WATCH: Signs are there for paw-fect pair - The Evesham Observer

WATCH: Signs are there for paw-fect pair

Evesham Editorial 21st Sep, 2017   0

A DEAF dog has been taught how to communicate with humans by a hearing-impaired volunteer at Dogs Trust Evesham.

Since joining the Wickhamford-based rehoming centre in July, crossbreed Lollie has attracted little interest from potential adopters, leaving staff concerned she may be being overlooked because of her deafness.

But kind hearing-imparied volunteer Phoebe Curtis has stepped in to teach Lollie how to understand sign-language signals so she can communicate with humans.

Lollie would be best suited to a home without children or other animals as she understandably does not like to be approached unexpectedly, but the team at the rehoming centre are keen to dispel the misconception that deaf dogs are hard to train.

“When I found out there was a deaf dog at the centre, I just knew that I had to meet her,” said Phoebe.

“Lollie already knew some hand signals so I started spending time with her and instantly felt we had a connection. She’s the most loving dog and adores human company.

“The methods used to communicate with dogs are the same for humans, so it’s perfectly possible to bond with a deaf dog and train them to respond to lots of different commands.

“I hope she finds a new family soon with someone who can give her the home she deserves,” she added.

Chris Slight, manager at Dogs Trust Evesham, said: “When Lollie came into us, we were so worried she’d be overlooked because of her deafness, as sometimes people feel they wouldn’t be able to cope with a dog like her.

“But deaf dogs can have a perfectly normal life and can be trained fairly easily using hand signals and positive, reward-based techniques.

“Despite never being able to hear someone call her a good girl, her lack of hearing hasn’t held her back, and Phoebe has proved that dogs like Lollie are able to develop special bonds with people if they communicate with them in a language they understand.”

Click below to watch Phoebe using sign-language to communicate with Lollie.

Call the charity on 0300 303 0292 for more information on adopting or fostering a dog.



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