Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Buster the Boss! Episode 3 Deafness in Dogs

Hi canine buddies-as part of my litany of 'genolds' ailments (getting old) I hope to be of help to those of you suffering from hearing loss,and particularly your lovely owners-as there are some effective ideas that can really make a difference to us in our new deaf state.

1. Communication through hand-signals.
My family soon picked up that I'm unable to respond in the same way as I used to, and often don't seem to know what's going on around me. This is made much more bearable when they use hand signals which I can work out just as well as looking at their facial expressions. My key hand-signal 'words' are:  stay, come, dinner, good boy, play, sit and my favourite..treat! Before we used these I was really getting quite depressed as I just felt cut off from the world and particularly my family. Now life feels almost back to normal.

2. Safety.
Sadly I can no longer hear my owners calling me across the park (which I felt very liberating at the start and just ran around for ages, until I realised I was getting lost!). Now I'm on an expanding lead all the time unless we go to a secure woodland park where I can't find even the smallest rabbit hole in the fence to escape! I can't hear the traffic any longer either so my owners have to be more mindful of walking me on the inside of the pavement so that I don't get scared by the sudden appearance of a huge truck etc..

3. Dog whistle
If you can get hold of a 'storm' whistle- these can usually be heard by even the most deaf dogs! My owners have used one for a while and I can just about hear it-well enough to follow on when called, tho I must admit to 'not hearing' it sometimes!!

4.Indoor management.
Particularly other dogs! My sister will growl at me if I'm too close to her bowl or treat and as I can't hear her, my Mum has to intervene to save me getting a nasty nip! Sometimes she just makes me aware that sis has her top lip curled up-I can see THAT ok!
Also, due to being deaf we often get in the way of people walking around as we can't tell they're behind us, so PLEASE show extra patience-we don't WANT to be in your way!

I'm sure there are many other tips out there-these are just some of the top-listed ones and I hope this short list is effective for you and hasn't bored your owners too much! I think the biggest improvement for me has been the hand signals that my whole family now use with me-as it really makes me feel included again.
Phew! I'm exhausted after all that writing!

Good luck doggie friends!

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