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Congenital deafness, a condition where puppies are born deaf, is common but sad. Such a thing disturbs dog owners because they feel clueless and helpless about it. The realization often throws them into a frenzy and they take to research rigorously to find a cure. After their efforts go in vain, they realize that they can only be “care” and no “cure” for them. Besides congenital deafness, severe ear infections and injuries and old age of dogs cause deafness in them. Irrespective of the reasons behind deafness, dog owners need to take extra care while dealing with deaf dogs.
Signs of dog deafness
The following signs can indicate dog deafness, and elicits attention from dog owners:
- Personality and behavioral change
- Change in attentiveness and obedience
- Excessive barking
- Difficult in waking up
- Pain in ears
- Stenchy discharge from ears.
How to communicate with deaf dogs?
It is interesting to know that dogs experience the world first through their nose, second through their eyes, and third through their ears. They communicate through body language and energy. However, deaf dogs require some tweaks in the training process so that they get accustomed to different stimuli and behave accordingly.
The first thing people with deaf dogs can do is to use symbols and cues. Deaf dogs learn the same way hearing dogs learn, but they require rewards for their behavior to understand that they are behaving as desired. When a behavior is rewarded, the deaf dog gets a signal and learn to do it more often. Many dog owners have got positive results after using symbolic cues to communicate with their deaf dog.
How to live with a deaf dog?
Dog owners are defensively against the idea of euthanasia of deaf dogs because they are extremely attached to them. There are, however, a few tips that can help dog owners to care for and live with a deaf dog, which are as follows:
- Keep your dog informed
It would be terribly unfair to leave the deaf dog while asleep because it could make it anxious when it does not find you after waking up. You should always keep your dog informed about your whereabouts.
- Keep your dog leashed
You should keep your dog leashed so that it does not get a chance to go away from you. Deaf dogs cannot hear cars or other dangers. So you need to keep it protected by either keeping it leashed or within your yard. You may also decide to tie a bell around its neck.
- Use a flashlight
flashlights can be a great way to communicate with your deaf dog and signal to it for your attention. You need to keep your communication consistent so that it understands you better.