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Teaching Hand Signals To A Senior

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I didn't really know how to title this post


Milky Way is 12 and he is in pretty good shape other than normal age stuff like arthritis. Recently I've noticed that he isn't responding to sounds the way he used to. For instance he used to always hear the car door slam and would run to the door when I came home, he no longer does this. He used to hear me click his leash and he would come running down the hall like a nut. The vets said he can still hear as he responds to basic hearing tests like claps etc.... he just might not hear it as well as he used to. He doesn't seem scared or effected in any way and it's possible I may be making a bigger deal than I should.


Either way, I've decided to start using hand signals with him so that if he does loose his hearing I can still communicate with him. I've always kinda done this but I'm making a point to be very specific with my word and signals. I've taught him a few basic important things like " up", "come here", "go" " food" "back up" etc... simple stuff each thing I want him to do has a very specific hand motion.


What other things do I need to teach him? Am I being overly paranoid?

Alicia and Foster Yoshi ( pit bull) 

Always in my heart: WV's Milky Way 6/25/2000- 4/22/2013, Hank ( St Bernard/Boxer) ???? - 10/3/2017 and Sweet Pea (English bulldog)  2004 - 6/19/2019


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Guest mirthlesstroll

I think you're being proactive, not paranoid! The only thing I can think of is teaching him to look at/for you if you stomp on the floor. Then you can get his attention any time.

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Guest FreddyGirl

I adopted an 11 1/2 year old who was deaf. I taught him one, a waving motion to come to me. If he saw the leash, he knew what was nhappening, when he saw the others go to the rear door, he knew he was going outside. I bgot his attention by clapping my hands. they aer smart. Your guy knowing all those signals already proves it. Nice job.

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I'm glad to hear you're teaching hand signals, so many people don't and end up with difficulties. I've always done that, too. I do it younger normally as I find it a bit easier but these greys are so smart, I don't think it matters with them!


Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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You also might try speaking in an either higher or lower pitch. My Vet said that sometimes as their hearing begins to fade, they can hear one or the other better.

Edited by NevadasMom

Carol-Glendale, AZ

Trolley (Figsiza Trollyn)

Nevada 1992-2008...always in my heart

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You might also want to include "lie down" and "stay", both of which are easily taught by hand signals - in fact I find it's usually easier by hand signals.


You might want to see if he still responds to vibrations, maybe things like bells or even hitting one of the walls or stamping your feet. Also, if you have intercoms he might hear those better and you could train him that if he hears it come on to go into the kitchen ....


And, you are not being paranoid - I think a better name would be "being prepared".


Let us know if you find some great tricks or devices to use !

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