If you are lucky enough to have your dog still with you in his senior years, there is a whole lot of other issues that you are going to encounter in their later years. One of those is your dog experiencing some hearing loss or complete hearing loss.
That can be scary realizing that you might need to get your dog’s attention, and you are no longer able to do that. In a normal day, how many times do we as dog owners call our dog over. It might be to give him dinner, a treat, go for a ride or when they are out in the yard playing around.
I have an older dog, and I worry when he is outside because he can’t hear me like he used to. It has lead me to keeping him on a leash more often, so I can keep him safer.
There are collars for deaf dogs, that can help you get your deaf dog’s attention. I am not talking about training collars that are shocking your dog, but rather training collars that just have a vibration mode for your dog to notice you.
How To Train A Deaf Dog To Watch You
It is important to teach a deaf dog the “watch me” signal, but it is also a great signal to teach any dog, so they know that they should regularly check in with you.
- Use a valuable treat for this training. I suggest turkey meatballs or lunch meat.
- Put the treat directly under their nose so they get a good scent of it and then immediately move the treat up towards your face and point at the corner of your eye. “Watch me.”
- When your dog makes eye contact with you, give your dog a thumbs up and then give him a treat right away. This will eventually teach your dog that the “thumbs up” means they have done what you wanted. The pointing to your eye means your dog needs to make eye contact with you.
If your dog gets distracted, tap him on the shoulder or butt and point to your eye again, which means “watch me”. When he has made eye contact again, give the thumbs up signal, so he knows he is doing it right and reward with a treat again.
Why I Recommend A Vibration Collar For Deaf Dogs
When I am talking about a training collar for a deaf dog, I don’t want this collar confused with the training collars that have tone and shock for your dog. I am talking about a vibration only collar.
Dogs that have problems hearing or that have completely lost their hearing already get more startled than dogs that can hear. The last thing you want to do is send them a shock to get their attention. They are already more jumpy since they can’t hear what is going on around them.
Using a vibration collar on a dog with hearing difficulties is a kind and humane way to get your dog’s attention. It is very similar to you giving him that tap on the shoulder or butt to get their attention. You can train your dog that when they feel that vibration, they know it means “watch me” for further instructions.
Our dogs are not always close enough to us that we can simply tap them and a vibration collar will give them more freedom, but help keep them safe at the same time.
I also suggest that if you haven’t taught your dog any hand signals, you start. You may be surprised how many hand signals your dog has already learned from you just by watching you. Here is some guidance to teach hand signals for dogs.
Training Deaf Dog With Vibration Collar
The method I described above is the same training that I would use with a vibration collar.
When you press the vibration button and your dog makes eye contact with you, you should immediately give the positive “thumbs up” signal and give your dog a treat.
What you are teaching your dog is that they should look at you when they feel the vibration. Repetition is key to making this work.
You need to be consistent with rewarding your dog. This will help them learn that looking at you earns them a reward. As you start to ween your dog away from treats, you can still reward them with petting and praise for checking in with you.
Recommendations For Vibration Collars
Again, I would avoid getting any training collars that include a shock. You could accidentally push the shock button and give your dog a real scare. Here are 2 vibration only collars (no shock) that I would recommend using for a dog that is deaf or hard of hearing.
Paipaitek No Shock Training Collar
There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles with this collar, but it will be good for getting your dog to watch you when he can’t hear you. A vibration collar will feel like a phone vibrating.
- No electric shock, no prongs digging into dog’s neck
- Waterproof collar – your dog can still swim with this collar.
- Range 1500 feet
- 2 dog capability – just need to purchase a second collar, uses 1 remote controller
- Level 1 to 100 vibration levels
- Fits neck size 15″ to 22″
- 100% money back if not satisfied.
Wolfwill No Shock Dog Training Collar
- No electric shock
- 100% waterproof collar
- Range 1980 feet
- Fits neck size 8.7″ to 19.3″
- 2 dog capability – need to purchase second collar
- Tone, vibration and light mode, 1 to 16 levels of vibration
You need to use training to get your deaf dog’s attention. Using collars for deaf dogs will be beneficial by allowing your dog to still have his freedom in a dog park and out in the yard. It will help you feel that your dog is close enough for you to give them a tap to get their attention. You will enjoy the time outside more knowing you can get your dog to look at you when you need them, and it will give your dog more happiness still having some freedom outdoors.
Be consistent with your “watch me” training and repeat often, and before you know it, your dog will be checking on you frequently, looking for your guidance.
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