Badger, a deaf dog at Second Chance Humane Society, needs a new forever home. (Courtesy photo)

Some dogs just can’t catch a break. Badger is such a dog. He came to Second Chance a couple of years ago. His history was a mystery, but he’d obviously had a rough time of it. He has a permanent bump on his head from a prior injury. That is probably why he is deaf as well. It didn’t seem to affect his cognitive ability, though. He is smart, learns quickly, and enjoys interacting with people and playing with toys.

He was adopted into a loving home, where he stayed for a couple of years. Then, Badger had another rough break. His mom passed away, and he found himself back with us at Second Chance. That was over six months ago.

Badger is now about seven years old and has the manners and demeanor of a mature dog. He loves squeaky toys, treats and cuddles (he thinks he is a lap dog). He knows some hand signals and quickly learns new ones. If you adopt Badger, he will keep you laughing with his lovable, goofy antics and adventurous spirit. He is a wonderful walking buddy and has great leash skills.

Badger will need an adult-only home where he can be the only animal so he can live his best life. He will do best in a home with someone who has experience with deaf dogs or is willing to learn.

There are lots of resources for learning to love and train a deaf dog. A few basic rules that will keep a dog like Badger safe and comfortable are making sure they can visually perceive you before you touch them, be consistent and gentle when waking to avoid startling him, and keep him leashed when out and about since he cannot hear traffic or other dangers.

The first step in training a deaf dog is teaching them to focus on you. Start by rewarding your dog with a treat when they voluntarily focus on you. This will reinforce the behavior and your dog will learn that paying attention to you is worth their while. You’ll also want to teach your dog a signal that means “look at me,” like a gentle touch or a flash of light. Always pair the signal with a reward after he looks at you and gives you attention.

After a deaf dog becomes tuned into you, training a vocabulary of hand signals will be the next step. You’ll need a clear hand signal for each action you want the dog to learn. It doesn't matter what they are if you're consistent. Experts agree it's as easy to train a deaf dog as a hearing dog. A deaf dog can be a great companion and will likely bond tightly to their person.

Badger has so much love to give. Do you have it in your heart to adopt this special guy? You can meet him at Second Chance Humane Society Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Feel free to contact us with any questions at 970-626-2273 or

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have served San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties since 1994. Our shelter is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Our Community Veterinary Services are available by appointment. View our shelter pets and services online at