Raising a deaf dog can be challenging, but it might just be more rewarding than having a hearing canine.
Dogs have an incredible sense of hearing which they rely on to navigate through life. Humans can hear 20,000 vibrations a second while cats hear up to 25,000. But dogs can pick up sounds at up to 35,000 vibrations per second!
Sharing a home with a canine that is hard of hearing can be difficult. Though few dogs are born deaf, many lose their hearing in old age. Training can be more taxing with a dog that cannot hear, especially when clickers or verbal praise can be used as a reward in place of treats.
Thankfully, dogs can read their human's emotions, so simply being excited could signify a form of praise for a deaf dog.
Because dogs rely so much on their ears to navigate, it can be scary for them to not be able to hear. Humans need to remember to move more slowly around deaf canines. It is also wise to approach a deaf canine from the front rather than unexpectedly from behind. Also, you will need to be more patient when trying to reinforce or extinguish a particular behavior.
September 18-24 is National Deaf Dog Awareness Week. Do you know a dog that can't hear? Be sure to give him or her extra loving. Canines are just as special whether or not they have two functional ears.