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Training Special Needs

Training Special Needs

At Canine Path we have worked with deaf, blind and other special needs dogs for years.

We own deaf dogs and have trained many owners to work with deaf, blind or other special needs dogs. For example, deaf dogs are very capable and other than hearing, can do everything other dogs can do including becoming a service dog!.

Special needs dogs process their environment differently. Because they have limited hearing or are completely deaf, they need to learn to visual cues and commands. We communicate with blind dogs primarily using voice commands.

Training Blind Dogs

Blind dogs usually have excellent hearing!  Our main approach to teaching a blind dog is to use his hearing and sense of smell to teach him various cues and commands.  Blind dogs are usually very attached to their owners and are eager to please. Additionally, we use vibration collars (not shock) – collars that emit a silent vibration to assist a blind dog. We teach the dog how to respond to the vibration (and reward accordingly)!. Even if a dog is older and/or is losing his eyesight – we have found that they can adapt well to their environment, especially with help from a loving owner.

Training Deaf Dogs

Deaf dogs usually have excellent eyesight and a great sense of smell!  Our main approach to teaching a deaf dog is to use his eyesight and acute sense of smell to teach him various cues and commands.  Deaf dogs are usually very attached to their owners and are eager to please. Additionally, we use vibration collars (not shock) – collars that emit a silent vibration to assist a deaf dog. We teach the dog how to respond to the vibration (and reward accordingly)!. Even if a dog is older and/or is losing his hearing – we have found that they can adapt well to their environment, especially with help from a loving owner.

Other Special Needs

Dogs that are blind and deaf, have limited mobility or other physical issues can still be trained!  Once we understand what a dog’s physical limitations are we can develop a plan to address his training and behavioral issues.  Dogs are incredibly resilient and don’t dwell on their limitations. Instead they focus on their abilities, and we are happy to design a training plan that works with a dog’s limitations and addresses what they can do and can learn!

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