In honor of Deaf Dog Awareness Week, we’d like to celebrate deaf dogs that are just as able and willing to give affection and love as hearing dogs. These amazingly adaptable and inventive canines can teach us some valuable life lessons such as patience and consistency, mindfulness, and being in tune with yourself and the environment. However, perhaps you’ve heard some misconceptions and stigmas about deaf dogs. Today, we are going to de-bunk some of those unfavorable myths!
Myth: Deaf dogs are more aggressive than hearing dogs.
Fact: It almost goes without saying that any dog that is startled is likely to bite. You’d be a bit defensive, too if you were suddenly woken up with no warning! Since hearing impaired dogs are easily startled, you can stomp on the floor to create a vibration or wake them with food under the nose.
Myth: Deaf dogs should never live with children because they will bite.
Fact: If a deaf dog is well introduced and socialized with children, it is as safe to have in a home as any other dog. Before adopting, check the dog’s background to see if its particular breed has any characteristics that affect how the dog reacts to small, fast-moving humans.
Myth: I need a hearing dog as a guide for the deaf dog.
Fact: No, you do not. Deaf dogs are no different from any other dog and are just fine by themselves! That being said, they are also great as being a member of a larger family or with other deaf dogs.
Myth: Deaf dogs are extremely hard to train.
Fact: As a matter of fact, when it comes to training dogs, visual signals are more effective than voice commands. A voice command is not necessary, so training a deaf dog isn’t any more difficult!
Myth: Deaf dogs don’t bark.
Fact: False. Deaf dogs bark just as much as hearing dogs, sometimes even more! Along with barking, they also engage in other repetitive behaviors such as excessive licking and chewing objects, which are considered self-stimulatory behaviors.
Myth: Talking or using your voice to communicate is pointless.
Fact: When humans speak, body language and facial expressions change, which communicate information as well.
Tips for living with a deaf dog: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/pets/dog-training/living-with-a-deaf-dog
Is a deaf dog a good match for me? https://www.petfinder.com/pet-adoption/dog-adoption/should-you-adopt-a-deaf-dog/
Do you have a dog with a hearing disability? How did you train him or her? What were some strategies that worked for you? Let us know!