This post will show you how hearing works in dogs and how to train a deaf dog
This is how the hearing mechanism works in dogs;
- Sound travels through the outer ear canal before reaching the ear drum
- Vibrations at the ear drum are conducted through a chain of tiny bones in the middle ear, then into the cochlea
- The cochlea converts this energy into chemical signals
Sound is an essential part of livelihood. Various thuds, screams, screeches etc sends various messages to the human brain. This help in the identification of various forms of information. The sense of hearing is one of the most important forms of means used in the gathering of various knowledge, it is also influential in various interactions and information sharing as these waves continue passing through free air.
The Principle Of Hearing
The movement of sound waves, paases the pinna (outer ear) through an inlet called an ear canal before reaching the ear drum. The ear drum then begins a vibrating motion, as the sound waves send those vibrations to the chain of tiny hearing bones in the ear.
These bones are the malleus, incus, and stapes. These bones then lead those resounding waves to the cochlea. The cochlea is a snail shell like substance that possesses sensory hearing hairs. The cochlea, also contains a special liquid like substance that is essential to hearing. After the sound reaches the cochlea, secreted chemicals then act on it creating a signal. After that, the auditory nerves transport the signals to the brain for processing.
Deafness In Puppies
When sound waves at 20dB for some reason cannot be fully detected, it is said that the puppy is deaf. Deafness are of two types, and they are;
- Partial deafness
- Total deafness
Partial deafness is a situation whereby the puppy cannot fully comprehend low pitched sound waves. This type of deafness is usually hereditary as some pup’s may develop it from birth. Partial deafness is normally caused by aging but, when it’s a little pup, many other factors may come into play.
Head injuries and brani trauma also contribute to this disability, as a distortion in the chain that channels sound waves through the mammalian ear, will reduce the efficiency at which one hears. Exposure to loud sounds also has an effect on the efficiency of your hearing.
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Loud sound waves damage the ear drums leading to a glitch in the ability to successfully comprehend sound waves. These glitches, may also come with pains as your ear would be going through quite an ordeal. Partial deafness cannot be corrected, but there are many ways to manage it.
Total deafness however, is the total disability to detect sound waves. This normally occurs when the ear drum is completely damaged, or when part of your hearing organs, get destroyed from fatal injuries. Treating total deafness is also not possible as the hearing is totally disrupted and it could also be very hard to manage.
Total deafness can also be caused by a diseases causing organism. The Lyme disease is one of them. This disease is capable of negatively affecting your hearing capability, and I left unattended to, it could also develop into something more severe.
Deafness in puppies should be avoided. Ability to hear sound will affect bonding with your puppy negatively, as the element of communication is been dealt a major blow. Fortunately, it is not totally impossible to manage puppies with hearing loss, as various professionals have suggested various ways you can successfully train your deaf dog.
How To Train A Deaf Dog
Training a sound impaired puppy, will not only help in keeping it occupied, but will also ensure a better communicative efficiency when it gets older. Dogs are known to have the IQ of a two year old baby, and this helps them to understand a thing or two of how to blend in the environment.
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After lots of research and trials, methods to be taken in ensuring your puppy gets properly trained like every normal dog has been tested. The solutions recorded are proof to conclude that these methods have been very successful. The write up below are ways you can successfully train your deaf pet dog.
- GET A PROFESSIONAL DOG TRAINER
Before I give tips on this method, you should know that choosing this option does not mean you lack the capabilities to take care of your dog. Knowing this would erase any doubt you have of your love for the puppy. Getting a professional dog trainer, shows how serious you are on wanting the best for your dog.
Professional dog trainers employ many methods to ensure your dog is as domesticated as possible. They are well versed on many things concerning the mammalian canine, as they are normally paid for their services. If you want your dog to learn faster, especially when it is totally deaf, it is advisable to get a professional trainer for the mutt.
Not only will this provide efficient results concerning the dog’s hearing, but you will also get these results in a shorter period of time.
- USING HAND SIGNS
For situations where, getting a professional dog trainer cannot be afforded, you could do the training your self. Using hand signs as a mode of communication would make your training easier, as the dog would understand simple commands. Since dogs don’t have a cognitive ability close to the adult human, it would be extremely hard to make it understand complex words, orders and sentences.
But simple words, sentences or orders are easily understood if properly taught. These hand signs should be taught to your dog at the puppy stage, doing this will also ensure an easier communication as the mutt gets older. Teaching your dog various hand signs makes it possible to train, play with and command the mutt as the domestic canine now has an apt idea of your intentions.
- USING FLASHY MEANS TO GET IT’S ATTENTION
To successfully train your dog, it is essential to get it’s attention first. Since your dog isn’t perceptive to sound waves, using objects like a torchlight might come in handy. Since your dog is capable of sight, rays of the torch’s light would get the mutt’s attention first before you start making gestures.
You could also use the torchlight to play with your puppy. Dogs are hyperactive creatures, so something as interesting as moving light beams should be enough to entice the dog. Dog trainers also employ the use of flashy ground markers to regulate the movement of the dog. Teaching the dog about colours would ensure that this method works well.
If the dog is well trained and out in an open field, various markers would help in ensuring the dog does not leave a particular area. It is essential to always get the dog’s attention first during training sessions, as it’s sound disability puts it at a disadvantage.
- TAKING IT FOR WALKS WITH A LEASH ON
Another way of ensuring your puppy is well acquainted with it’s environment is by taking it out for walks routinely. This activity should be carried out with a leash on, as any mistake could prove dangerous as you’d have a deaf puppy roaming around. Taking the puppy for walks will enable it get an optical view of it’s environment.
Doing this will ensure your pet dog has an awareness of it’s environment and it would prevent if from getting lost or missing. Going for walks with your puppy will also help in the exercise of you and your puppy as long walks would develop the bones, thereby making it stronger and adaptable with the environment.
- GIVE IT REST
Just like every other living organism, it is essential you provide your mutt with enough rest. Resi is very important in any training, as it helps in conserving energy for later activities. When your dog lacks rest, it’s other body functions starts reducing in efficiency. Send organs like sight, smell etc need to be at top notch so they will help in reducing the burden caused by hearing loss
- REDUCING THE DISTRACTIONS AROUND
During your time with the dog, you should ensure that various environmental distraction are removed, as these animals get easily intrigued. As a dog owner or trainer, you should be able to notice things in the environment that usually piques the dog’s interest. Removing those things will ensure that the plans you have goes smoothly without any hassle.
- REWARDING IT WITH TREATS
To build a stronger bond between you and your puppy, it is important that you know the essence of rewarding your dog with treats. Every puppy loves the taste of good food and providing it when necessary, would mean that it always holds you in high regard.
You can also use treats to get it’s attention or bait it. Rewarding the dog with a treat every time it heeds your signal or call, will make it alert when you’re around. Even with their hearing function being impaired, these animals have a very great sense of smell as they memorize the scent of literally everything they come across. Rewarding your dog with treats it loves, will go a long way to ensuring it respects you.
Taking care of deaf dogs takes lots of patience and energy. Training them, will also take more as training includes more than just taking proper care. As a dog owner, it is very important that you ensure your dog gets very comfortable.
In today’s society, you shouldn’t have to feel troubled about getting a deaf puppy as it is very possible to train it into a fine mutt. Deaf dogs are still dogs, so taking care of them should not be much of an issue if you know a thing or two about dogs. Also remember to take your pet to the vet when you feel it is sick as this is also very essential in it’s survival.
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