In just eight weeks, a deaf puppy was able to learn sign language and can now sit, spin, and lie down by following hand signals.
Deaf Puppy Has Learned Sign Language In Just Eight Weeks
In just eight weeks, a deaf puppy impressively learned sign language.
Jo Le Page of Guernsey attempted to train her seven-month-old Spanish Water dog, Rafa, without using words after learning that the canine was deaf.
The dog has so far mastered nine distinct signs, including sit, stand, watch me, spin, give paw, lie down, come, stay, and safe, which is indicated by the dog approaching Jo before turning around and remaining in place.
Using Jo's signal, he can also take a toy out of his owner's hand.
Jo wants to keep teaching Rafa new signs, therefore the training hasn't ended yet.
Jo gives the dog a thumbs up to show encouragement whenever he successfully decodes one of her signs.
However, according to Rafa's preschool teacher, there is no hand signal when Rafa performs a task incorrectly.
Jo didn't know Rafa was deaf when she originally got the dog in June of this year.
She soon realized, though, that Rafa didn't appear to mind the loud noises.
Jo told the paper that she could tell something was wrong when he didn't react to loud drills or the smoke alarm going off.
But even after learning of Rafa's impairment, Jo and her family agreed to take care of him.
The encounter, according to her, "opened up a whole new world." Jo said that she hoped the dog would end up as a therapy dog.
He is currently practicing his calmness around wheelchairs and walking sticks while navigating unfamiliar areas.
“He could potentially become one of the first deaf therapy dogs,” she said.
She added: “This is only the beginning of his journey and we just take it a day at a time.”
“Most people wouldn't have bothered. Our initial thoughts were that it would be hard or impossible to train a dog who can't hear."
She believes that by sharing Rafa's story, other dog owners will be motivated to keep their handicapped pets.
Jo continued: “We thought it would definitely be impossible to drop his lead on a walk. Education and training have proved that all of our fears were false.”