I’ve received about a half dozen requests from people asking for help & or suggestions to help them train their deaf dogs. Please note that I am *not* a professional trainer. I have trained (and am still training) all of one performance dog (Kiyo) and have just started training Toka.
I’ll try to provide as many details as possible about what I’m doing on this blog. If you have specific questions, please post them as a comment, and I’ll answer as best I can.
My number one suggestion for foundation work for a deafie: socialization. Socialization. And for a change, more socialization. This includes introducing your dog to as many people in as many places and of many types as possible. Tall people, short people, kids, people in wheel chairs, wearing hats, wearing hooded sweatshirts or suits. Also, exposing your dog (in a safe, happy way) to as many varied environments as possible. Construction equipment, playgrounds, stores, banks, libraries, whatever you can possibly think of. Also to different footings – concrete, grass, plastic, tarps, sand, pebbles. You get the picture.
I also recommend that you sign up for on-line classes either through Fenzi Dog Sports Academy (http://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com) or One Happy Dog (http://www.onehappydog.com). I’ve used both of these organizations happily & successfully.
Margaret Simek (of One Happy Dog), and Deb Jones, Sue Ailsby, Hannah Brannigan & Denise Fenzi of FDSA all have experience in working with Kiyo & me. Denise also has a blog chock full of excellent training information. All of these people are professional trainers.
If you sign up, tell ’em Toka sent you!