Semi-Deaf or Deaf Dog Training Methods

Tank was about eight years old when his responses to noises began to change. When we clapped behind him, he seemed confused about where the noise was coming from. Eventually, he didn’t respond at all.…


Tank was about eight years old when his responses to noises began to change. When we clapped behind him, he seemed confused about where the noise was coming from. Eventually, he didn’t respond at all. A veterinarian specialist found that Tank was 80% deaf. He knew hand signals, which was a tremendous help, but the biggest issue was having Tank come to me if he was facing away. That’s dangerous because if Tank should take off, he wouldn’t be able to hear things that could hurt or threaten him.


The Hearing Impaired (Deaf) Dog class was added to my class schedule because of Tank’s hearing loss. Hearing impaired dogs can have the same good manners as a hearing dog, including walking politely on a leash. Owners need clear and consistent hand signals for ‘sit, stay, come,’ various other commands, as well as ‘good dog.’


Look at Me: One critical thing is to teach your dog to focus or look at you with a touch and hand signal. Treats are a must in all of these exercises, and an electronic training collar. An exercise I like is the ‘look at me’ game. Practice in a quiet area. Have the training collar on a low setting and have a treat bag attached to you; leash your dog and put the leash on the ground, stepping on it so your dog cannot move away. When using the training collar, as you put

the treat under the dog’s nose, tap the control button to get the dog’s attention, then quickly move the treat to your nose so the dog makes eye contact.