When someone decides to get a dog, they have options, such as the pet store, through a breeder, or from a shelter. Have you seen a deaf dog before? Deaf dogs are usually not found in pet stores or from breeders because they’re considered “undesired”. Unfortunately, deaf dogs are usually left at shelters. Did you know September 24th through the 30th is Deaf Dog Rescue Awareness week? To learn more about rescuing deaf dogs, or rescuing dogs in general, we reached out to Kristina Rinaldi, the Executive Director for Detroit Dog Rescue.
Detroit Dog Rescue is the city’s first and only no kill shelter. So we provide homes for homeless, abused and neglected animals, and provide alternatives to euthanasia.
We come across so many deaf dogs at Detroit Dog Rescue and just in shelters in general, because, a lot of people give them up because they don’t know how to train them. Deaf dogs are seen as a bite risk because if you approach them from behind and they don’t know you’re coming, you could scare them. If you don’t train them properly, they can become unruly. But we see a lot of deaf dogs, dalmatians in particular, have a genetic disposition in them to be deaf. The same thing with white pitbulls or white American bulldogs, so there is a large deaf population of dogs. We see them unfortunately surrendered because people don’t wanna take the time to help them. But they’re very easy to train through sign if you can learn...if you can teach them to make eye contact with you, they are so easy to teach with sign. Simple signs like going like this for ‘sit’ or going like that to ‘bark’, um, or ‘speak’ as we call it, it’s so easy. I particularly love training deaf dogs. It’s a challenge sometimes but it’s so rewarding and you end up with some of the most amazing dogs.
when you’re beginning to train a dog, they...well a deaf dog can’t hear you but any dog doesn’t understand what you’re saying to you use hand gestures, um, to signal what you want from them. And always positive reinforcement, so that when they- when they do the correct action, you are giving them something positive whether it’s a treat or affection that they want.
If you see a stray dog on the street at home, the most important thing is to not startle you don’t wanna runaway, make a lotta noise you also don’t wanna chase it, it’s probably scared, uh just remain calm and quiet, walk away slowly and call Detroit Dog Rescue if you need some help.
If you wanna learn more about Detroit Dog Rescue, if you wanna volunteer, if you’re- you know if you’ve been touched and want to donate, more importantly if you want to adopt, check out our adoptable dogs and all of our information at DetroitDogRescue.com.