As Science explains it, dogs are more sensitive than humans. They have a more heightened sense of smell, hearing, seeing and taste. But when a dog loses one of his senses, it can be both a hindrance and life-threatening. But this does not mean your dog can no longer live a happy life. Both of you just needs to do some adjustments to meet your dog’s need. This is of course in a situation where your dog can still see and smell fine.
What to look for in order to know if your dog is suffering from a hearing problem:
- Can’t follow commands or may have a hard time executing the commands
- Seems to be having problems waking up
- Constant head-shaking or head tilting
- Lengthy barking
- Sensitive Ears
- Ears are foul smelling
- Inflamed or looks like infected
When you notice the following symptoms above, you should bring your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet will be able to check if the condition is temporary or if it’s a permanent hearing condition. Observing the symptoms early on and bringing the dog to the vet right away, may help in preventing permanent damage.
Among the many things you should be prepared if your dog is hearing impaired, is his safety. A dog won’t hear your command, oncoming car, another person or another animal. Therefore, he won’t be able to respond appropriately to a dangerous situation. With this in mind, a deaf dog should not be allowed to leave your home or a fenced yard without a leash. An additional precautionary measure is the ID tagging of your dog. A hearing-impaired dog with a deaf ID tag can easily alert anyone of his hearing condition.
When training a deaf dog, using hand gestures while voicing the command. This will allow the dog to associate the command based on the actions you are showing him. Be consistent with the command and let your family do the same. In time your dog will be able to understand what you are telling him to do. As always don’t forget to prepare treats as this will act as a positive reinforcement for training. In addition, you can use a flashlight to communicate with your dog. This is especially true if your dog is out in the yard at night and wants to get him inside your home.
Now it’s important to note, that since deaf dogs can’t hear, you need to follow some steps to prevent startling him. If your dog is asleep you can wake him up gently touching him anywhere but the face, or place food near his nose. If you have kids, you can teach them how to be extra gentle than necessary when it comes to handling a deaf pet dog.
For safety purposes, it is also necessary to alert visitors of your dog’s handicap. A deaf dog can easily become agitated or upset and may end up biting or attacking someone.
Bottom line is, a deaf dog can still be a wonderful companion. You just need to upgrade the way you deal with him and be more capable of showing gentleness and care.