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Basic Training

Training a Puppy That Can’t Hear You

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As your puppy grows into an adult dog have you ever noticed there are many times your dog understands what you want him or her to do without ever verbally speaking a word to the dog? This is because up to eighty percent of how a dog relates to humans is through body language and signals. My point here is don’t shy away from bringing a puppy into your life because the pup is deaf. There are many ways to train a deaf puppy so you and the puppy can understand each other.

Train a deaf puppy

It is believed by most people a deaf puppy is not trainable but this is false. Many potential dog owners shy away from certain breeds due to the high rate of deafness common in the breeds, but this should not be a determining factor if you really want a pup from one of these breeds. A deaf puppy/adult dog can learn every bit as much as the dog that hears, and in many instances are keenly more aware of their surroundings due to relying on their sight, smell, touch, and intuition.

If you’re wondering if your furball is deaf or not, make some loud noises behind him while he’s asleep, where you are out of his sight line, and so that he won’t feel vibrations. For instance, try blowing a whistle. If you’re still not sure, you may want to get his hearing tested by your vet. As described in an article on Pets.WebMD.com:

Pet owners who want conclusive evidence can ask for a test called the Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response procedure, or BAER. During this test, electrodes are placed under the dog’s scalp to read the brain’s response to a series of clicks directed into each ear.

Using hand signals, begin your steps to train a deaf puppy.  Just as you would with a puppy who hears when you give the command to come you also use the hand to show the puppy what you want. Same thing applies to for the deaf puppy only without any verbal commands. The puppy will very quickly learn what these hand gestures mean and respond appropriately. Dogs respond to visual stimulation better than voice commands, so during these steps to train a deaf puppy always be patient and consistently use the same hand gestures for specific commands.

Time the length of these initial lessons to only a couple of minutes for young puppies because their attention span is very short. As your puppy hits the six month age gradually spend longer training sessions with him, and always remember to build in a bit of play time so you and the puppy will begin the bonding of teamwork between you. Once your puppy has reached one year old the length of the training sessions can be extended to 15 or 20 minutes depending on the breed and how well your progress has been to this point. Teach the dog to look forward to these training times by not feeding them beforehand and then rewarding them with a treat at the end of the session. It is important to do all training within a fenced in area or indoors so the puppy/dog does not wander into a potentially dangerous situation.

Learning how to train a deaf puppy takes patience and love, but anyone can do so and you will be rewarded with a wonderful dog and companion.

Have you owned a deaf dog? Please leave your advice and comments below

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  1. Avatar Of Sara



    Thanks for your advices Ron, but I still worry How a puppy can learn to do not pee and popo at home. My son 10 years old get a deaft 3 months puppy dog and I don’t have any idea to take care him.

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  3. Avatar Of ゃぷべの ゃぷべの says:

    your work’s fine.

  4. Avatar Of Ron Miller

    Ron Miller


    Getting a deaf dog’s attention through floor vibrations is a great idea! That’s amazing that the dog would sense it even through a concrete floor. Thanks, Melanie

  5. Avatar Of Melanie Hollcraft

    Melanie Hollcraft


    I used to teach 4-H dog obedience. For 4-H dog obedience there is no age limit for the child and dog. One girl (about 10 yrs. old) had an older deaf dog. This was the first one I trained. We used floor vibration to get the dogs attention then used the hand signals. I was really worried because we were in a pole barn with concrete floor and lots of other dogs and children. Even with the concrete floor the dog could feel the vibrations. This wonderful pooch caught on ver quickly. It was a great experience for all.

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