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The Best Vibration Collars for Deaf Dogs

The Best Vibration Collars for Deaf Dogs

Dog training is not always easy. Training can be even more challenging when you have a deaf or hearing-impaired dog. Estimates indicate around 5-10% of all dogs in the US suffer from deafness, either in one ear or both.

Causes of Deafness in Dogs

Deafness in dogs can be genetic or acquired.

Hereditary deafness can be:

  1. Cochleosaccular
    • Most common
    • Associated with coat color patterns, usually with piebald or merle color gene
    • Seen often in canines with blue eyes and white coat
    • First seen between 1-3 weeks of age
  2. Neuroepithelial
    • Not associated with coat patterns
    • Usually impacts both ears

Dog with Ears Covered by Human Hands

Acquired deafness, meanwhile, can be due to many different factors.

  • Long-term inflammation – also called otitis externa, can result in blockage of the external ear canal
  • Excessive ear wax – can also cause blockage in the ear canal
  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Inflammation of the middle or inner ear

With the above, the hearing may return after the condition is resolved. However, there are also cases when acquired deafness can become permanent. Some of the factors that can cause permanent deafness are:

  • Trauma to the temporal bone of the inner ear
  • Loss or destruction of the fatty material surrounding nerve cells (myelin)
  • Toxic medication (like aminoglycoside antibiotics or aspirin)
  • Anesthesia
  • Tumors
  • Cochlear degeneration due to old age

Is My Dog Deaf?

How can you tell if your dog is suffering from hearing impairment? Dogs that are deaf in both ears from birth are easily spotted. They are usually harder to wake or do not come when called. Dogs with only partial deafness are more challenging to identify. They usually orient themselves towards the better ear as they typically have difficulty locating where the sound comes from. That means, as a pet owner, you must be observant.

Small Gray and White Dog Being Checked by Vet

If you suspect your dog may be deaf, contact your veterinarian. A professional can help administer tests and identify if your dog does have hearing problems.

Training a Deaf Dog

Many pet owners tend to give up simply because communicating with a deaf dog is daunting. However, with patience, commitment, and the proper dog training tools and techniques, your deaf dog can become the best-behaved and most wonderful pet.

How can you communicate with a deaf dog?

Cartoon Dog Being Trained to Sit by Human in Yellow Background

Dogs are very good at interpreting facial expressions and body language. Because of this, a dog with hearing problems can be taught to respond to hand signals.

One can opt to use signs adapted from American Sign Language or develop your own. The important thing is the sign is:

  • Distinguishable
  • Visible even at a distance
  • Used consistently

You can also get your dog’s attention in several different ways. Thumping your foot, for example, causes vibrations your dog can feel. You can wave your hands or flick a light on and off. While on walks, lightly tugging on the leash can signal your dog to stop or change directions.

One other option is using a vibration e-collar.

Using an E-Collar to Train Deaf Dogs

An e-collar is a dog training tool that is also called a remote training collar or remote trainer. An e-collar works by sending a signal from the remote transmitter to the collar around the dog’s neck, triggering the stimulation. The “e” in the name means electric. This is because most e-collars come with a static stimulation option. This is also why an e-collar is also known by another name – shock collar.

However, it is essential to note that an e-collar is not to be used as a punitive tool. Instead, it is used to correct unwanted behavior or reinforce already learned commands.

Dog Shock Collar with Orange Strap in White Background

Are e-collars safe to use? The effect produced by an e-collar is more akin to a pulsing, tingling sensation rather than spasms or physical pain. The static generated also pales in comparison to human fitness devices. So, used correctly and as intended, an e-collar for dogs is safe.

Is an e-collar safe for deaf dogs, though?

Again, e-collars are safe when used correctly. Deaf dogs may be more sensitive than their non-hearing-impaired counterparts, however. In this case, consider getting an e-collar with vibration.

How to Train a Deaf Dog with a Vibrating Collar

A deaf dog may be more sensitive as other senses compensate for being unable to hear. As such, when training using a vibrating collar, start slow.

  1. Get your dog acquainted with the e-collar by letting them wear it a few minutes at a time without using any stimulation yet. The goal is to get them comfortable with the e-collar first. Increase the duration of wear as your dog gets used to it.
  2. Once your dog is comfortable with the e-collar, introduce the vibration. Press the remote button to send a quick vibrating pulse.
  3. When your dog looks at you, give the visual command.
  4. Once they respond, give your dog a treat immediately.
  5. Repeat up to 15 times.

Repetition will teach your dog to associate the vibration with a treat. More importantly, it will teach your pet to look at you for the command when they feel the vibration. When your dog can consistently do this, you can get him on a longer leash so you can practice giving commands at a greater distance.

From here, you can slowly work your way to going off-leash in places with more distractions.

A few vital things to remember when training a deaf dog with a vibrating e-collar:

  • Do not attach a leash to the e-collar. Use a separate collar for the leash.
  • Make sure there are no distractions when you start training.
  • Keep training sessions short, roughly 5-10 minutes per day. Repeat 2-3 times a day.

How to Choose the Best Vibrating Collar for Deaf Dogs

Not all e-collars are created equal. When choosing one for your deaf dog, consider the following.

  • Make sure the e-collar has a vibration setting. While most e-collars today come with static, vibration, and tone, there are still models with only one stimulation option. So, pay careful attention when you make your purchase. Multiple vibration modes are a plus.
  • Choose the right size. Measure your dog’s neck to ensure you get a collar that fits well. A loose e-collar won’t be able to deliver the vibration consistently. An e-collar that is too tight may hurt your dog.
  • Choose an e-collar with a high-quality strap. Your dog will be wearing the collar for hours at a time. You want one that is safe, comfortable, and easy to clean.
  • Get an e-collar with a good range. You want to be able to get your dog’s attention even at a distance.
  • Make sure the e-collar is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about getting caught in a sudden downpour or taking your dog near bodies of water.
  • Check for other features. For example, some e-collars have GPS functionality, which helps locate your dog, especially if you travel with them a lot.

PetsTEK’s Picks for the Best Shock Collars for Deaf Dogs

Get dog training help from our picks for the best shock collars for deaf and hearing-impaired dogs.

  1. PG-300 Pager Only Educator by E-Collar Technologies

Pager Only PG-300 Educator Collar

 

Brand: E-Collar Technologies

Type of Stimulation: Vibration

Range: ½ Mile

Charging Time: 2 Hours

Battery Life: 40-60 Hours, Depending on use

Dog Size: All Sizes

Price: $189.99

The PG-300 Pager Only remote training collar does not have static stimulation. It only has tone and vibration. This Educator collar has 100 levels of adjustable vibration, allowing you to go to a higher level in highly distracting situations.

Read more about the PG-300 here.

Get your PG-300 Pager Only Educator by E-Collar Technologies here.

 

  1. ET-300 Mini Educator by E-Collar Technologies

ET-300 Mini Educator Remote Training Collar

Brand: E-Collar Technologies

Type of Stimulation: Static, Vibration, Tone

Range: ½ Mile

Charging Time: 2 Hours

Battery Life: 40-60 Hours, Depending on use

Dog Size: 8 Pounds and Up

Price: $199.99

There’s a lot to love about the Mini Educator ET-300 remote training collar. There’s a reason why it is arguably the most popular of all Educator collars. The vibrant yellow stopwatch-style remote is small enough to fit your hand comfortably but powerful enough to deliver what is expected. And if you’re not a fan of the yellow color, this e-collar also comes in black skin and an Educator Zen 300 variant. The ET-300 is PetsTEK’s Pick for the best vibrating collar for small and medium-sized dogs.

Read more about the ET-300 here.

Get your Mini Educator ET-300 by E-Collar Technologies here.

 

  1. SportDog 425X FieldTrainer Remote Training Collar

SportDog 425X FieldTrainer Remote Training Collar

Brand: SportDog

Type of Stimulation: Static, Vibration, Tone

Range: 500 Yards

Charging Time: 2 Hours

Battery Life: 50-70 Hours, Depending on use

Dog Size: 8 Pounds and Up

Price: $179.95

Hunting enthusiasts created the SportDog Brand. They pride themselves in having “field-tested” all their e-collars. Because these e-collars are pretty much hunting dog gear, you can be sure that the e-collar is durable and high-quality.

Read about the FieldTrainer 425X by SportDog here.

Get your SD-425X FieldTrainer here.

 

  1. PetSafe PDT00-16123 900 Yard Remote Trainer

PetSafe PDT00-16123 900-Yard Remote Trainer

Brand: PetSafe

Type of Stimulation: Static, Vibration, Tone

Range: 900 Yards

Charging Time: 2 Hours

Battery Life: Up to 40 Hours, Depending on use

Dog Size: 8 Pounds and Up

Price: $189.95

The PDT00-16123 has the longest range among PetSafe remote training e-collars and is mainly designed for medium to large-sized dogs.

Get your PetSafe 900 Yard Remote Trainer here.

 

  1. Dogtra 1900S Remote Training Collar

Dogtra 1900S Remote Training Collar

Brand: Dogtra

Type of Stimulation: Static, Vibration

Range: ¾ Mile

Charging Time: 2 Hours

Battery Life: 2-3 Days, Depending on use

Dog Size: 35 Pounds and Up

Price: $239.99

Dogtra is one of the most reputable, easily recognizable e-collar brands in the market. A Dogtra shock collar is always dependable. The 1900S is no exception. This Dogtra training collar comes with a sleek remote and an ergonomic receiver collar that’s waterproof and comfortable. With a range of ¾-mile, this Dogtra e-collar can go from your home to your yard to the local park without missing a beat. The Dogtra 1900S is PetsTEK’s Pick for the best vibrating collar for medium to large-sized dogs.

Read about the 1900S here.

Get your Dogtra 1900S Remote Training Collar here.

Bonus: We do not recommend wearing an e-collar for more than 10 hours a day. We also advise rotating the collar every couple of hours. A deaf dog will possibly use a vibration collar for most of their lives. As such, we recommend using a “comfort pad.” This will help redistribute the pressure of the collar’s contact points or prongs, making it more comfortable for your dog.

Check out comfort pads here.

You don’t need to give up on dog training because your pet is hearing-impaired. With patience, determination, the right tools, and lots of love, your deaf pet can learn to behave and follow commands as well as any other pet.

 

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