Abandoned, Deaf Pup Learns Sign Language Commands Days after Being Found
An abandoned pup, named Blue was found freezing and scared when ASPCA rescued her. After a couple of days, the caretakers in the animal shelter noticed she wasn’t like most dogs, and she wouldn’t respond to loud noises the way the other dogs did. They could not determine the reason for her hearing loss, but abuse is usually a cause in perfectly healthy dogs. Blue got to work with seven different behavior specialists in hopes of being well enough to find a new home.
Blue first learned the “thumbs-up” signal for “good job,” which let her know when she was good, and what behaviors are acceptable. Every time she received this message, she would also get a treat, just like any other dog would for good behavior. She quickly learned what was desired behavior and has learned 25 commands total. Special commands like “Sit,” “Come,” “Watch,” and “Stay” were some of the first after learning “Good job.”
Teaching Blue was not the most difficult task; it was getting her attention. Since she can’t hear her name being called (like a dog with no hearing problems), using food and noise vibration through hitting the ground are an effective solution. A piece of cheese, or stomping the ground are ways that Blue knows she’s being called and alerts her that the owner needs her.
Blue has completed her training and is now eligible for adoption to a new family. She shows excellent social skills, with no signs of aggression. Dogs that are in animal shelters come from different backgrounds, and most are very friendly. Dogs that have abused are not broken and have been proven to re-enter domestic life, with thorough training and a good owner. Blue was lucky enough to get picked up by an excellent facility that handles deaf dogs frequently and gave her all the love and care she needed to succeed.