Helping a Deaf Dog Settle into Your Home

Discover the top tips to make your deaf dog feel calm and comforted in your home.

Mar 3, 2024By Donna Hobson
helping deaf dog settle into your home

Some dogs are born deaf, while others lose their hearing over time due to a number of causes, such as chronic ear infections, injuries, or old age. A deaf dog can lead as meaningful and fulfilling a life as any other dog, but this will require you to do things differently.

Learn how you can make your home as comfortable as possible for a deaf dog, plus the things you can do to make them feel calm and relaxed. By following these tips, your deaf dog can live its best life alongside you in a nurturing environment.

Living With a Deaf Dog

dog lying on floor at home
Credit: Image by Fran • @thisisfranpatel on Pixabay

A deaf dog is just like any other dog; the only difference is that they can't hear what's happening around them. This doesn't mean they can't lead a normal life; it just means that you must make a few adjustments.

Your dog has no ego, so they do not want your pity. Expressing pity toward your dog could make them feel something is wrong with them and lead to depression or acting out.

Dogs are impressively adaptive creatures who can adjust and respond to several scenarios. With adequate love and care, deaf dogs can thrive in their living environment just as any other dog would. But they will need some help from you to keep them safe.

Put Safety First

dog curled up under cozy blanket safe
Credit: Image by Deborah Windham on Pixabay

The most important thing is to ensure your dog's safety and comfort, which you can do through a combination of adapting their environment, establishing clear signals, and setting up appropriate boundaries. Helping your dog settle into their home means making them feel safe. And to do this, everyone living in the house must follow the same behavior patterns.

Ensure that everyone in the home knows how to keep your dog safe. This means keeping windows and gates closed, providing them with a safe space they can retreat to without interruption, and removing potential hazards from their environment.

Another important consideration is that your deaf dog will not be able to hear many hazards. Letting them off lead in an unfenced area is a no-go as they cannot hear people, animals, or vehicles. Keeping them safe means that you assess their environment for any dangers before you allow them to play freely.

Even with the best intentions, accidents will happen, so it's a good idea to plan for every circumstance. Ensure your dog wears a tag complete with name, address, and a note to say "I am deaf," and have them microchipped. These measures increase the chances of getting your dog home safely if they escape.

Establish An Attention Signal

happy dog panting
Credit: Image by Manfred Richter on Pixabay

Finding a way to communicate with your dog is essential in making them feel at home. If your dog is hearing impaired, then calling their name is not enough. Instead, you'll need to adopt an attention signal that lets your dog know you want their focus. Importantly, this signal needs to be gentle, so you do not inadvertently scare your dog.

A gentle touch is a good way to get their attention but keep it soft and always in the same place (such as the shoulder or hind) to avoid startling them. Outside the home, lead control is probably the best method for attracting your dog's attention.

Visual signals are also an excellent way to attract your dog's attention; a blinking flashlight can catch your dog's eye at any time but works particularly well at night if you want to get them in from the garden. Laser pointers are another good option you can use throughout the day, but stay mindful that your dog doesn't become obsessive about chasing the light.

Training your deaf dog in various commands is the same as training a blind dog, or any other dog. The only difference is that you must get a little more creative in your methods, as vocal commands are useless.

Ensure They Get a Good Night's Sleep

puppy in bed sleeping
Credit: Image by Liam Ortiz on Pixabay

Adequate sleep is one of the most important things for maintaining your dog's happiness and health, and canine friends require more sleep than we do. Establishing a space where they can feel safe and calm is the first and most important step.

Select an area of the house where your dog can be alone. If they are frequently startled by people, they may become fearful and develop anxiety. When you're walking around at night, ensure you use a flashlight to alert your dog of your presence, and if you enter their space, use your attention signal to let them know you're there.

Many parents sing lullabies to help relax their children (both human and four-legged), but if your dog is deaf, you'll need a good alternative. The deaf dog lullaby involves a slow-motion hand wave that moves up and down. Just like the peaks and troughs of a soothing piece of music, these hand movements help to calm your dog and get them ready for sleep.

Donna Hobson
By Donna Hobson

Donna believes that keeping a pet is the key to a happy life. Over the years, many creatures have passed through her home - Sooty the cat, Millie the rabbit, Stuart (Little) the guinea pig, and Trixie the tortoise, alongside her pet goldfish, Zippy, who lived to the grand old age of 24 years! She currently resides with her black kitten Jinx and an aquarium full of fish and snails to entrance them both. When she is not looking after her pets, Donna enjoys researching and writing the answers to all your pet-related wonders.