adoption

Deaf Dogs learned sign language

#Hogan began learning #American #Sign Language beginning in 1993 when he was adopted by Connie Bombaci.

Hogan and his #deaf sister, Georgia, learned over 65 signs and short sentences. Even their hearing siblings learned the hand signs which became extremely useful and valuable as the pups grew older and lost a great deal of their hearing. Due to Hogan's advancing years at the time of this video, he is no longer able to demonstrate as many of the known signs because of his physical decline.

The best advice I can give anyone with a #deaf #pup, child, friend, or relative is to establish a solid method of communication.  COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS!!!!!!!  I bought a pocket-sized book on American Sign Language.  I did not know #ASL prior to adopting my male, Hogan.  I chose human sign language because there are a great number of folks who know at least a bit of sign and it's already "invented!" There's no reason to reinvent the wheel.  Also, when I had to leave the pups with a sitter or the veterinarian, I merely had to leave the handbook or make copies of the most important #signs.  This makes it possible for them to talk with my pups without a great deal of instruction - critical in sudden situations!  My pups were also never left in a totally "silent" environment - someone could always talk to them which is comforting let alone wonderful.  They watch my hands and face for messages, and they love to be signed to.  They're actually quite intent.

I started through simple repetition. "Sit" is great to start along with "cookie."  Believe me - once your pup puts together cookie and the reward, you will be off and running!  Keep it simple and always use a sign for what you want.

Like any other pup, deaf pups are smart and they learn.  They are physical in nature and naturally watch for signals and body language.

Because my pups loved to ride in the car, I taught them the sign for car. When I signed "car," they ran for the door. "Kiss" was fun and going for a "walk" met with great approval.  "Potty" (I used the sign for toilet which is simply the letter "T") is great.  I signed it every time I took them out to go potty, and they knew I meant business, especially if it was late and I wanted to go to "bed."

It's as simple as using consistent repetition. Instead of using the spoken word, use the sign for the word that you want or you need you pup to respond to.

Be gentle, patient, and very positive.

Reward, never punish.  The more you reward, the more the pup will respond. 

Most important, you CAN do it!