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Deaf dogs can learn, too

Lynne Chapman of Sale, Greater Manchester, in the United Kingdom didn't see Snowy's deafness as a reason not to adopt her at an animal rescue shelter four years ago. Instead, she saw it as a reason to rescue the animal that had been abused by its former owners, who didn't know she was deaf, the Daily Mail reports.

Chapman has taught Snowy, the Staffordshire mix, several human sign language cues that she picked up from a friend. The dog now knows signs such as "come," "on my lap," "home," "no," and "food," Chapman told the news source.

The grandmother of seven says that one of her granddaughters comes around and teaches Snowy new commands that she learned from her deaf friend. The dog is now well behaved and follows all commands that she can see.

Training, whether using American Sign Language or a made-up sign language, takes patience, according to the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund. The organization recommends training a dog with food, since its sense of smell is still intact. Also important for training are "good dog," "no," and "watch me" signs. 
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