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Deaf dog learns sign language

Deaf Dog Learns Sign Language

The Central Nebraska Humane Society is teaching deaf dogs how to communicate through sign language.

Animal advocates say the hearing impairment could increase a deaf dog's odds of having a tough life.

"They could be set up for abuse or neglect because they don't know how to interact and if they do interact, it's not appropriate," says Laurie Dethloff, Exec. Dir., Central Nebraska Humane Society.

Thanks to volunteers deaf dogs like, Rosie, are becoming more socialized.

"You not only see the volunteer being excited about being able to communicate with, but her being able to understand, oh this is what you want and being able to do it," sats Dethloff.

And when they learn to interact, volunteer Tracie Pfeifle says their owners will have something special.

"I think they're more sensitive to how you're feeling. A lot of people don't know they have a deaf dog, when they figure it out, all of the sudden you find out you have this really amazing animal."

All of the dogs are available for adoption at the Central Nebraska Humane Society, and if you're interested, the human society will of course teach you the signs to interact.

Join the discussion

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CHUCK March 27 2014 at 9:43 PM

I am hearing impaired and I have had 3 dog that were deaf. They all know sign language.

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emmiesauntp March 27 2014 at 4:19 PM

My heart feels full. The people who take the time to help these animals are also a special breed. I think it is so wonderful.

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Listen3rd March 27 2014 at 3:34 PM

My dog Kirei was taught all commands verbally but accompanied by signs because of my consciousness of deafness. As she went deaf, she and I had no problem communicating demands. It is my contention that all dogs should be taught sign as this allows not having to scream out in public once the dog's attention is culled.

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banngbanng March 27 2014 at 3:29 PM

She is the most BEAUTIFUL dog I have seen!!!! I would adopt her

Flag Reply +5 rate up
jvmcfla@aim.com March 27 2014 at 3:16 PM

This is wonderful! The dog is a cutie too!

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kktyson1 March 27 2014 at 2:59 PM

I have had a deaf dog since he was a pup. When he was a puppy, you wouldn't have even known he was deaf. I realized it a year later, when I noticed he never ran to th door barking when someone knocked or came into the house. At that point, I had to use hand motions to get him to understand me! And I tell you what, he is one of the smartest dogs I have ever met.

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Laura March 27 2014 at 2:57 PM

Had a deaf Dalmation, he watched us and our other dog. Tommy was a wonderful dog, may he rest in peace

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mesager42 March 27 2014 at 2:54 PM

Only problem is that deaf dogs may not make good watch dogs if they can't hear noises like someone breaking into a house. On the other, deaf dogs may be able to sense vibrations and air movement. With deaf and blind animals and people, when they lose one sense, their others tend to become far more acute.

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2 replies
Laura mesager42 March 27 2014 at 2:57 PM

Does a dog have to be a watch dog........what about a companion?

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1 reply
imrustysmom Laura March 27 2014 at 3:47 PM

Laura, you said it all!

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gdl4974 mesager42 March 27 2014 at 4:26 PM

SO WHAT??? We humans might not be deaf but we sure don't listen sometimes!!

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Tmoosee March 27 2014 at 2:50 PM

A friend of mine has a dalmatian. At the age of three, the dog was found to be deaf. He was taught hand signals and sign language. He is quite an amazing dog. You would never know he was deaf. He gets along with his brother another dalamation who can hear. Goes to show, if you have a disability no matter if your animal or human, you can accomplish anything you put your mind too.

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seanjarhead March 27 2014 at 2:33 PM

When training my dogs as pups I always used a hand signal as well as a voice command, if my dogs lose their hearing they will recognize the hand signal.

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