Sign language is no longer the preserve of humans and apes, it seems, as one clever little Staffordshire Bull Terrier has managed to turn his life around with a unique form of communication between him and his Human.
Ivor, a 10-month-old Staffy, has been deaf since birth and from the earliest days of his life has been rejected by five different families because of his very particular needs.
He ended up in the care of the RSPCA where it was evident that the pup had trust issues because of all the rejection.
After a period receiving the love and care he needed, he was adopted back in December by Ellie Bromilow and her family where they found not only was he sweet and adorable but has also now learned several pieces of sign language.
Speaking to the Express newspaper, Ellie said:
“He’d already learned the sign command for ‘sit’ and ‘come’ from staff at the RSPCA centre, but now he knows a lot more like ‘lie down’, ‘stay’, ‘all gone’ and he’s learning ‘roll over’.”
“When he gets the sign for ‘walkies’ he gets so excited. We keep him on a long lead and, if he’s looking, he’ll come to you when you raise one hand in the air.”
His new owner went on to say that Ivor isn’t really any different to any other dog with regular hearing – they still chat with him like any other owner would, and that he has an amazing sense of smell.
The RSPCA is encouraging anyone to adopt a deaf dog, with the benefits being very rewarding.
Natalie Heaton from West Yorkshire’s RSPCA told the Express: “Deaf dogs can cope extremely well and rely on their other senses to help them navigate and understand everything.
“However there can be challenges with deaf dogs because of their hearing problems.
“They often bark a lot and can get quite frustrated, but Ellie seems to be managing this well by keeping Ivor mentally and physically stimulated and satisfied.
Ellie concluded, telling Indy100 of her Staffy’s success: “Ivor is brilliant, a very bright dog that picks up new signs quickly and he loves to please – there are so many dogs just like him out there that deserve another chance with a loving family.”