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Old 11-14-2013, 06:10 PM
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meepitsmeagan meepitsmeagan is offline
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Default Clicker training with a deaf dog

My rescue has a plain faced deaf boy. Not going to lie and say I'm not considering foster to rescue-ing him. Something about this little dude just calls to me.

So, tell me.. is clicker training a deafie even possible?! Obviously they can't hear a clicker, but could you use a vibration collar or something by conditioning it the same?

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Old 11-14-2013, 06:21 PM
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I know people who have used vibration collars for this or have used a lift turning off and on (flashlight)

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Old 11-14-2013, 06:26 PM
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A girl runs a deaf Border Collie in agility ..she uses a hand signal for his 'click' It's a L-shape. Very neat!
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:12 PM
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Karen Pryor has mentioned using pen lights for other species (like fish), so I'm sure it would work for a deaf dog as well. I vibration collar would work better for more long distance things.

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Old 11-14-2013, 09:32 PM
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Buzz is deaf. He was hearing before, so had a good base, but I used a little flash light for close up marking (clicking) and a laser pointer for distance marking. I thought I'd need a vibe collar but I didn't. I just had to have surfaces to point the light at. I also learned that lighting a specific place on his body worked the best for us. I played around with his foot, upper leg, and ultimately settled on below his eye on his cheek.

There aren't a lot of resources out there, and I don't have much video but it is absolutely possible. He's learned quite a few more behaviors since being deaf.

Buzz is deaf in this trial (that doesn't sound right, like he'd just forgotten his hearing ears at home or something, haha)

And a shaping session using the light (not that it's very good, mind you).
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by yv0nne View Post
A girl runs a deaf Border Collie in agility ..she uses a hand signal for his 'click' It's a L-shape. Very neat!
This. There is a deaf jack russel at my training facility and her owner uses a thumbs up for a click. She tried a little led flashlight, bit this was easier and more successful for her.

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Old 11-14-2013, 10:00 PM
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I know some people use opening and closing their hand as a marker. Basically, a simple visual marker like that or a pen light or aformentioned ones work well.

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Old 11-14-2013, 10:11 PM
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We had a deaf corgi in one of our agility classes before. The woman worked a lot with eye contact when she was a small pup, and used a thumbs up as a marker.
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:55 AM
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I find too many hand signals to be awkward, so I use a led keychain flashlight as a marker when I'm training my deafie. Once a behavior is learned, I simply give her a thumbs up or a pat.

But I find the flashlight-clicker-marker to be super effective, and easy, and she caught on just as fast as any hearing dog with a clicker. It's plenty bright enough for her to see out of the corner of her eye, so she doesn't even have to be looking at it. So it helps a lot with precision.

I use a vibration collar as an equivalent to a recall, or an eye attention cue. Also very effective, and hasn't failed us yet.

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Old 11-15-2013, 03:35 AM
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you could pair a few things and use what works best at the time.

Like a light, a vibrating collar, a and signal, a physical touch.

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