I am trying to use sign language with her. She does know that when I shake my finger at her and say no that she needs to stop what shes doing and I use the no get down off couch by shaking finger in downward motion. If I pound on floor near her she feels the vibration and looks up at me. So my question to anyone with deaf pet is am I doing right things? And is there anything else I should be trying?
I know that Yahoo groups has an excellent group specifically for owners of deaf dogs, and also others for blind and diabetic dogs. Since these groups deal with specific issues faced by owners and their special needs dogs I'm sure you would find a wealth of information there. They are easy to find by doing a google search. There likely are only a few people on this forum who would have a lot of experience with a deaf dog, though I did just read a post by Abbylynne where she mentioned she has a deaf shelty. From reading numerous posts by her, it is very apparent that she is extremely knowledgable and always seems willing to help.
My apologies to the mods if this post is not allowed by forum rules. I enjoy this site tremendously and am not trying to create a problem.
I had an english cocker spaniel that went deaf later in her life. At that point in time, it was far easier to train her with different patterns of vibrations by banging my foot on the floor than it was to use sign language. The training was fairly straightforward, because she already knew some basic commands before going deaf.
If a dog is deaf from birth (or hasn't yet learned basic commands before going deaf), the training is likely to be more difficult, but is still entirely possible. I'd say use a combination of vibrations and visual stimuli. You'll definitely need to use vibrations to get the dog's attention, so it will look at you and wait for visual signals, but then visual signals should work fine.
The general idea when training an animal (or person) from my perspective (operant conditioning) is that three things happen:
1. Discriminative Stimulus (e.g., say the word "sit") 2. Behavior (dog sits) 3. Reinforcer (treat or praise, etc.)
A good thing about dogs (and people) is that they are very adaptive, and that almost anything that the dog can perceive can become a discriminative stimulus. So, if the dog can't hear, it is just as effective to use a vibration or a hand signal as a discriminative stimulus.