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However, your dog’s hearing loss may be permanent, and this will call for a change in the way you communicate with your four-legged companion.
Giving your dog audible feedback becomes more difficult when your pet has hearing loss, since he won’t be easily able to hear a clicker or your voice. When you are walking your dog, a gentle, low pull, or a jingle on his leash can be a signal for him to reorient his body to face you. To teach your pet to look at you in response to the signal, initiate the stimulus, such as a light touch on his shoulder or a gentle pull on the leash, and move a treat out in front of his nose and up toward your eye level. The goal is to get your pooch to make eye contact in response to the first cue, such as the shoulder touch or gentle leash pull, without any extra direction from you. Once your dog has learned to make eye contact with you, you can teach him other hand signals for everyday activities.

The more you use visual and physical signals with your pet, the better he will understand what you’re telling him.
In the past 6 years, with your help, we have donated over $40,000 worth of orthopedic beds to more than 100 shelters around the country to help dogs like Booty (below) get off the concrete floors. Your dog’s change in hearing may simply be age-related, but there are a number of possible causes, including ear infections or a foreign body or growth in the ear, which need to be addressed by a veterinarian. This cue tells your dog to focus his attention in your direction so he can be led to do a behavior on a visual signal. Invent your own signals or use American Sign Language to teach your dog words like dinner, walk, car, bedtime and outside.
Changing the way your pet communicates will make his hearing loss easier on him — and on you.

A hearing-impaired dog needs to focus on his handler’s body to pick up signals for what he is being asked to do, whether it be a sit, a down, or a trick. Once your pet is readily giving you eye contact in response to the signal, begin to phase out the treat.
Commands your dog previously learned on a verbal signal will need to be retaught with a visual or physical cue. Move your empty hand, still shaped like it has a treat inside it, up toward your eye level; reward your dog for making eye contact.

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