Are Deaf Dogs Disabled?

Are deaf dogs disabled? They don’t have to be. Communication is the key. Learning some sign language you and your dog cannot only communicate with each other, but create a lifelong bond. Through signing, your dog can learn Basic Obedience. Some can do sports like Rodeo Dog, Agility, and Nosework. With communication, love and patience, your journey with your dog can be limitless and fun!  

Nutrition for Working Dogs

13 Years ago, I received a phone call from a friend of mine in Rescue. I, too, had been doing Rescue for years. She told me about a Border Collie puppy born deaf and blind and asked if I would like to adopt him. To be honest, I didn’t even let her finish her sentence and said “YES”. I named him “Clancey” . I educated myself with sign language and touch signs. Our journey began. He was smart. We learned to communicate with each other immediately. I taught him Basic Obedience and 6 months later, he earned his AKC Canine Good Citizen and was one of the 1st deaf/blind dogs to earn it. I wanted more for him. Not only for him, but to educate and show others what he could do, not what he couldn’t. I decided to take Clancey to schools to teach Humane Education with the Humane Officer. So Clancey went to schools, teaching children to be kind and understanding of all dogs even if they different.

Both Clancey and I wanted more. Rodeo Dog! He just loved it and also received titles and ribbons. We have both been on an amazing journey with each other. He is 13 years old now and just a little bit slower, but doesn’t stop him.

Brother and sister, Inkie and Itsy were both born deaf and visually impaired. Katie was looking for a puppy to adopt. She saw the picture of these 2 and it melted her heart. She adopted both and started to try to teach them some sign. However, she needed a little help. Training 2 pups at the same time is tough, never mind learning and trying to teach them some sign together. Through recommendation from her Aunt, she called us. Katie and her Mom came in and felt a little overwhelmed. Within 4 weeks of training thru signing, they blossomed. They learned watch, sit, touch, wait, come, down, leave it, drop it, and stay. A new world was opened for both them and their owners.

~Kathy Varkados