up away from floor (opposite down)
- Stand – move hand palm side down, parallel to the floor.
- Inside – sweeping arm movement motioning in desired direction, similar to doorman.
- Good dog/yes/ok – thumb up
- Bad Dog/no – thumb down
- Wipe Paws – put towel on floor, make a fist w right hand rub on palm of open left hand. he will sit on towel so you can rub his paws
- Heel/let’s go – pat your thigh and start walking
- Crate/sleep – tilt head and put hand on side of face (similar to a pillow)
- Eat – fingertips together, touch to open mouth (like you are eating)
I’m really pretty smart. I can figure out things and I’m pretty attentive, unless I’m asleep. As my furiend Cloverton the Deaf dog would say, “I am deaf, I can’t hear the dumb things that people say.”
Deaf Dog Training Videos
- American Sign Language (ASL) for deaf dogs – an extensive ASL list from a deaf dog owner. http://youtu.be/AuFEQA7bxOo
- American Sign Language (ASL) – demonstration of a few basic commands with a deaf puppy. http://youtu.be/1x5U02wk_UY
- Training Shadow, a 6 month old Deaf Great Dane – a video showing 7 days of training with a deaf puppy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW0S4wss7eU&feature=colike