A dog owner has revealed how she gave her deaf pooches a new leash of life by teaching them sign language.
Nikki Engleman learned how to use sign language to tell her deaf bull terrier PeeWee and a second dog called Faith where to find treats.
In a video of the technique, the two dogs pay careful attention as she first of all indicates that there is a “treat” to be had and that the treat is in the hands of “dad” and then gives them permission to dash off and find him by signalling “go” and then pointing up the stairs.
Clever PeeWee quickly understands the three-word sentence and dashes up the staircase with Faith getting the message a second later, and dashing up there as well.
The bizarre video quickly notched up six million views in less than a day showing the incredible language skills of the 10-year-old PeeWee and the new arrival Faith.
The woman from Minnesota state, USA, said: “PeeWee is our rescue bull terrier mix that was found as a stray in Indiana. Faith is our 18-month-old foster puppy, although I’m unsure of her breed. Both are deaf.”
She said despite the disability the dogs had mastered the alternative forms of communication, saying: “PeeWee is a great learner and learns really quickly. Faith struggles with paying attention, as she’s a puppy, but is starting to learn. She takes twice as long to learn a new sign as peewee.”
She said she was pleasantly surprised at the great reaction she had to the videos saying: “Viewers seem to love learning about PeeWee and Faith and what they know. Many people have reached out saying they’re teaching their pets sign language or have learned how to start training their deaf pet. I’ve actually learned a lot from the viewers too, as I only learned sign language to train PeeWee.”
She added that so far PeeWee knows about 15 signs that include: “Water, treat, eat, potty, walk, car ride, sit, down, roll over, stay, come, no, good boy and dad.”
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