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Well, we have finally figured out our 11 year old male boxer, Zeke, has went stone deaf. I knew he was acting off, like when trying to correct him and he wouldnt listen. Also calling him inside, again he seemed not to listen. When he didnt howl at tornado sirens during the bad weather we had Monday as per usual, we decided he might be. We removed our other dog to block any visual signs something was happening and tested him when he was napping. The conclusion, he cant hear anything apparently. I think this has been gradual but as he's had his fur sister Lucy to be his hearing ear dog, so it wasn't obvious at first. I thought he might be going senile so its been a shock and a relief at the same time.

My problem is, how do you convey "good dog" when he does what we ask. When he is looking at you, he will follow point commands and generally act normal but I'm at a loss as to how to tell him he's done what I've asked. Maybe start associating thumbs up with a pat on the head? I just want a visual i can use so if Im not right beside him he gets the idea hes doing what i want him to do.
 

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Well, we have finally figured out our 11 year old male boxer, Zeke, has went stone deaf. I knew he was acting off, like when trying to correct him and he wouldnt listen. Also calling him inside, again he seemed not to listen. When he didnt howl at tornado sirens during the bad weather we had Monday as per usual, we decided he might be. We removed our other dog to block any visual signs something was happening and tested him when he was napping. The conclusion, he cant hear anything apparently. I think this has been gradual but as he's had his fur sister Lucy to be his hearing ear dog, so it wasn't obvious at first. I thought he might be going senile so its been a shock and a relief at the same time.

My problem is, how do you convey "good dog" when he does what we ask. When he is looking at you, he will follow point commands and generally act normal but I'm at a loss as to how to tell him he's done what I've asked. Maybe start associating thumbs up with a pat on the head? I just want a visual i can use so if Im not right beside him he gets the idea hes doing what i want him to do.
I'm thinking you can go either way. Either some new hand signal, might have to associate it with a treat 1st since this will be new for him. Or even a facial expression. Like a big smile with a nod. Its pretty cool how dogs also pick up facial expressions and owners don't even realize they are doing it.
Good luck!

Just to add I had a golden retriever that went completely deaf at the same age, and I didn't change anything because he would read facial expressions.
 

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Ok as I am want to say ... step one take a deep breath and "Chill." Things change life changes the good news is you still have your dog. :)

Your just gonna have to learn a new skill set to communicate with you dog. https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/pets/dog-training/living-with-a-deaf-dog?page=1

I just grabbed this site at random but it seems pretty good??? I always taught basic hand signals with my dogs anyway, all the basics "Sit/ Stay/ Down and Recall ... sigh but recall does not work if a deaf dog is not looking at you?? So there is that.

AT anyrate this is a strat and there are members on here with deaf dogs. :)
 

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My dog has been deaf since birth, she is now 16 months. So i think i could be of help in this department.

I use signs that are comfortable for us instead of the typical American sign language.

- I use thumbs up and a pat for good job and a treat in the begining. Her treats have always been just her kibble with coconut oil on it because we had to use so much at the begining of her training.

-I point at my eyes when i want her to look at me.

- with a open hand on the floor means lye down.

- i motion my pointer finger towards the ground for her to sit.

- i wave my pointer finger back and forth for no

The biggest thing is your face. They will instinctively start to read your face to adapt. So eg. Dont smile when your saying no.

We also still talk to her even throughshe has never been able to bear us. We feel it help our faces say what we want our hand to say.

Anyways i hope this helps.
 
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