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This week (September 18 – 24, 2022) is Deaf Dog Awareness Week. Hearing impairment could be caused by a birth defect, ear infections or even a head injury. There are some challenges that come with hearing impairment, but that won’t stop deaf dogs from living a happy life.
To take care of a deaf dog, the owner needs to understand the differences and challenges of having a deaf dog. Dogs are intelligent animals that can adapt and find new ways to communicate. Owners of deaf dogs must learn how to communicate differently. Teaching hand signal cues, instead of vocal commands, is an effective way to train and communicate with a deaf dog.
Dogs with a hearing impairment can be easily startled. It’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure their dog can visually see them before picking the dog up or touching it. If the dog needs to be woken from its sleep, then it’s best to gently touch the dog in the same, familiar spot such as its shoulder. Some dogs tend to react or bite if startled, so it’s best to avoid startling a deaf dog.
Deaf dogs don’t have the ability to hear physical dangers like traffic or even predators such as rattlesnakes. It’s important to keep deaf dogs on a leash when taking them out into the public to keep them safe from potential dangers.
Though there are some challenges that deaf dogs and their owners may face, there are also some benefits to owning a deaf dog. One of the benefits is that deaf dogs don’t get scared of loud noises such as fireworks or gunshots. Since deaf dogs are unaffected by loud noises, they can be easier to train and less distracted during training sessions. Deaf dogs tend to be less anxious than dogs who can hear, so they make great support dogs.
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