A homeless deaf puppy is hoping she won’t be overlooked by potential owners because she can’t hear.
Eleven-month-old Elsa found herself in need of our help to find a new home after being discovered straying, and she may have been left to fend for herself because she is deaf.
Jay Cruikshanks, Rehoming Centre Manager at our Tiverton rehoming centre in Devon, said: “We don’t know much about Elsa’s background or how she ended up as a stray – it’s possible she was unwanted because she is deaf.”
It’s obvious that Elsa has received very little training in her young life, so our team has been busy teaching her some sign language commands.
Pamela Barlow, Blue Cross Animal Behaviour Coordinator, explained: “Because she can’t hear us if we call her, we have to use our hands to get Elsa’s attention and ask her to do commands.
“The signs that Elsa knows are ‘sit’, which is a sign moving your fist from out by your side to your chin, ‘touch’, which is holding your flat hand out to your side, and she’ll touch it.
“The most important signal that she knows though is a ‘thumbs up’, which is our marker signal for her – much like you would use a clicker for a dog that can hear.”
Although people may worry that deaf dogs could be difficult to train, they only have one of five senses missing and are able to learn all the behaviours that hearing dogs can.
Jay added: “It’s amazing what a difference our training has already made to Elsa’s behaviour, just being able to make sense of the world with the help of some hand signals has made her a lot calmer.
"She’s going to make a wonderful pet and her new owners will have loads of fun learning how to sign with her.”
While having previous experience with deaf dogs would be an advantage for Elsa’s new owners, our team will help with a training programme and advice on how to care for a dog with hearing loss.
As well as learning hand signals, pure white pup Elsa also loves going for walks and playing all the time and would like to find a happy new home, possibly with older children, but without cats.
If you think Elsa could be the dog for you, fill in a homefinder form for her now.