Deaf Dogs Adopted by People with Hearing Impairments: 2 Heartwarming “Tails”

Mar 31, 2011
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If you have a dog, you have probably trained him or her to respond to your voice commands. But what if the dog can’t hear? Would you know how to train it?

Dogs with hearing impairments make perfectly fine companions, but many people come up at a loss in how to train a hearing impaired pet. That unhappy turn of events may lead to abandoning the dog. In some cases, people who are hearing impaired reach out and adopt these dogs like in the two heartwarming examples below.

Sparky, a one-year old deaf dachshund, found a new home at the Missouri School for Deaf. He received his eight weeks of training through a program that pairs rescue dogs with prison inmates reported the NYDailyNews. The inmates wanted Sparky to live with deaf students and the Missouri School jumped at the chance. The students added to the sign language Sparky understood. The little dog takes turns sleeping with different students and capturing their hearts. After Sparky stayed in Michael Miller’s dorm, the student reported knowing that Sparky could hear nothing just like him. “I feel that because I can communicate with him in signs that it’s special,” he said through an interpreter. The school superintendent says Sparky is a perfect fit, teaching the students responsibility, and helping to calm down students with behavior or social problems.

It is certainly not only people who are hearing impaired who can train a dog in the same situation, but these folks may have more patience, understanding, and big hearts.

I Can Has Cheezburger reported on another great and happy match between dog and owners. Alice, a deaf springer spaniel puppy, was abandoned at eight-weeks-old due to the pup’s disability. Yet in less than a month after The Blue Cross rescued Alice, the pup found a loving home. Marie Williams and Mark Morgan fell in love with Alice. The couple knows sign language, since they are themselves hearing impaired.

“We were thinking about getting a dog,” Williams said, “but when we saw Alice was deaf we just couldn’t believe it. She was so beautiful and the fact that she was hearing impaired just made us fall in love with her even more — we knew that she would fit right into our family. I feel so angry that someone abandoned her because in their eyes she was not ‘perfect.’  It goes to show with a little effort it is easy to cope with a deaf puppy — she has already learned the signs for several basic commands.”

Dogs are often abandoned when owners discover they can’t hear, but they are trainable. Is any dog truly “perfect”? Is any human? No one is.

Here is some information and resources collected through PAW volunteer Jackie Threatte and Dog Fancy and PetLife magazines. Deaf Dogs: Living with Dogs Who Are Deaf

Could you perhaps find the time and the room in your heart to adopt a hearing impaired dog? After all, a dog can be a person’s best friend. Can you say, “Awww, how cute!”

Image Credit: Dan Bennett & Jelene Morris

Author: Tessa



  • Becky

    I found an abandoned pit mix dog……almost completely deaf. I have her on several rescue sites but nobody wants her. Can you help me????? She’s precious but I can’t keep her, not b/c she’s deaf but I have no room & 2 other dogs. She needs a special person though…..becky6497@yahoo.com

  • Mindyleelyons

    I also have a deaffemale pit…she is about 6-8months old and is need of a forever home. I am her foster mom…would love to see her with someone who understands what its like to behearimg impaired. Please email me if interested mindyleelyons@yahoo.com