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These are a few quick tips on deaf dog training and how to train deaf puppies. More tips and advice is found in my book, which is a guide to training a deaf dog. There you will find advice that has already helped many people to become excellent deaf dog trainers.
The best way to train your deaf dog is by positive reinforcement and clear hand signals, which help to overcome some of the disadvantages of deafness. Hand signals should be consistent and different from the hand gestures you would normally make. They should also be easily visible at a distance.
Although some owners invent their own hand signals there are some common ones that you can use to train your dog that are time tested; the most useful ones of course being the signals for 'come', 'stay' and 'sit'.
The 'sit' signal can be taught by holding a treat in your hand and moving it close to the dog's head over his/her ears. At that point most dogs lean back and sit down in order to look up at the food. The treat is given after a clear hand signal so that your pet will eventually associate it to the command "sit". You can use your index finger and sweep it down the front of your face in the air to represent sitting for example. Remember to pay attention to your own body language as dogs read their owners through their body movements. Another important signal to teach your dog is the "watch me" signal. This can be done by tapping your finger under your eye or by sweeping your index finger across your eyes
The first thing you can do to train your dog to watch you is to reward her for doing it. When you catch her watching you, make a clear hand signal of your choice and then give him a treat, and she will quickly associate it to the command you want to teach. This technique is useful to reinforce any good behaviour you want your dog to learn. You can do this with food and/or with a favourite toy.
After some repetition, do not give the treat right away. If the dog obeys the command regardless of having received the treat, then you can reward her. If not, repeat the process until she learns. Make sure that the reward received for the command "Come to me" is particularly alluring to your dog. This is because you will take your dog away from a source of pleasure (from the dog's point of view) as most likely you may be calling her back from doing something she enjoys (like playing with another dog or chasing birds).
Make sure the hand signal is clear and the treat given is different than other treats, it should be something your pet gets only when she obeys the command "Come Back".
Another way to train your deaf dog is by using a vibrating collar. This is an aid and it is not necessary but some people have found it useful. Vibrating collars operate with a remote control so that you can get your dog's attention even if she is not watching you. You have to train your pet to associate the vibration to a pleasant experience and reward her when she comes back to you as a result of the vibration.
It is advisable to show your pet the hand signal for "come back" before you give the treat, whether you use the vibrating collar or not.
Some people think that the command "No" should be taught as well but I do not agree with that. This is not necessary as the dog will be in different situations when the signal is given and it will create confusion. The key is to give a consistent hand signal for specific situations and the NO signal applies to many different circumstances. The "No" signal is substituted with the "come back" signal; the dog in fact will be already trained to stop whatever she is doing to come to you.
Remember that deaf dogs love training games just like any other dog would. You can play with your pet by making her follow a scent track. One game I used to play with my Dalmatian was to hide some food under of five identical cups. She would smell all the cups and recognize the one under which there was food.
A word of caution; it is never recommended to reprimand a dog. Dogs have a memory span of about three seconds, after that they forget the action they have done and they will only remember their owner getting angry with them without knowing why. The best method is to reward the good behaviour, not to punish the bad one.
Do not be fooled by the fact that your pet cannot hear you scream, because they can read your anger in your body language and pick up the vibrations in the air. This can frighten your dog and will only cause your pet to lose trust in you. People that yell and abuse their pets should not be dog owners, let alone deaf dog owners.