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Kamdeboodream Misty 21/11/2004 – 17/12/2005

Misty sleeping while her siblings playing – thought: “she can’t hear!”

Please see also the post on the 3 lovely Waravonfell Puppies still available of which one is Bilateral deaf and one Unilateral deaf.

Misty, deaf in both ears was one of seven puppies. I had, as an experiment, started “Clicker Training” my 2004 Litter of seven pups as soon as their eyes and ears were open i.e. 3 weeks old. As a result, I very soon realised I had a deaf puppy which was confirmed at Onderstepoort with a BAER test at seven weeks old. We immediately made the decision we would keep Misty.

Before I knew Misty was deaf, she had already demonstrated her willingness to explore and learn about her environment. We realised that Misty was using the action of my thumb on the clicker as her que and clearly had a quick and willing mind! My good friend and Clicker Trainer, Maxine Quinton suggested I switch the clicker to a small flashlight, which worked very well.

Misty, at the back enjoying the little pond

It takes living with a Cattle Dog to understand they own us and not us them! Famous for their work of livestock, too few humans are aware that their number one priority is us! Everything they do is due to their great desire to please us. Tapping into this extraordinary Cattle Dog priority will result in a superb work ethic and protection of their humans. They are the best bodyguards we will ever have.

When I discussed the early learning plans for my litter with Maxine, we decided it would be a good idea to do something constructive such as “Mini Agility”. I had young primary school children at the time, and we felt that if children could do Mini Hocky, Soccer, Rugby etc. Puppies could do Mini Agility!

Dog walk and “wait” training

I was astounded at the progress they made and once they understood how to learn, how very easy it was to teach them new behaviours. Within two sessions, where I lured each puppy individually into a sit, clicking as the little bums hit the floor and immediately offering tidbits of beef mince, all seven understood treats would be given along with my undivided attention (dog heaven). I now truly understood this was a way to share a language with our dogs.

Silver Flash, both ears hearing – unbalanced , not sure about the see-saw.

With deaf pups we get total focus as there are no audible distractions. They make wonderful trouble-free companions requiring only a safe environment in which they are not vulnerable to the dangers of the wheels of our motor vehicles. Unless they have been raised with babies and toddlers, I would advise that toddler-free homes are a priority.

Deaf dogs are ideal for Search and Rescue work and would also be good at Obedience, and rally.

Misty in front, at back her sister Stella, BAER tested a unilateral deaf girl

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