Category Archives: Deaf dogs

Resources for Training A Deaf and Blind Dog

Patience and repetition are important for training dogs that can see and hear. Both are even more important for dogs who can’t see or hear. Don’t forget to reward with good dog touch signs and treats!

Here are a few helpful resources for training a deaf and blind dog:

Blind and Deaf Dogs Guidebook – A website with tips

Training a deaf and blind Australian Shepherd – A few tips on video

16 Tips for Working with your Blind and Deaf Dog – A great article

Touch signs for blind and deaf dogs – A short list

Training Dogs Training Dogs Who Are Blind and Deaf – An article

If you have questions, you might ask my furiends on their facebook pages:

Deaf Dogs Rock – Christina Lee adopted Nitro, a deaf white boxer, from a shelter in Salem Virginia. The website and facebook page help deaf dogs looking for homes, provide training info and share happy tails.

Parker’s Fan Club – Parker is a deaf and blind collie who donates contest winnings to the rescue that saved him. Parker lives with doggie siblings: Dakota, deaf/blind collie/Aussie mix; Rain, a deaf miniature Australian shepherd; and Moccaccino, a shepherd chow mix. They live in New York.

Saving Theresina – Theresina is a deaf and blind collie who has had some behavior issues. Her family is working with her to help her adjust to living with others.

White Dog Blog – Read about the training and adventures of three amazing dogs: Treasure, deaf and blind; Grace, deaf and visually impaired; Jasmine, deaf and visually impaired.

Treasure also has videos on YouTube. Here she shows that being deaf and blind does not stop you from doing amazing tricks.


Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Deaf dogs, Training


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Training A Dog Owner

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:

  1. Hearing dogs hear a verbal command, I see a hand sign command.
  2. Mom coaxes me to correctly perform desired action like “sit”
  3. When I perform the correct action, I get a treat.
  4. Hearing dog hears verbal “good dog,” I see a “thumbs up” hand sign
  5. 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.

  1. Come – motion with one hand toward chest and clap hands
  2. Sit – Both hands – tap pointer and middle fingers together, crossed like an “x”
  3. Stay/wait – palm of hand towards dog’s face
  4. Down – hand palm side down, motion down to floor
  5. Sit up – hand palm side up, motion up away from floor (opposite down)
  6. Stand – move hand palm side down, parallel to the floor.
  7. Inside – sweeping arm movement motioning in desired direction, similar to doorman.
  8. Good dog/yes/ok – thumb up
  9. Bad Dog/no – thumb down
  10. 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
  11. Heel/let’s go – pat your thigh and start walking
  12. Crate/sleep – tilt head and put hand on side of face (similar to a pillow)
  13. 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


Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Deaf dogs, Training


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Can you tell which dog is Blu?

Cutest video of 5 month old Old English Sheepdog. Her mom wanted people to now that deaf dogs can live happy lives. Can you tell that Blu is deaf?


Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Deaf dogs, Uncategorized


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Running of the Turkeys

It’s spring. There is a lot of activity in our yard. Everything is turning green and the plants are starting to grow. There are a lot of birds, small birds and really big birds. Earlier this week, Ina was glued to the window. It was like she had never seen a turkey.

In this case, it was 13 turkeys. They were doing their run through the field.

This time, they came up unusually close to the house. Turkeys are attracted to their reflections in the glass. Neighbors have reported that turkeys will sit on the deck and stare at the patio door. There was no problem with them stopping at our house because here’s what they saw.

I may be deaf, but I’m a great watch dog. If Ina and I were outside, we would have helped with the turkey run. Winner, winner, turkey dinner!

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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Deaf dogs



The Dog Vehicle

When I went home from the shelter, mom had a small kennel with her which she put in the back seat of her car. I was about 15 pounds so she could carry me in the kennel without any problems.

When we’re in mom’s car, Ina hogs all the room in the back seat. Dad recently got a Subaru Outback. It’s the ultimate dog vehicle because he puts the back seat down and there’s plenty of room for us. It’s low enough for us to jump in because I’m almost 60 pounds so it’s difficult for mom to pick me up. I can just sit in the back and stare out the window watching everything, Ina likes to sit near dad where she can keep an eye on his driving. I find his driving a bit scary so I’d rather not watch.

Of course, we have our dog seat belts on for safety. And we never stick our heads out the window because we might get stuff in our eyes.

The hand sign for car ride is a driving motion like both hands are on the steering wheel. Though mom doesn’t use it much because once she gets the seat belts and leashes out, Ina goes berserk with excitement so I just watch mom try to get Ina to calm down and follow along. Did I mention that sisters are a lot of work?

Watch my favorite Subaru commercial now.

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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Deaf dogs


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I’m a lucky dog

I get to leave the shelter.  The lady who I will soon call my mom, puts me in a little crate and takes me to a place where they put a collar on me. I want to run around and play with the dogs and cat.

My new home has a german shepherd mix named Peg and a collie mix named Sandy. They are pretty old and they are not sure what to think about me. I’m not messing with Peg, she won’t tolerate it. I like playing with Sandy, even though she just wants to relax.

There’s a huge yard for me to run around and lots of sticks.  There were fireworks and a lot of people rubbing my stomach and cuddling with me.  I’m a lucky dog.

Mom’s note:  Radcliff was 3 months old and a 15 pound energetic ball of fur. A friend who had a 20 pound cat, let me borrow a crate to pick him up. He didn’t like the crate.

The first thing I did was take him to the store to get a collar and sign him up for obedience classes. I didn’t know if I could get him back in the crate. I’m pretty sure that the person at the store thought I was crazy.  I was concerned about training him because of the shelter staff comments about how long it would take to train him because he was deaf. Puppies are cute, but they are also a lot of work.

Peg was 14 years old and Sandy was 13 years old.  I think they were in shock.  This hyper little dog was creating a ruckus.  It was the weekend of July 4th that I brought him home.  We had a party so our friends could meet the newest addition to our family.  They loved him and couldn’t believe that he was deaf.

The holiday that scares most dogs, did not bother Radcliff. He was loving all the attention.  I have read that one out of two dogs are euthanized at the shelter.  He was a lucky dog.


Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Deaf dogs, Uncategorized



I think we should get a normal dog

A few days passed.

That lady is back, she’s standing in front of my kennel. Someone came and got me. We went into a room where the lady, a guy and an older collie were waiting. The collie was freaked out. I ran over to say hi to them. The guy patted me on the head, but he didn’t seem like he wanted to play. The lady played with me for a few minutes, but we didn’t spend very much time there. The guy left with the collie and I was taken back to my kennel.

Note from mom: We were preparing to do the paperwork with the person at the desk. When I asked if anyone else had asked to see him, she said a woman who was a dog trainer looked at Radcliff but decided not to adopt him because her dog did not get along with him. She also told us that it would take a year to potty-train Radcliff because he was deaf, someone should be with him full-time. My husband looked at me and said “you work full-time.”

We walked back through the kennels and looked at all the other dogs. The shelter was still full. There was another dog that was a chow mix that looked like Peg. We stood there in silence. Then we left without Radcliff.

It was quiet during the drive home. My husband said “I think we should wait and get a normal dog.” All I could think was that no one would adopt him. He would be euthanized because they couldn’t find anyone who would take a dog that requires that much work. He was three months old, he was only a puppy. I went into another room to cry.

The next morning, I was talking to my husband about Radcliff and I realized that he was not listening to me. At that moment, I knew it would be easier to train Radcliff.


Posted by on February 8, 2012 in Adopt, Deaf dogs


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If you don’t get him, they’ll put him down.

Peg and Sandy

I didn’t know that mom already had her hands full with dad, he’s the toughest to train.  Peg was a fourteen year-old shepherd mix and Sandy was a thirteen year-old collie mix. They were getting older and life was comfortable.

Mom’s note:  I waited a few days to see if anyone would adopt Radcliff.  After all, he was a puppy, and people love puppies.

In the meantime, I called two good friends who had border collies to ask their opinions.  Both said I needed to adopt him.  One said that her dog would do what she wanted with few verbal commands because “she’s used to my body language.”   The other said “if you don’t get him, they’ll put him down.”

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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Adopt, Deaf dogs


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Hello world!

It’s been about three weeks in this place with all these dogs.  It smells like a combination of bleach, poop and urine.  People walk by, they stop, look at the sign, they look at me and then they keep walking.

I can see the dogs barking and running back and forth in the kennels next to me.  They’re going crazy.  I don’t know what the big deal is.

A lady stopped and she is staring at me.  She’s touching my nose through the wire gate.  And then she left.

Mom’s note:  The sign on his kennel said “Radcliff, 3 mo. old, male, border collie/blue heeler mix, DEAF.”

The local shelter must euthanize animals when they run out of space.  The kennels were full of barking dogs, it was deafening.  He just sat there by the gate watching me.


Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Adopt, Deaf dogs


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