What does she hear?



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It is still not possible to ascertain exactly how much Isis can hear. She reacts to very loud noises: pans clattering, the sirens of passing ambulances and police cars, dogs barking close to her. She is very startled when I accidentally drop a bunch of keys on the stairs. When Gra. whistles a special tone, she knows that there is a treat in the offing and searches for him. When you watch her it is clear that although she can hear a little, she has no idea of the direction from which a sound is coming.

This suggests that only one of her ears is at all functional. We need two ears, of course in order to judge distance and direction.

If she is sleeping when I come into the house, she hears nothing even if she is lying on the door mat twenty centimetres away. This afternoon while she is sleeping on the futon, I stand next to her and call her name then call, “I…I…I…I” very loudly. She registers nothing. I clap my hands over my head and she wakes.

I am attempting to train her to come to me when ‘called’ in the house. Difficult when she is not able to see hand signals and has little useful hearing!

When we first begin playing the ‘wait there and then come for a treat’ game, it is very hard to communicate to her that I want her to come. She has previously learned to ‘stay’ and seems to think that she shouldn’t move until I come back to her.

Eventually, after much leaping up and down and making strange noises, I get her to come to me.

I need to experiment more systematically with a range of different noise making items like whistles, clickers, clashy and clangy things, and to differentiate more clearly between ‘stay’ and ‘wait’.

Any suggestions welcome.


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.com

This entry was posted in teaching my deaf/blind dog, training and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What does she hear?

  1. Amber L. says:

    Wish I had some suggestions, but I’m dealing with the same things. Emma (13 yrs old) goes upstairs to be alone and sleep, and often doesn’t respond to my yelling from downstairs. But if I stand at the foot of the stairs and stamp repeatedly on the bottom step and hit the railing with my hand, she “hears” that. On the other hand, she always seems to be able to hear the can opener from outside, and comes running, haha! Boo’s hearing is also iffy, but she can hear me if I really raise my voice. She also responds to vibration; if I come downstairs quietly, on bare feet, she often won’t stir, but if I clomp down with shoes on, that wakes her. And like Isis, when she hears something, it’s often hard for her to pinpoint the source.


  2. Kerry says:

    My first choice would be the type of whistle you see on one man and his dog, if she can hear this you will be able to have a variety of different sounds for different meanings. x


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