Success Story: Deaf German Shepherd gets a second chance
When this couple adopted a lovable, deaf German Shepherd (GSD), no one could have prepared them for the destruction that ensued. Because of his severe separation anxiety, he was using everything as a chew toy: the couch, items in the home gym room, walls and molding, carpet and dining room table legs. What they didn't know until we got there was that the real cause of his poor behavior was not his lack of hearing but their other dog's frenzied state of mind rubbing off on his new brother. Luckily we were able to help them restore harmony in their home by addressing both dog's issues at once, as a pack.
First, we started them off by teaching the Respect Walk. We noticed that their rescue was actually very good while walking but their other GSD was a bit of a nut once she got outside on the leash. The owners had given up walking them entirely because she would constantly pull and also try to lunge and chase after cars as they drove past. Fearful of getting themselves or the dogs hurt because of these behaviors, they stopped taking walks together. Thankfully they had a treadmill!! We immediately went to the treadmill and trained both of their GSDs on it. Both pups were very happy to have a way to let out their pent up anxiety and energy.
Once each dog was accustomed to the treadmill, we began to work on the deaf dogs separation anxiety. He hated his crate! It was no problem to get him re-introduced to the crate. By simply moving the location of his crate and showing him that the crate was his "safe place", he began to realize it wasn't just somewhere he went when his family was leaving. At this point, we noticed that a lot of the deaf dog's anxiety was actually stemming from their other dog! She was extremely anxious and paced the house constantly, never sitting still. We showed the owners how to work on teaching her a "Down, stay" so she could just relax in the house instead of frantically trying to control her owners every movement.
The deaf dog also had a little fear of new people that we showed the owners how to overcome. We taught them "door control" so that their dogs would patiently accept a new person coming over and not go into a "puppy rodeo" all over the house. Previously the deaf dog would hide behind the owners or growl and using "door control" helped make the owner's new expectations very clear and he complied very quickly.
These owners had a lot on their hands with one GSD being overly anxious and spastic and the other deaf and in fear. Now, they know how to conquer all these issues and consistantly work with both of their dogs in a calm, loving way the dogs will respond positively to. With no more anger and frustration in the house., they can all understand each other and make each other happy. The deaf dog is now crated without issue while they are away now that he can love his crate instead of fearing it. We love staying in touch with the owners so we know that everyone is happy and living in harmony and even after checking up with them a few times, everyone is doing great! Thank you to the owners for giving this amazing pup a second chance at life and for allowing us the privilege of helping their home be unified.