Being deaf is no barrier to Bluebell’s learning ability; it simply means her trainers have to get creative. Using sign language and positive reinforcement training, they have taught Bluebell a range of skills.
“We have spent time with Bluebell in short 10 to 15-minute training sessions, using high value food rewards and sign language to tell her she has done a good job and a food reward will follow,” said Craig, adoptions attendant at the Home.
Being deaf, all our communication has been through visual cues and eye contact. Bluebell is very responsive to body language and facial expressions.”
So far, Bluebell has mastered:
“We’re also working on ‘lay down’ and ‘roll’, using a twisting fist motion,” said Craig.
“We have been using a thumbs-up cue to show Bluebell that she has performed the behaviour we have asked of her and a yummy reward is coming.”
“When Bluebell arrived at the shelter, we instantly locked eyes with each other and that was it. I think we both knew we were going to do some great things together,” said Craig.
“Bluebell’s personality is vibrant, inquisitive and super intelligent; she loves to learn and be with you. She is gentle, smart, fun and funny.
“Bluebell has a big personality that makes you instantly fall in love with her. Whoever adopts her is going to be rewarded with so much love. We will never forget her.”
Bluebell will make a wonderful addition to an adult home or family with teens, and she may be happy sharing her place with another friendly dog. She will thrive being allowed inside and getting involved in family activities.