It is true that as animals get old, they either lose the ability to hear or see. In some cases, they may lose both. The dog too is an animal and may become deaf as it gets old. This condition may be stressful to the dog especially when it loses the ability to hear what it considers the most familiar sound including not being able to tell who is approaching.
Dogs undergoing hearing problems may appear disobedient and may tend to ignore commands. If the problem is acute, it may not even respond when you snap the fingers next to the ear or when you make the kind of noise that would ordinarily require the dog to react in a particular manner. When you detect this, the first thing you ought to do is to observe the dog’s ear as it moves around and twitch as it tries to collect the sound around it. If you notice that the dogs ear remain still, it is a sign that the dog is losing hearing ability.
To help the dog, you need to swap the sound with visual commands. Train the dog by incorporating non-verbal cues into the training. Using the hands gesture to communicate to the dog may be helpful. Ensure that you reward the dog if it responds to your gestures.
Steps to Take
You need to ensure that the dog is safe when outside the home. Dogs that are going deaf should be kept in the leashes so as to avoid being hit by cars. Ensure that you keep an eye on the dog when you take it out. These ensure that the dog is not startled by people who may not understand its problem.
Ensure that you make your presence in the house known. A dog that is deaf will not hear when you are approaching and it may easily get frightened if you just pop out from nowhere. If it is at night, flick on the light switch and pet its back as soon as you get into the room. Announce your presence so that it can know where you are or where you are moving to.
Lastly, you must try to desensitize the dog from being startled. This can be done by practicing to walk behind the dog and gently touching its ear. When she turns around, you can give her a treat.
Do you need help with training your deaf dog? We can help. If so visit us at and give us a call, or for our out of town readers www.TrainMyDogOnline.com .
Until next time,
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About the Author: Wayne Booth is owner of in Nashville, TN. Wayne has been teaching people how to become Professional Dog Trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director of Canine Behavior Specialists Network.