How to train a deaf dog

Some puppies are born deaf but some lose their hearing ability at a young age. Some dog owners think that it’s a very difficult job to train deaf dogs.

But, this is not true!

It’s acceptable that the training of deaf dogs is different and challenging but not impossible.

With positive reinforcement you can still communicate with your furry friend, not even communicate; you can teach him some important skills as well.

When they lose their hearing ability, they use other powerful senses to communicate with other dogs and owners. Today, in this article you will learn how to train a deaf dog.

So, let’s get started:

Grab the Attention (Focus)

Your dog is deaf, so can’t hear anything you must rely on body language or hand signals to communicate with him.

If he/she is not looking at you, how he can follow your hand singles. So, the first and important step here is to grab the focus of your pet.

And, this can be possible with help of a treat or toy anything that can get his attention.

Or you can play with him hide and seek which will motivate your canine to check in with you.

You can’t speak his name or give any other verbal instruction like ‘Watch Me’. But, you can get his attention with the flashing of any light or a kind touch.

Now, associate this action with a treat. When your dog is looking at you, give him a command with a signal and reward him with a treat.

The next step is to wait until your dog’s eyes are somewhere else, give him a signal and feed him again a treat.

Once he will understand what you want from him, he will look at you when you signal to him.

Use Hand Signals For Command

dog hand signals training

When you are teaching something to a dog who can’t hear anything, the best way to communicate with them is through hand signals.

Using hand signals is simple and easy to repeat some people use Americal sign language, and some people use traditional obedience hand signals.

You can use your own hand signals but make sure you are getting the attention of your dog.

Every time when your dog reacts to your hand signal, reward him with a treat. Repeat this until your dog show some excitement and follow your command.

Like this, you can teach your dog a new command every week or in 2 weeks.

Treat Reward Training

With the help of treats, you can teach your deaf dog any skill and trick which you want to teach them.


Let me tell you!

Use hand signals just like a thumbs-up gesture and mark this before giving your pet a reward (treat or toy).

Now, combine the gesture with a reward, so your dog can understand something is good about to happen.

From there you need to start your pet a new behavior and every time when your dog performs correct behavior use that gesture before offering him the treat.

Slowly and gradually your four-legged friend will start to understand what you want from him. Till then you need to practice that behavior.

E-Collar Vibration Training

Good quality e-collars are easily available in the market nowadays. E-collar comes with features of shock and vibration but while training a deaf dog never use shock stimulation.

If you want to grab your pet’s attention, press a button from the dog collar and give a hand signal command to your dog.

Once your dog starts paying attention when you press the vibration button, always reward him with a treat.

The best part of e-collar is you can grab your puppy’s attention anytime you want or in any situation.

Keep Deaf Dog on Leash (Outdoor)

Keep this thing always in your mind while taking your dog for a walk outside, keep him on the leash.

It will save his life and you can control him wherever you want. Deaf dog loses their ability to sense the danger and the second thing they can’t respond to your command.

Many people love to take their dog outside off-leash. But for your dog’s safety, take him outside on the leash.

How to Train a Deaf Dog to not to Bark

Barking is a natural behavior for dogs just like we humans talk, and birds chirp. But when a dog bark excessively then it can become an issue with your neighbors.

This is also frustrating and annoying for the dog owners as well. Use an e-collar and when your dog barks excessively then give him a vibration signal and once he stops barking give him a treat.

Using a flashlight when your dog is not wearing a collar is a very good idea. Use the flashlight from a distance and give your dog a signal to stop barking.

Take your dog out in the park for at least 30 min a day and give him his meal on time this may reduce the chances of anxiety.

With the help of this, your puppy feels comfortable and won’t bark excessively.

How to Train a Deaf Dog to Come or Recall

The biggest challenge while training a deaf dog is to teach the command ‘Come’ because your pet can’t rely on hearing its name.

Instead of using his name, you have to use some tools or strategies. Deaf dogs can’t hear but they can feel the vibration, some dog owners use their feet and stomp on the ground.

Outdoor sights and smells grab the attention of your puppy sometimes, the flashlight is also a great option for a deaf dog but it can’t work in the daytime.

At night, you can use the flashlight as a command for your furry friend to come. What about during the daytime?

I know you have a question in your mind, dog e-collar is a great option at day time. Little vibration of the e-collar can give him (dog) a signal to come.

Now, you have to train your four-leg friend to respond to your signal.

But how?

You must use positive reinforcement, using food every time when you get a response from your puppy. Practice until your dog starts understanding what you want from him.

How to Train a Deaf Dog to Sit

Dogs have sharp eyesight and nose as we all know, also they are good followers. Hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose and slowly move upward and let your dog follow the treat.

When you’re dog is about to sit, you can push him to sit or once he sits while smelling the treat. Now, reward him with the treat with a hand gesture like thumbs up.

So, he can understand he did something right for you. Repeat this until your dog starts sitting with your hand signal (thumbs up).

With this training technique, your can teach your dog lots of great skills like walking on a leash, scent training and tracking training, etc.

How to Communicate With a Deaf Dog

Hand singles: Deaf dogs can’t hear which means you need to use hand singles in order to communicate with them. You can use your own hands single but if you’re still confused or uncreative you can go with American Sign Language.

Flashlight: This tool can be available at a nearby store. You might hear about clicker training for dogs this works in the same way for deaf dogs. You need to use a flashlight with treats in order to train your dog flashlight.

Stomping: Some dog owners nowadays use stomping for getting the attention of their puppy. Because deaf dogs can’t hear but can feel the vibration, dog owners stomp their feet forcefully on the ground for getting attention.

Use E-Collar: E-collar is also a great option for your deaf dog to communicate. In the E-collar, gentle vibration is available that can grab the attention of your pet anytime. You can train him to Come, Sit, or any other command with this tool.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

Is it easy to train a deaf dog?

Everyone thinks that it’s very challenging to train a deaf dog but it is not. You will need the right tools and techniques to train a deaf dog. Some patience and practice are also required in training.

How do you get the attention of a deaf dog?

There are multiple strategies or tools you can use such as hand signals, flashlight, e-collar, and stomping on the ground to get the attention of the deaf dog. Find the right tool for your canine and practice with him with positive reinforcement.

Do deaf dogs make good pets?

Dog owners who have deaf dogs always say “Deaf dogs make amazing pets and family members”. You will only need to communicate with them with the help of hand singles and body language instead of verbal commands.

Categories: Dog Training


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