Jayde Davey is a dog trainer from That Dog in Wrexham with a passion for deaf dogs.
"Being a dog trainer, I regularly promote and talk about the importance of considering others when you’re out and about on your dog walk. I often will discuss the idea of popping your dog back on a lead when you see another dog on theirs, or not allowing your dog to approach one that’s on the lead, but I also high-light what a dog wearing a yellow collar, bandana or harness might mean; that the dog needs space.
Often, I have clients ask about lead slips for their nervous or reactive dogs, or even those that are over friendly and need help learning to ignore people. However I have used, and recommended the “Caution Deaf Dog” lead slips for working with my clients that have deaf dogs.
I specialise in training deaf dogs, I have a deaf dalmatian of my own called Sherlock. I don’t find that him being deaf limits his capabilities at all, he does agility, hoopers, scent work and trick training but it does impact people’s communication with him. I’ve found personally that people will often approach my ‘Disney’ dog and grab him without waiting to ask for permission, and as you can imagine, someone suddenly grabbing him when he’s minding his own business and when he doesn’t know that they are there, could be a recipe for disaster.
Now, my dog is not reactive, or aggressive, BUT if people were continuously startling him by approaching him without him knowing then that could easily create a behaviour issue. If I was working with an already nervous deaf dog then that again could just make the behaviour worse. I find having the lead slip acts as a way to interrupt anyone that’s potentially thinking of just suddenly touching him, especially if I have my back to them too. I also find it acts as a conversation starter. I LOVE promoting how capable my deaf dog is, and I find when people read the slip, they are often curious and will ask questions. Sherlock will do a few tricks for everyone and people go home with a better understanding of dogs that lack hearing - in some organisations and breed groups, deaf dogs are recommended to be euthanised, so anything I can do to raise awareness on their capabilities has got to be a good thing!To find out more, or to work on behaviours with your deaf dog, feel free to check out Jayde's website here: www.thatdog.org
So, the next time you see a yellow lead slip adorning a dog, remember that it's a beacon of communication, a guardian of personal space, and an emblem of advocacy for the incredible capabilities of deaf dogs.