Pre-school trainer Jo Le Page and her household welcomed a Spanish Water Dog pet named Rafa this previous June however quickly realized there was one thing completely different about him. The fluffy white pup didn’t reply to loud noises, even the shrill sound of the smoke alarm.

While the remainder of the household needed to return Rafa and search for a brand new pet, Jo had different plans. She googled signal language for canine, and “it opened up a whole new world.”

Screenshot through YouTube

Rafa is now seven months previous, and Jo has taught him 9 signal language instructions, together with “sit,” “stand,” “watch me,” “spin,” “give paw,” “lie down,” “come,” “stay” and “safe,” which includes him strolling underneath Jo’s legs, turning round, and awaiting additional instruction. The intelligent pup mastered all of this in simply eight weeks!

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A Differently-Abled Dog

The Le Page household, who stay on the British island of Guernsey, found their new pet was deaf inside a day of bringing him house.

“He wasn’t responding to any noise and he wouldn’t wake up when we came in,” Jo stated. “He didn’t respond to loud drilling noise or the smoke alarm going off.”


Screenshot through YouTube

Despite his listening to incapacity, Rafa had already discovered to depend on his different senses. Jo observed that he studied his environment intently, selecting up on visible cues within the absence of auditory ones.

“Rafa would turn his head when other puppies heard noises and would follow all of them,” she stated. “He was always good at following cues of other puppies.”

Being a white canine, Rafa was seemingly born deaf. As the AKC explains,

“Cochleosaccular is the most common cause of deafness and is associated with coat color patterns. It is usually seen in dogs with the piebald color gene or merle color gene. It can cause deafness in either one or both ears and is seen more in association with blue eyes and a white coat. This type of deafness can be first seen between 1 to 3 weeks of age.”


Screenshot through YouTube

An Important Lesson

While deaf canine might be tougher to coach, Jo was up for the problem.

“Our initial thoughts were that it would be hard or impossible to train a dog who can’t hear,” she stated. “We thought it would definitely be impossible to drop his lead on a walk. Education and training has proved that all of our fears were false.”

Rafa proved to be an distinctive scholar. He was wanting to study and extremely attentive to toys and treats for a job effectively accomplished.

“The training is all done with hand signals. Thumbs up are used for praise,” Jo defined. “You can’t use hands in a negative way, so showing something to be unacceptable is difficult.”


Screenshot through YouTube

The pup’s unbelievable progress in simply eight weeks proves that deaf canine can do something listening to canine can, albeit in another way. Jo says the expertise “has been a big education for the whole family.”

 “This is only the beginning of his journey and we just take it a day at a time,” she stated.

Watch Rafa and Jo in motion!

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