Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: San Francisco
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Training a deaf senior dog
We adopted our golden mix Kuma when he was 9 years old. He is a sweet soul and came with a good understanding of house rules and boundaries. We did a training course on the essentials. We never got the "look at me" or "stay" quite down though he's good about not running out of the house when the doors are open.
However, he is 13 now and this past year he's gotten fairly deaf - he can hear very loud, percussive noises like buses driving past him on walks, the door opening next to him, etc., but he cannot hear our footsteps or our voices anymore. I'm trying to keep up our communication by tapping him on the shoulder if I'm entering a room or walking to a different room. Some of the commands like sit has hand signals, and I'm trying to do a thumbs up before I reward him with treats.
Do you guys have any suggestions on how we can continue training and communicate? Specifically, when we're out on walks, he is too busy to remember that me tapping him on the shoulder or reaching a hand in front of his face means that he should look at me for information. Although, he was never great about checking us for cues unless he remembered that we have a pocketful of treats - if we go to off leash beaches he'd run off with other dogs for minutes before he realizes that he should make sure we're still there - obviously now that he's deaf we're never going to let him off leash unless he'll really be perfectly safe and it's a small enclosed space.
He is an old dog so we'd like him to live his best life and keep up the communication so he's not bored. We are also thinking of getting a puppy or younger dog so he can get some signals from the other dog and have a dog pal.
Last edited by jomiel; 03-06-2019 at 09:21 PM.