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deaf puppy- grooming??

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  • deaf puppy- grooming??

    so i have a 4 mo. old, old english puppy in today, he is deaf. my question is how do you handle negative behavior with a deaf puppy? this is his first groom, just bath and a light trim. he is being kind of aggressive snapping at the brush and does not like to be touched around his head/face. i am giving him a break right now, i do not want him to have a bad experience. any suggestions?

  • #2
    Don't treat him any different just because he's deaf. He can't hear you, but he can see and read your body language. What would you do with a puppy that can hear? Do the same thing. Even if you are using your voice and he can't hear it, you acting normal as you would with any other puppy will help you remain calm and normal. Take things easy and simply introduce him to the process. Make sure you let him see what you are doing so that you don't surprise him. Keeping a hand on him may help him calm. Odds are the owners have not been doing anything towards teaching him about grooming, and most owners with a deaf puppy treat them as if they are special. They tend to let the puppy get away with a ton of bad behavior rather than training the puppy. Most owners these days don't teach their puppy's "no" and even fewer deaf dog owners do!

    Help the owner understand what they need to be doing to teach their puppy to be handled. Express how crucial it is that their puppy learn to be touched everywhere, and learn about grooming tools, otherwise grooming will become virtually impossible. They don't have a choice, they got a dog that requires extensive grooming. If they are not yet in puppy obedience classes, they really need to be. Socialization is critical for deaf dogs. They don't just have a puppy, they have a special needs puppy. They don't have the option to simply avoid touching the areas he doesn't like, they have to teach him to like it or at minimum tolerate it, for the simple reason that there is not a single inch on his body that isn't going to have to be groomed constantly throughout his entire life. What they do now makes or breaks their relationship with this dog for the long haul.


    • #3
      thanks swiss, i got a little more info... the little guy got bit on the eye from his older sister, it did not seem really bad, but mom said he has been weird about his head ever since. i spoke to her about working with him every day, nice and slow to get him used to being handled there. i also did recommend that she bring him in every week so i could work with him, even if it is just for a few minutes to handle his face and comb. (didn't really seem like she was going for that, we'll see)

      i did end up working with him like any other pup. i do think he is sassy, besides the bite thing, cause he was snappy for brushing his front legs as well. for his head i just held him close and pet him around his eyes and face very slow and calm, then i took the thinning shear in to get a little hair away from his eyes which he let me do a bit. then i let him go for today. i am worried for next time though, he is going to need a full cut soon, and is only going to get bigger.


      • #4
        I get a lot of referrals from Vets for 'special needs' dogs. Blind, deaf, arthritic, seizure disorders, spinal issues... etc. I have found the most amazing thing about working in this profession is learning from the dogs themselves! Now when it comes to medical issues.. yes you need to take special care & be exceptionally attentive to their 'status' but one of the most amazing things about animals to me is that when you are aware of their 'issue' and work 'with' them... they show us how life can be loved no matter what has changed, I dont think dogs have the 'pity pot' or 'why me' kind of thinking we humans do... they just go with the flow. Yea, some dogs need to earn out trust but patience can help them along more often than not.

        Deaf dogs tend to use their eyes more to make up, blind dogs listen to every little noise... now the blind & deaf pet?... I found a really interesting technique I learned from a Vet. I keep talking to them anyhow! Dogs sense of smell is so far beyond ours... it could be the vibration of our voice waves or it could be the scent of our breath.. Im not sure if it isnt both... I keep a hand on them at all times, but so long as I keep talking (or even exhaling/blowing in their direction) they seem to know where I am and as long as I am slow & gentle and we both have a wonderful experience! Of course my 'special needs pets' get more hugs from me though

        Of course if you work alone.. and have any life issue going on with you... talking to dogs is awesome! I think the whole idea of psychotherapy was really invented because not every person had a pet... they are great listeners even if they cant hear you... I believe (as my grandparents told me when I was young) There is a reason Dog & God are spelled the same!


        • #5
          In those situations where you might use a stern "NO" with a dog that can hear....thump the table. They can feel it, it breaks their concentration, and it disrupts their naughty behavior.