ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Teaching a Deaf Dog Bite Inhibition

Updated on October 24, 2013
Deaf puppy bite inhibition training
Deaf puppy bite inhibition training | Source

Why is it Important to Teach Bite Inhibition to Deaf Dogs?

Why should you focus on teaching bite inhibition to a deaf dog? The fact is, bite inhibition is very important as it can make a difference between a nip and a serious bite requiring sutures. This is something that ALL dogs should learn, regardless of their hearing abilities. In a normal litter of puppies, bite inhibition is taught through the interactions of the puppies with one another and mother dog. This starts quite early, even before the puppies are sent home with their new owners at 8 weeks.

When the puppies play, it occasionally happens that one puppy may nip harder than expected. When this happens, the victim of the bite will likely yelp in pain and withdraw from the game. The message in this case is pretty clear: " Ouch! that hurt! You wanna play rough with me? And I won't play with you any longer." Time-out after time-out the biting puppy starts learning a very valuable lesson: if he wants to play with his litter mates, he must be gentle with his jaws. This lesson is further emphasized by mother dog, who will likely growl and move away from the annoying pup who plays too rough. Additionally, a sharp nip to the mother's teats often means mom will get up and leave, which gives start to the weaning process.

Problem is, deaf puppies won't hear their litter mates when they yelp in pain. While their litter mates may move away, the deaf puppy may not fully understand why. The yelp is what clearly tells the puppy he is being too rough. This may lead to a puppy who hasn't learned how to gauge the pressure of his bite. However, it's important to note that there are reports of many deaf puppies learning these lessons perfectly perhaps because they have learned to pay attention to the litter mate's body language and have learned from the timeout.

However, not all is lost when you end up with a puppy who hasn't learned good bite inhibition. After all, there are many pups who are singletons and orphans who also may lack bite inhibition because they didn't have litter mates or a mom to teach them these valuable lessons. In this case, it's up to you, the owner to roll up your sleeves and teach proper bite inhibition. This requires further refinement, as peoples' skin is much more delicate than dogs'. In the next paragraphs we will see how.

Teaching Bite Inhibition to Deaf Dogs

It's a common myth that deaf dogs tend to be more dangerous because they tend to constantly startle and bite. According to the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund, "Deaf dogs adapt to their hearing loss, and become comfortable with their surroundings. In the same way a hearing dog can be startled by a loud noise, a deaf dog can be startled by an unexpected touch."

Upon being startled, most likely a deaf dog will move suddenly or simply turn their head as an orienting response. If they were sleeping, they may appear disoriented. The truth is only very few deaf dogs become aggressive and bite. For a good part the chances for biting can be significantly lowered by working early in desensitizing and counterconditioning the deaf puppy to being touched unexpectedly. This means walking up behind the puppy and touching him and immediately popping a treat in the dog's mouth the moment he turns around. Treat after treat, the dog starts looking forward to being "startled."

The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund further adds that the precautions deaf dog owners take to not startle their dogs too much, is more and act of compassion rather than a fear of being bitten or attacked. A survey further conducted by The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund found that "owners of deaf dogs were having problems with our deaf dogs, other than the typical dog problems all dog owners face, like housebreaking, chewing or digging."

This means that if you own a deaf puppy, it's important to condition him that good things happen when "startled", but as with any dog, it's important to teach good bite inhibition, so should he bite one day, the level of damage will be minimal.

So how do you train bite inhibition to a deaf puppy? First and foremost, you use, gentle methods. Countless dog owners at times give up easily because they claim saying "ouch" has no effect, so they feel the need to resort to harsher methods such as grabbing the puppy by the snout or alpha rolling him. Fortunately, there are better, more effective ways that won't create a defensive pup that fears you.

  • Give your pup a time-out. If your pup bites too hard, get up quickly and turn around. You may need to exaggerate and be a bit more dramatic in your body language. Pretend you are performing in a pantomime and express your displeasure through your body language and facial expressions. Once your pup calms down, re-approach and repeat as needed.
  • Redirect biting to toys. Puppies have a need to chew and they tend to explore with their mouths. Make sure you praise your puppy when he stops biting you, and redirect him to a toy.
  • Teach your deaf puppy how to take treats gently. Your puppy will learn that they get treats only when they're paying attention and mouthing gently.
  • More tips can be found on the hub "training your dog how to bite softly"
  • Socialize, socialize, socialize.
  • Consult with a professional. In difficult, challenging cases, you'll want to seek the aid of a positive, reward-based trainer to help you out.

Alexadry© all rights reserved. do not copy.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      5 years ago from USA

      And it's unfortunate several deaf dogs are still put to sleep because it's assumed they are more dangerous and unable to live in a household with children;(

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      This is an important topic. Although I don't have dogs, I do have a deaf cats so I am attuned to the different needs of a deaf animal. They need different, more focused training and attention as well as patience and understanding.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)