Deaf Dog Learns Sign Language From Prison Inmates

Illustration for article titled Deaf Dog Learns Sign Language From Prison Inmates

Sparky, a 1-year-old deaf dachshund, has been trained to understand sign language in a program that pairs rescue dogs with prison inmates, the New York Daily News reports. After teaching Sparky signs for "no," "sit," "lay down," "stay," "stop" and "heel," over the course of eight weeks, inmates at the South Central Correctional Center decided they wanted him to live with students who are deaf.

Sparky was adopted by the superintendant of the Missouri School for the Deaf, and now spends his days walking the hallways, learning new signs, and occasionally sleeping with students in the dorms.

Deaf Dog Learns Sign Language; Deaf Daschund Knows Signs For 'No,' 'Sit,' And Other Commands [N.Y. Daily News]

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A lot of trainers recommend using signs in addition to verbal cues when training dogs, deaf or otherwise. My last dog went deaf in her old age, and being able to tell her to sit or stay with just my hand signal was quite helpful.