Tips for Training Deaf Animals Rachel’s Enrichment Corner
Pet Network takes in all types of cats and dogs. This occasionally includes deaf animals, or animals that have experienced hearing loss. These animals have the ability to learn tricks and skills just like any other, however, they do require some extra management and visual training and communication.
It is very important to be able to get a deaf animal’s attention without startling them. An animal that is often startled could become anxious or reactive.
Deaf animals should always be rewarded for checking in with their handlers both when they are signaled to and also when they do it voluntarily. This will build an animal that checks in with you regularly.
Gentle touch also helps reduce the risk of the animal being startled. To practice this, simply tap the animal gently on their back or shoulders and immediately give them a high-value treat.
Tapping gently on the floor can also help get the attention of a deaf animal as they can still feel vibrations on the floor.
Deaf animals need to be trained with hand signals instead of verbal cues, but are capable of learning everything (that’s not sound-related) that a hearing animal can!