Training a Hearing-Impaired Dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6
Training a Hearing-Impaired Dog

I just adopted (or rather, was adopted by) an adorable GSD who is hearing impaired. He's not entirely deaf (I just sneezed really loud and he turned and looked at me, but that's the first time he has reacted to sound), but he certainly has some hearing issues. He had his ear canals and middle ears removed.

I have always wanted to train a hearing-impaired dog and have always wanted a GSD so he's definitely a dream come true for me. I have trained dogs in the past (including my other dog, who has one working eye and brain damage) so I'm not entirely new to this. I know human sign and was planning on teaching with hand signals regardless, but I'm just wondering if anyone else has trained a hearing-impaired dog before, and if so, if they have any pointers.

LaneyKate2005 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 09:47 PM
Elite Member
krystyne73's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Edmond/Guthrie, Oklahoma
Posts: 1,369
I believe I ran across a dog training book for Great Danes that was for the hearing impaired dogs. (some great danes that are cross bred , Harlequin to Harlequin can be born white, blue eyed and deaf)
Anyways, it showed them using human sign language and finger spelling for commands.

Meika, GSD B. 1/05
Macy, Golden X, B. 10/06
Goliath, Sulcata Tortoise, B. 2/02
Kitty, Siamese, B.10/11
MoJo, Aussie, B.2/12

Max, Great Dane, B. 12/01 RIP

krystyne73 is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Jenkintown,Pa.
Posts: 15,199
i think training a deaf dog will be just as easy as
training a dog with hearing. you give a command
usuing your voice and you make the dog follow the command.
do the samething with your hand signal. give the hand signal
and make your dog follow the command.
doggiedad is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 11:39 AM
Master Member
VChurch's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 636
I would imagine that the only real difference in training a hearing-impaired dog is you might need to work more on the dog looking at your more often, especially when outside or something (in the yard, etc.). Since you wouldn't be able to call the dog and have him hear you. Otherwise just teach signs for the basic commands, it isn't difficult at all...same training methods as verbal commands, just hand signs instead.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Mutt - 06/15/2006

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- GSD - 04/26/2010
VChurch is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 11:43 AM
Knighted Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: FLORIDA
Posts: 3,173
I briefly fostered a deaf dog and the rescue looked into training for his future family, which included a vibration collar to be used for recall when he wasn't nearby or looking at the person. The idea is to teach him to come when his collar vibrated.

ADCH Mikko (USDAA) SCH-B; (NADAC) EAC, EJC, TN-E, TG-E, VerO; (AKC) NAJ, CGC; (NACSW) NW1 - 9 year old GSD

I_LOVE_MY_MIKKO is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 11:45 AM
Knighted Member
kiya's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Long Island
Posts: 3,334
But How Do I Get His Attention? Clicker Training Tips for the Deaf Dog Owner | Karen Pryor Clickertraining I remembered coming across this article, hope it helps. Good luck.

Lakota - WGSD 1/13/10
Wolfen - WGSD 12/31/14
Bull -WGSD 2-10-10
Apache - Shiloh Shepherd 12/15/02 - 6/9/15
Kiya - Shiloh Shepherd 5/15/04 -12/19/25
kiya is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 11:52 AM
Crowned Member
Shade's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,694
I adopted a cocker spaniel with progressive hearing loss, he ended up going mostly deaf within a year

He was a rescue and I had to train the basics and used both sound and hand cues, eventually phasing out the sound. I also kept him onleash at all times, though he never strayed far


My Pack:

Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
Koda & Zazu - 7 year old male cats
Alex - Male Cocker Spaniel (rescue) - RIP Cuddlebug 2007-2010
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Shade is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 12:15 PM
Elite Member
TimberGSD2's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 1,040
My good friend has a deaf great dane that she has taken to obedience and has gone thru several levels with. She uses hand signals with him. She went to regular classes and added hand signals to her verbal commands. It took her longer on a couple levels of classes (had to take twice but her dog has more issues than being deaf) but has gotten pretty far. Her advice if ever in this situation was to make sure to find a trainer that has had experience with deaf dogs before. Or has at least worked with them in the past.


Phinneas - Min Pin 2/4/08
Milla - Orithia Z Diehlomov 2/10/12

Kya - GSD 7/15/00-11/3/13
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

TJ - GSD 2/27/99-8/7/11
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
TimberGSD2 is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 06:07 PM
Elite Member
OriginalWacky's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Eastern South Dakota
Posts: 1,045
If you are a clicker training fan, use a flashlight in place of the clicker to signify he's done something good and will get a treat. Every time he looks at you, give him a treat. It will help make him check in with you more often if you are a constant source of yumminess. Vibrating collars are nice as well to catch their attention.

My Dog: Krissie ~ Beagle Mix Extraordinaire 09/09
OriginalWacky is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 10:17 AM
Crowned Member
Stosh's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: tyler texas
Posts: 9,615
My friend has a totally deaf border collie and she's trained in agility and now rally. She uses hand signals only, but is starting to use a vibrating collar.
Stosh is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome