Simza is a double merle, or a dog that is the offspring of two merle colored dogs. This genetic mutation often results in various physical disabilities including but not limited deafness and vision impairment. Double merle dogs are often either dumped or killed because they can’t be sold as working dogs. These dogs are often an accident, created by people that do not understand the consequences of indiscriminate breeding.

Simza is both profoundly deaf and visually impaired. She spent the first year of her life on a chain in a barn, with limited human interaction. Because of this, she has trouble making human friends. She has gotten better at it, but her physical impairments can add a certain challenge to socializing her. Like most deaf dogs (and hearing dogs too), Simza learned hand signals with few problems. She wears special UV protection goggles when she’s outside in bright sunlight to protect her eyes from damage.  

People often overlook deaf dogs because they think they may be harder to train, but in reality, dogs often pick up hand signals easier than verbal cues. You can teach hand signals for various obedience commands, as well as tricks. Simza has two companion dogs that help her figure out what to do. She follows their cues for commands, as well as when it’s time to come in from the yard. 

#DeafDogsRock

 

~Jill Elston, LVT at Animal Care Sanctuary 

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