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Deaf Dog Hopes To Find A Sign Language Friendly Home

A one-year-old deaf Boxer is looking for somebody who is prepared to honour his name, and give him the ‘Chance’ of a new home and the opportunity to continue learning sign language.

Chance, was signed over to the RSPCA Ashley Heath Animal Centre, near Ringwood, Hampshire, because his owners could not cope with his boisterous behaviour.

Now, with the help of a parade at an RSPCA gala day, the white, energetic canine, is hoping the day could be his chance to meet a potential new owner, wanting to offer him a home where he came spend the rest of his life and continue his training.

Ashley Heath manager, Sheila Rowe, said: "Chance’s original owners were aware of his deafness, but they had not been able to devote much time to his training, so when he came to us, he was like a big energetic puppy, with no real discipline. His deafness meant we could not train him with voice commands in the usual way, so we use hand gestures instead.

"Dogs naturally use their own form of sign or body language such as tail wagging when they are happy, raising their hackles when they feel threatened, and they do this far more than they use their voices. Therefore it is not such a big step for us to communicate with them using a new set of signs, which most dogs learn as part of the training process.

"Our animal care staff started the training process by encouraging Chance to look at their faces and keep his eye contact, which he does. However, Chance is still a young dog, and with plenty of energy to burn it will be a slow and ongoing process, which will need to continue in his new home.

So far, Chance only knows two commands, sit and stay. But staffs believe that with the right owner and lots of time – he may be able to learn more, like other dead dogs rehomed by the RSPCA.

Chance is looking for an active and experienced home, with an owner or owners who are experienced in caring for boxers or dogs with hearing problems and are committed to continuing his training.

He is good with others dogs but is not always aware of the dangers because of his deafness and always needs to be walked on a lead. Due to his boisterous nature any children in the home would need to be at least 11 and used to living with a similar dog.

Chance and a selection of other dogs available for rehoming will be appearing in a parade as part of The Friends of Ashley Heath, gala day and dog show. This takes place on Sunday 31 July at the RSPCA Ashley Heath Animal Centre, between 11.30am and 4.30pm.

Family fun

The Ashley Heath fundraising event includes novelty dog show classes, such as the dog with the waggiest tail; veteran dogs; and the dog most like its owner.

Rescue dogs will also be eligible to join in the regional heats for the ‘RSPCA Dog Of The Year Show’. The event is not a beauty contest and winners from regional heats, chosen for their general appearance, personality and the relationship with their owners, will go forward for to the national ‘RSPCA Dog Of The Year’.

At the gala day, there will also be a chance to enjoy lots of family fun, such as demonstrations of medieval fighting; western horse riding and falconry. Other attractions include music from Verwood Concert Band; the Majorwrecks majorettes; animal charity stalls; face painting; crafts and refreshments.

All the money raised by the event will be used to improve the welfare of animals at the RSPCA Ashley Heath animal centre.

There will be parades of some of the dogs available for rehoming, at the event, but no other public viewing of the other rescues animals.

Entry to the gala day costs £3 for adults and £1 for children 3-16. Parking is free.
Ashley Heath, manager, Sheila Rowe, said: "Chance is a typical and very excitable boisterous boxer who will need an extremely patient home with someone that can cope with his deadness and is dedicated to continue his training.

"Hopefully with all the visitors on gala day and before, we should be able to find the right owner for Chance and the day will also prove to be great fun for everybody who attends."