Deaf Dog Training Aids

Deaf dog training aids can help you train your deaf dog. Training a deaf dog isn't really more difficult than training a hearing dog, but you have to do it differently. You can train a deaf dog with positive reinforcement, praise and treats. Hand signals are one of the most important deaf dog training aids, since deaf dogs can't hear your voice commands.

Deaf Dogs Are Visually Oriented

Deaf dogs obviously can't hear voice commands, so you will have to train them using commands that they can see. For many dog owners, this means using American Sign Language commands to train their dogs. Sign language signals have the advantage of being part of a standardized language, meaning that others can give your dog commands if necessary.

Many owners, however, come up with their own set of non-verbal commands when training a deaf dog. At the very least, you'll need to come up with suitable commands to express "No!" and "Good!" when training your deaf dog.

Using Training Aids to Get Your Deaf Dog's Attention

One of the hardest parts of training your deaf dog will be learning to capture, and keep, his attention. To a lesser extent, this is an issue with training hearing dogs as well; the only difference is that you don't have to catch a hearing dog's eye in order to get his attention.

Owners of hearing dogs usually begin the training process by offering tasty morsels as a reward. Eventually, your dog should learn to obey you out of love and loyalty, but it takes time to build up that relationship. Especially in the beginning, food rewards can be an essential training aid for a deaf dog.

Reduce Distractions When Training Your Deaf Dog

Your deaf dog may be easily distracted by visual stimuli during training sessions. When you begin training your deaf dog, try to reduce or even do away with as many of these distractions as you can. As the training process progresses, you can begin to introduce extraneous visual stimuli into the training sessions. This will teach your dog to obey you even when distractions are present, as they often are in real-life situations.

Your deaf dog may take more time to learn to ignore distractions and obey your commands than a hearing dog would. Be patient.

Consider a Vibrating Collar for Your Deaf Dog

A vibrating collar can be an invaluable deaf dog training aid. It can sometimes be impossible to catch your deaf dog's attention when you want to deliver a command or ask him to come to you. In fact, if your dog isn't standing right in front of you, a vibrating collar may be your only option.

A vibrating collar is not a shock collar. It does not deliver a shock or hurt your dog in any way. It simply vibrates, the way a cell phone or pager does, to get your dog's attention and let him know that you are calling him.