Twosday Training Tip
TIP #1: HAND SIGNALS FOR HEARING IMPAIRED DOGS
Like us, dogs can lose their hearing as they age, and one of our biggest challenges is getting our dog's attention, whether at home or out in the world.
Just as you teach a dog to respond to "Max" or "Spot," you can teach a deaf dog to respond to a signal that means, "I'm talking to you now." A simple finger point or a wave will each work and are easy to teach, but any signal will do.
To teach that the finger point or wave means "Max," start by simply pointing or waving at the dog, then offering a reward such as a great treat.
Throughout your daily life, use his "name signal" much as you would a verbal name. If you are about to feed your dog, point or wave in his direction, then walk to the kitchen and prepare his dinner. Before walks, point or wave to your dog, then get out the leash.
But don't wait until your dog's hearing is going before you train this. Start now, and train hand signals for sit, down, stay, and come as well. Soon your dog will respond to hand signals just as he does to verbal cues.
- portions excerpted from Canine Hearing Loss
TIP #2: TRADE, DON'T CHASE
If your dog grabs something you don’t want her to have, don’t chase her to try to take it away, which turns into a really fun game - for her! Instead, find a yummy treat. Tell your puppy, “Drop it,” then offer the treat in exchange for the forbidden item. Through repetition, when your dog hears the "drop it" cue she will drop the item in anticipation of being rewarded.
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Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT, FFCP, CTDI