MYTH #4: DEAF DOGS ARE MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN DOGS THAT CAN HEAR.
Truth: This is a common myth. There is no truth to the fact that a deaf dog will become aggressive over time, or have more aggressive tendencies than any other dog of the same breed, or the canine population as a whole. It is highly likely that aggressive deaf dogs do exist – aggressive dogs are found in hearing dogs, blind dogs, and deaf dogs – but to say that a deaf dog has a higher chance of being aggressive is simply wrong. With this myth, most people are referring to “startle aggression”, where the deaf dog gets startled by an unexpected touch and bites. Realistically, any startled dog could bite. While it may be easier to startle a deaf dog, good training can minimize problems. With proper training and a loving home, a deaf dog will become a valued member of your family for many years.
MYTH #3: DEAF DOGS ARE MORE LIKELY TO GET HIT BY A CAR BECAUSE THEY CAN’T HEAR A CAR APPROACHING, A HONKING HORN, OR THEIR OWNER’S COMMANDS.
Truth: No dog is born knowing that a car or a road is dangerous to them. Any dog walking off leash in close proximity to a road is in potential danger. Ensuring that a dog knows where their limits are at home is essential. Even the most well behaved hearing dog can take off after a squirrel or a cat and fall victim to a car accident. As owners, we must take responsibility for our pets health and well-being. For a deaf dog in particular, having a fenced in backyard is helpful, since they cannot hear dangers from the road. Dogs can also be taught to wait until given a command to go outside when a door is opened. As a pet caregiver, there are many things you can do to ensure that the road never becomes a present threat to your dog.
MYTH #2: DEAF DOGS ARE EXCESSIVELY JUMPY AND ARE CONSTANTLY ON EDGE.
Truth: It’s generally a good idea to avoid surprising any dog, deaf or not. Do you like getting jolted awake from a deep sleep? Chances are, probably not. Your dog is the same way. Instead of a nudge or a vocal command, try other, less invasive ways to wake a resting deaf dog such as lightly touching them on the shoulder in the same spot every time that you wake them up. Just because deaf dogs can’t hear you approach them, doesn’t mean they can’t sense that you are there. Deaf dogs (much like deaf people) are often very in tune with their other senses. Some quick and safe ways to get their attention when they are awake include stomping on the floor to get their attention through vibration, or flashing or shining a light that will catch their eye and prompt them to look for the source. Just remember to never shine the light directly in their eyes.
MYTH #1: DEAF DOGS ARE HARDER TO TRAIN.
Truth: This is probably the biggest myth out there regarding deaf dogs. Training forany dog is key, and takes time and patience. Training a deaf dog is not harder, it just takes a different set of tools to do so. Since they cannot hear you, training though hand signals is often the preferred method. Signs can represent a specific command like “sit” or “stay”, or they can give your dog information about what is going on, like when someone is knocking on the door. Hand signals are fun to teach, and a fun (and essential) thing for a deaf dog to learn. Even dogs that have their hearing ability can benefit from learning hand signals, and often learn them faster than verbal commands. Since dogs communicate through body language, hand signals are a natural way to speak to your dog. In a deaf dog’s case, body language is the onlylanguage they can connect with, so use it wisely and your deaf dog will become a well behaved addition to your home.
About Tri-County Animal Rescue.
Tri-County Animal Rescue is a non-profit organization serving Lincoln, Gaston and other surrounding counties. We are committed to ending pet homelessness in this area and we need your continued support. If you cannot adopt a pet, then support Tri-County in other ways. We need volunteers and donations to continue our mission of finding homes for these unwanted animals. Please help Tri-County Animal Rescue continue to save pets by adopting your next pet this weekend? Our “needs” list includes: towels, Clorox, laundry detergent, paper towels, dry dog food and dry cat food.
For more information, call 704.263.2444, send an email toTriCountyAnimalRescue@yahoo.com, visit us on the web at www.tcar.us or on FaceBook at Tri-County Animal Rescue. Donations can be sent to Tri-County Animal Rescue, PO Box 483, Alexis, NC 28006