Deaf Rescue Dog Learns Sign Language

(Picture Credit: Ruslanshug / Getty Images)

For most dog parents, training can be a struggle at times.

Despite good intentions, many pet parents suffered at the paws of unhinged pandemic puppies once they returned to in-person work. We all love our pets, regardless of misbehavior. But it can be astounding to see dogs so brilliantly well-mannered that a typical sit-stay-down holds no match. And most of us have no experience with training an animal with special needs.

However, that doesn’t need to hold a dog back, or mean that they’re any less intelligent and willing to learn than other canines.

Overcoming Obstacles – And Learning a New Language

Olive is a small Chihuahua mix that was pulled from a kill shelter by the rescue group Hickory Level Hound Rescue. Olive was missing teeth, unable to walk, suffering from a large sore, and completely deaf. Despite her challenges, her adoptive family went to pick her up within an hour of seeing her photos.

“We already have a Beagle called Diesel and weren’t looking for another dog,” says Elizabeth Dachs, her new dog mom. “But I could not resist this photo of this 8lb dog and the thought of her all alone. Within an hour I was on my way to adopt her.”

Despite her physical challenges and past trauma at the hands of neglectful parents, Olive has come leaps and bounds with her family. Olive has been taught a rudimentary form of sign language. It helps her get around the house and communicate her needs with her dog parents. Due to her exceptional strength and resilience, and unending love, Olive was awarded Newsweek’s Pet of the Week.

Being the Best Dog Parents for Deaf Canines

Special-needs pets don’t need to have a lesser quality of life due to their differences. Many special needs animals are only restricted by lack of information on their caregivers’ part. A deaf dog can learn basic sign language to perform commands or express needs, giving them many of the same abilities as a hearing dog.

For some, deaf dogs aren’t any harder to train than any other pup. If you feel that you aren’t able to properly train your pup, for whatever reason, consider bringing in a professional trainer to help.

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