Today is orientation day, the first day of the 33rd rotation of Second Chance Pups. The program pairs inmates at the Nebraska State Penitentiary with unwanted dogs in need of training. On this day, about twenty people and eight dogs are crowded together in a back room of the penitentiary’s recycling building….
Category Archives: Training
We live on an acreage. When mom and dad bought the house, they could not decide if they wanted to fence the yard.
Dad wanted to put in an underground fence (invisible fence). Even with training, some dogs that may be determined to chase a rabbit or animal will run through the boundary, shock or not. And after the shock, the owner has to hope that they can find the dog or the dog returns.
The first Sunday that mom looked out the basement door, she saw the neighbor’s big dog looking in at her. She didn’t think it was good that animals could come into the yard and bother us so she decided a real fence was the best solution.
This is a good article that discusses fence options and solutions for situations such as digging or fence jumping.
Mom took me to the vet yesterday. I stayed in the car when she stopped to talk to a neighbor. The kids were lighting fireworks but it didn’t bother me because I’m deaf.
My hearing siblings are noise-sensitive to fireworks and thunderstorms. Mom has heard stories about furkids going crazy during the fourth of July. Here are a few tips:
- Put collars and tags on furkids in case they slip out the door while looking for a place to get away from the noise.
- Consider trying a thundershirt. There is a 45 day guarantee http://www.thundershirt.com/OurGuarantee.aspx. They work for both of my hearing siblings. Look for them at pet stores, my vet even sells them.
- Leave the TV/radio and lights on to drown out the noise.
- Close the curtains and turn on the lights to hide the sight of the fireworks/lightning.
- Keep furkids busy with treat-filled kongs, bully sticks, or deer antlers.
Find a “safe place” for them to go during thunderstorms like a basement bathroom where it’s quieter. Put a bed/kennel there, turn on radio/lights and give them the kong/bully stick. It’s good practice to prepare for severe weather.
ASPCA provides more tips http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-articles/fear-of-noises.
My Gotcha Day is July 3. I came home in time for Independence Day. The holiday with all the noise that scares most dogs, did not bother me. Mom had a party for me. We wish you a happy and SAFE Independence Day with your furkids!
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 http://pawstoadopt.com/blindanddeafdogs/index.html
Training a deaf and blind Australian Shepherd – A few tips on video http://youtu.be/HhMXPbthzOE
16 Tips for Working with your Blind and Deaf Dog – A great article http://www.doggamesathome.com/learn-16-valuable-tips-from-your-dogs-teacher-lori-friesen-on-how-to-help-your-blind-and-deaf-dog-to-lead-a-full-happy-and-safe-life/
Touch signs for blind and deaf dogs – A short list http://www.amazingaussies.com/education/touch.htm
Training Dogs Training Dogs Who Are Blind and Deaf – An article http://companionanimalsolutions.com/blogs/training-dogs-who-are-blind-and-deaf/
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. http://deafdogsrock.com
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. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Parkers-Fan-Club/354321824588679?ref=ts
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. https://www.facebook.com/SavingTheresina?ref=ts&fref=ts
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. http://your-inner-dog.blogspot.com
Treasure also has videos on YouTube. Here she shows that being deaf and blind does not stop you from doing amazing tricks. http://youtu.be/gPAz_44uSzk
When Ina and I stay busy, we are less likely to get into trouble. Not that I cause trouble, but when it’s quiet, mom worries about Ina.
Mom started giving treat-filled kongs to Peg and Sandy when they were young. Peg thought anything on the floor was her toy and Sandy had some separation anxiety. The kongs kept them busy.
Each dog would get a kong in their crate. Mom would fill extra kongs and hide them around the room for Peg and Sandy to find later. That has been the routine for me too. Ina and I run to our crates when we see mom getting ready to go somewhere. We know that’s where we get kongs!
Our favorite dog toys are KONGs. Kong offers various shapes with various toughness ratings. Mom’s favorite Kong is the activity ball. It’s larger so it holds more treats and is easier to fill. But it’s not Josh the foster dog tough. He has destroyed several of the activity balls. He gets the black cone-shaped Kongs. We also like Kongs because they are made in the USA.
What to put in the kongs
Buy dog biscuits (I call them cookies) that are easy to push in, but hard to get out. You can then smear peanut butter in the hole to plug it and fill with apple sauce or unsalted chicken stock and freeze. Frozen Kongs take longer to un-stuff because we have to really work on them. Check out Kong’s website or facebook page where they share recipes with fans.
Make sure that you buy treats MADE IN USA!
Treats made in China have made dogs sick. Illness may be linked to chicken jerky made in China: Waggin’ Train or Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats/tenders, produced by Nestle Purina PetCare Co., Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, produced by the Del Monte Corp. Read the MSNBC article: 3 big brands may be tied to chicken jerky illness in dogs, FDA records show
Ina will run to her crate when she THINKS mom is leaving. Mom doesn’t always leave, I think she’s HOPING mom leaves so she gets a kong and gets to look for them!
Watch Ina with her Kong activity ball in this video http://youtu.be/5UwR8IddWfo
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