Deaf Dog Training Update

My deaf dog training update.

Right before the holidays I got to meet my favorite hearing impaired dog that I had been training recently.  I wanted to meet in a park where i knew there would be crazy and tons of other dogs would be running around.  In short, this was the training test for these clients.

I’d had two sessions with this dog practicing with the remote vibrating collar.  Everything had gone great in their yard and neighborhood, but I wanted to see how things would work out in the real world.

To me, training recall is one of the tougher things to teach a dog. There is always something "out there" more fun for the dog to sniff or play with rather than come back to the handler.  Dog trainers constantly struggle with clients to make them understand how important it is to practice recall until their dog comes to them without thinking about it.  Every dog trainer wants to make certain that running back to you is automatic response when the dog hears the word "Come".

With this deaf dog we taught it that when a vibrating collar was activated it was the same as the word "come" to a hearing dog.  

What I got when we got the the park was a fantastic surprise.  They let the dog go and it immediately streaked out into the park to play with the other off leash dogs.  We let it play for a few minutes and then the owner "pressed the button" to call the dog.  She stopped playing immediately, looked around for her owners, and came running full speed back to them.  I was completely elated.  She did that every time we called her for the next hour out there and in the midst of the most extreme distraction (30 or so dogs) imaginable.  I was so proud of the three of them.

I have great things happen to me all the time training dogs, but when the owners told me that they were now confident they could take her anywhere with them, I almost cried.  To give that dog and those clients a much better quality of life is why I LOVE training dogs here in Austin.

Steve Haynes
Austin Dog Trainer
Fidelio Dog Works

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