ANAMOSA — Dogs with hearing disabilities are known to have enhanced other senses.
In an article titled “How to Communicate with a Deaf Dog” at www.clickertraining.com it notes “While Blanca’s deafness was a training challenge and required some modifications, I believe that her other senses (smell, peripheral vision, body language) may actually be enhanced, as often happens when humans are deaf. Although all dogs are acutely aware of body language, deaf dogs are even more keenly observant of body language and gestures.”
Dogs that struggle with hearing can be a difficult responsibility for their owners. They can’t tell how a person is feeling through their tone of voice, but can tell through body language and facial expressions just like many other dogs. The key to helping your dog understand how you are feeling is by being calm and understanding, and having patience in the dog’s learning process.
An article at thebark.com notes “Dogs aren’t saddled with ego. If we pity them, we can create a situation where the dog may either shut down or act out because they think they did something wrong to make us feel bad. If you act like the disability isn’t a big deal, the dog will respond like it’s not a big deal.”
A sophomore at Anamosa High School, sharing her story of having a dog with hearing disability, said “My dog, Cleo, is unable to hear things that most dogs are able to. Because of this, we have to talk louder and use hand motions to get her attention.”
All of these stories prove that with patience, time and being calm and understanding, a dog that struggles with hearing is able to understand what someone is trying to say. It is, after all, how we learn what a dog is trying to say to us with its actions.