Peggy the Deaf Working Dog

Peggy came into our care after she could no longer work after becoming deaf.

Peggy was very timid and shy when she first came into our care, not liking to meet new people and keeping out of the way of strangers.

She found a foster home with one of our staff members who slowly helped Peggy to gain confidence.  As she bonded with her new owners, they fell in love with her and decided to give a forever home! Luckily, her new owners had experience with working dogs and shepherding so they set about teaching her sign language so she could continue doing what she loved!

They started by teaching her to look at them for hand signals, using repetitive positive reinforcement and instead of pairing a verbal command with an action, they’d use a physical hand gesture such as a thumbs up to mean “good girl”.

 

The process took time and it also took time for Peggy to learn that she was loved and was being praised but she was soon out and about alongside her collie siblings.

While the collie is “generally retired” she still goes out to work from time to time when her owners are working. When it comes to time to play, Peggy has to wear a GPS tracker as she runs around so enthusiastically and cannot hear her owners calling her back.

Peggy is proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks, and is a wonderful example of the capability of a dog – even if they do lose a sense. You can see Peggy in action in the video below!

 

adamPeggy the Deaf Working Dog