Message Us

Can Deaf Dogs Understand Sign Language? My Dog Does...

I am the proud owner of a deaf Dalmatian called Logan. A dog considered by many to be untrainable because of the fact he cannot hear. The truth; I'd have a deaf dog over a hearing one any day!

When I was researching deaf dogs both when Logan was a puppy and when writing a previous article I was amazed at the negativity towards owning a deaf dog, with many people, sites, books and breeding clubs suggesting euthanasia as the only option for a dog that cannot hear. After all they have no quality of life, become aggressive, are untrainable and can never, ever be let off a lead. This however is completely untrue. [caption id="attachment_1077" align="alignright" width="292"]Deaf Dogs With Logan as a Puppy (Logan, as a puppy, the day that we got him)[/caption]

Logan has been deaf since he was born and the idea that anyone would want to put him to sleep purely because he cannot hear is very upsetting. He knows many a trick, and has passed two trick titles and is currently submitting his third, he has been off lead several times and never once has he acted aggressively.

My opinion was backed up by dozens of people on the Deaf Dog Network when I asked them for their experiences with deaf dogs, comments ranged from all the different sporting activities their dogs were taking part in to how frequently their dogs were let off lead but more importantly many would take on another deaf dog without giving it a second thought. (This can all be read in a previous article that can be found on my blogsite including all the comments people left, however I want to explain the training side of owning a dog that cannot hear.)

When training a dog there are many different methods you could use, for example shaping a behaviour using a clicker, capturing a behaviour as and when it occurs or by luring a dog using a reward such as a treat. I have trained both hearing and deaf dogs and the process is the same for each.

Deaf Dogs Training Using Sign LanguageTake for example teaching your dog to sit, you start with a treat in your hand and raise it upwards above the dogs head. The dog, wanting to see the treat then leans backwards and plants his bum onto the floor and at this point you give the treat. When teaching a trick, you never add the vocal command until the dog is getting the hang of what you are asking because otherwise you are going to confuse them. This whole process is the same regardless of what dog you're teaching, whether it be a puppy or an older dog, a border collie or a miniature poodle, a hearing or a deaf dog. The only difference being that you don't add the vocal command at the end for a dog that can't hear.

I still give Logan a vocal cue even though I know he can't hear (but this is more for my benefit and for those watching), same as I always give a hearing dog a hand signal when saying a vocal command. I think it is great practice to teach a hearing dog hand signals, it might for example come in very handy as your dog gets older and becomes hard of hearing. The hand signal for most tricks I have taught Logan is the luring action I used to teach it, for example the hand signal for a sit is me raising my arm up, the hand signal for the down is me moving my hand to the floor, the spin signal is me moving my arm around in a circle.

[caption id="attachment_1078" align="aligncenter" width="673"]Deaf Dogs Tricks Training With Logan (Some of the tricks we know; cover your eyes, paws on and take my socks off)[/caption]

What deaf dogs lack in hearing they make up for in other senses, they are very observant and I have found Logan will readily come over if somebody smiles at or starts talking to him. I actually find them slightly easier to train as you don't have the distraction of any noises such as barking and fireworks and thunder are no longer a problem!

In conclusion I would like the negativity towards deaf dogs to stop, and for people to start seeing them for what they are; great pets!

Deaf Dogs Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover Jayde Davey_2Jayde Davey M.ISAP CTDI Jayde Davey M.ISAP CTDI - I am an aspiring dog trainer, supporting positive reinforcement methods. I currently am studying an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour Management and have just passed my test to become a Certified Trick Dog Instructor. I have my own blogsite with connected social media and I also run a Facebook Dog Trick group where I help people to teach their dog lots of fun tricks. I am a member of ISAP or the International Society for Animal Professionals and also have a diploma in small animal care. I own a deaf Dalmatian called Logan who I do most of my training with; he knows lots of tricks like take my socks off, fetch my a tissue and wipe your feet but I also regularly work with a miniature poodle, a cocker spaniel, a jack Russell and a border collie. I one day hope to become a professional dog trainer. Links: Blog site: Facebook: Twitter: Youtube:


Signup/Login to post a reply


Reviews From 4Knines Customers VIEW MORE »

The best evaluations of our products come from the people who’ve bought them.

Puppy misadventure

My 8 month old lab puppy ate something and it required a trip to the vet. They administered peroxide to induce vomiting. He seemed unaffected by the entire experience and after waiting 45 minutes with no results, we were sent home. Naturally, he threw up in the car on the way home. I had recently bought the split rear seat cover. It saved the back seat of my car and cleaned up beautifully. I can only imagine how the cloth seat would have absorbed the odor and stain without the protection of the seat cover. Buying your seat cover was the smartest decision I've made. Love the hammock option.

Christine Cooley

XL rear seat hammock cover

I own a 2015 Toyota Tundra CrewMax. I was concerned that the XL seat cover wouldn't be big enough for our pups. However, after installing it easily, our pups took to it immediately! Ellie loved the hammock part that comes off the seat a little and slept in it on one of our most recent road trips.

JP Nelson

Perfect Fit!

We had fallen back to just putting a sheet over our seats as our Bernese Mountain Dog and our cars never found a perfect match with any of the seat covers we tried until this front seat cover. We immediately put in an order for the backseat cover from 4Knines to give our BMD more room.

Erin Allen

Service dog approved

It works awesome and my dog Mr Malachi S.D loves it and 4 me being disabled it's so much easier to keep my seat clean now. thank you awesome product..

Dave Clark

Perfect seat cover- just what I was looking for

I ordered the Split Rear Back Seat Cover - Grey Regular Fitted - Non Hammock option for my 1999 Ford F-150 pickup truck. It fits perfectly in the front seat. Easy to take off and on and looks beautiful.

Miriam Hudgins

Great product awesome customer service

Well made look forward to many years of use. Door protectors do there job. Thanks

Danny Medinas

Geeat fit, great product, great service

Got these much faster than other products I have ordered online. The fit is wonderful, even in my little Corolla, and the installation was really easy. Hair does NOT stick to these covers.I love them!


Customer Service

I ordered a dog cover for my rear seat. When I placed it, one of the straps was not holding tight so I sent an email to the company that day. I received an immediate response and an immediate replacement. I was so impressed! I love the no hammock cover. It's perfect!

Sylvia Morrison

For all general inquiries, please call or email us
Phone: 888.602.2509

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Nothing but the best for your best friend!
© 4Knines. 2017. All rights reserved | Terms | Privacy

Message Us