Dealing with a Deaf Dog
Jessie, in tune with all issues related to dogs: I am a grateful dog. I have my health, my friends, the love of my human, and my hearing. Although on some days, I wish I could just tune out Party Marty. He gets to be a bit much!
While my heart goes out to those of you who may have a deaf dog or have a dog that has suddenly lost his hearing, let me assure you that it’s really not that difficult living with a deaf dog. As you know, we are highly intelligent creatures and rely far more heavily on body language as opposed to mere words anyway. Face it…dogs don’t naturally understand words. We weren’t born to become talk show hosts! You humans simply think, and rightfully so, that we grasp the understanding of words quickly and when you pontificate various commands and phrases, our ears perk up and we respond appropriately.
However, did you know we are really focusing on your body language? So much miscommunication occurs between humans and their dogs in this regard. Your body language often contradicts what you are saying. For example, when you want us to come to you, you typically bend forward toward us while calling us to come. What we “read” from that is to go away. Now, when you lean away from us while simultaneously instructing us to come towards you, that is when we will heed the call. Weird, I know, but your actions speak louder than your words, so when it comes to understanding you, we’re all ears!
In actuality, your greatest challenge with a deaf dog is in understanding your own body language and how you convey certain messages to your dogs. You can apply this same concept to your hearing dogs, too! Body language…that’s where we’re fluent, babe!
Thanks to caretoadopt.org for this information. You can also learn more at deafdogs.org.