We have a dachshund that is about a year old now. We found out at about 2 or 3 months that he was deaf stemming from him being double dapple. We have tried to socialize him as much as possible and he does really well with larger dogs. However, he has a lot of trouble picking up on social cues from other dogs. He wants to play, but the growling barking dog that he can't hear, doesn't.

Are there some best practices for helping a deaf puppy understand when another dog just isn't interested in playing? He's also rather cross-eyed so I'm wondering if he has trouble with reading body language too.

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    Dogs give off many more visual warning signals that they don't want to play or are uncomfortable even before they start growling. I would continue to socialize him as much as possible with different kinds of dogs and he'll eventually get the idea. Dogs are very good at picking up visual cues. – jeffaudio Jun 19 '14 at 12:25

I’d be curious to know where you got your dachshund (to learn about it’s early rearing), and how long you’ve had him at home with you. If your doxie is successfully socializing with larger dogs - fantastic. Just be sure that none are playing too roughly and putting him at risk of (back) injury.

You didn’t mention how well trained this dog is, but if you have trained your dachshund to respond to your visual or touch cues, reliably - you can probably teach him to recall from dog-dog interactions, fairly easily. With repetition, and significant reinforcement, he can learn that being called away from another dog is great fun! A lot will depend upon the working relationship you have with your dog - and an awareness of what is particularly motivating for him. With regard to your question about being cross-eyed and his visual acuity, please consider speaking with a veterinary opthamologist. it’s possible that a non-specialist can conduct some sort of testing, but I am not sure. Whatever visual ability he has is what he’s used to, so assume that he’s probably doing pretty well, since he seems to navigate social interactions with the larger dogs, as you said.

Your dachshund will probably do well with a select, core group of dogs with which he is familiar. He may never be a dog that can be thrust into a rowdy, more variable group that one might find at the average dog park. if he has one or two buddies, that may just fit the bill.

  • Thanks, I think we will start having training play dates and allocate some time to work on being able to recall him. He is fairly well trained and knows the usual gambit of sit/stay/shake/dance/etc and knows them through hand signals. We got him from some people out in the country who had accidentally had puppies whenever he was about 10 weeks or so. – zero298 Jul 4 '14 at 2:52

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