Dog Trainer Shows ‘Truly Amazing’ Ways to Communicate With Deaf-Blind Rescue Dogs

People were stunned by the talents of disabled dogs after trainer Amanda Fuller shared heartwarming clips on TikTok

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The dog trainer communicates with deaf and blind dogs

A loving dog owner is leading efforts to change the way the world sees deaf and blind dogs, sharing heartbreaking clips of the unique ways she communicates with them.

When Amanda Fuller came across an article online about Keller, a deaf puppy who had been rescued from a breeder who planned to shoot her after discovering she couldn’t hear, she immediately knew that she wanted to give the little Australian Shepherd a home.

What vet tech Amanda didn’t know was how much Keller would change her life by inspiring her to dedicate her time to rescuing and training deaf-blind dogs.

Amanda, from Maryland, USA, had no experience caring for a deaf dog when she first brought Keller home – but she quickly discovered that the pup’s incredible abilities contrasted completely with all the negative information she had come across while researching the deaf. dogs.

Amanda was inspired by her own rescue Australians to set up a training program for deaf and blind dogs



After discovering Keller’s adventurous personality, discovering that the Aussie dog loves swimming and hiking while also being quick to learn new tricks, Amanda decided to help other dogs like Keller and help fight the misconceptions surrounding deaf and blind dogs.

Amanda, now 29, has adopted more dogs and now has six Australian Shepherds at home, five of whom have hearing or visual impairments.

Along with Keller, her other dogs Hamilton, Clementine and Canon are partially or totally deaf, while four-year-old Calamity is both deaf and blind.

Amanda has set up her own training program Thumbs Up Training , who specializes in teaching dogs that are deaf, blind or both. Named after the praise signal she gives deaf dogs, Amanda has learned to use inventive ways to communicate with dogs that can’t see or hear.

While she uses voice commands for blind dogs and hand signals for deaf dogs, Amanda has had to be more creative when dealing with both deaf and blind dogs, like Calamity. Harnessing one of the only senses still available to these dogs, Amanda uses tactile cues to train them.

“The possibilities are endless,” says Amanda. “Whether it’s a punch, a light hair grab, or a swipe, there are so many different ways they can be touched to mean different things.

Using hand signals or tactile commands, Amanda has successfully trained many deaf and blind dogs an impressive amount of tricks and commands, including her own beloved pack of Aussies at home.

Keller and Calamity each know about 50 tricks apiece – from spinning, flipping, and pawing to funnier commands like “footsies,” a tactile command Amanda taught Calamity that tells her to walk with her paws on. the feet of its owner.

“There really is no limit to what they can learn,” says Amanda. “It’s just about taking the time to communicate with them in a way that they understand.”

Amanda uses different touch commands to communicate with deaf-blind dogs



She shares videos of her smart puppies on her TikTok page @amandaandheraussies, where millions of viewers were amazed at the tricks Keller, Calamity and the others learned.

In a clip that shows how Calamity responds to touch commands to perform an impressive array of tricks, one person commented, “She and you are amazing! It makes my heart so happy, it made me cry tears of joy.

Another user simply said, “Really amazing.”

Amanda also co-founded Keller’s Cause, to help raise awareness of double merle breeding, which is when two dogs with a special speckled coat called a merle coat are bred together, which can usually lead to the birth of puppies with hearing and visual impairments.

Named after Amanda’s beloved first deaf dog, Keller’s Cause eventually stepped in to rehome deaf and blind dogs, and has since helped more than 100 rescue dogs find loving new homes. “It’s been really rewarding,” Amanda says. “We’ve placed a lot of dogs in really wonderful homes, and it’s been nice to see them thrive and complete people’s families.”

Amanda hopes to raise awareness of how amazing deafblind dogs can be



Amanda says having deaf-blind dogs around the house isn’t as different as many might think – dogs instinctively use smells and vibrations to pick up on daily activities, like knowing when it’s time to go for a walk or to eat.

She hopes to show through Thumbs Up and Keller’s Cause how wonderful deaf-blind dogs can be as pets, and urges people not to be discouraged from rescuing a dog because they can’t see. nor hear. “Disabilities are just what you make of them,” she says.

“For dogs born deaf and/or blind, this is normal. They have no idea that anything is different for them. They go about their normal lives, they play, they do all the normal things with dogs – because they don’t know anything else.

“It’s common for people to think of a deafblind dog and be sad about it – they don’t think it has a normal life or a happy life,” she adds. “But for the most part they live normal lives.”

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