In honour of Deaf Dog Awareness Week here’s the remarkable story of a deaf Border Collie Tekla who’s legacy has changed the lives of thousands upon thousands of people and dogs, helping them to understand each other.
In 2003, Finnish agility trainer Janita Leinonen and her six year old border collie Tekla were in peak form. But over a few weeks, Tekla's responsiveness started to falter and soon she stopped responding to even the most basic commands. One day she didn't even notice Janita arrive home. A trip to the vet confirmed that, for no obvious reason, Tekla had become deaf.
Janita had been handling Tekla using standard verbal commands, combining them with body language that would make sense to a person, but not necessarily to a dog.
Things had to change for them to continue playing agility
After months of observing and learning from Tekla, she started to understand what was going on in her dog’s mind, both in everyday life, and on the agility course. Janita realized that Tekla automatically understood a lot of her body language.
Soon Janita realized that all of her dogs had the same, natural understanding of human body language
Using that language made them faster on the agility course too! Janita was able to pinch off several seconds of their runs.
Janita knew she was onto something special. Deaf Tekla taught Janita to listen to her. From Tekla and Janita’s efforts grew the OneMind Dogs Method – and the results of the method speak for itself.
Watch dogs’ natural, first reactions to human body language
Deaf Border Collie Tekla taught us that connection between human and dog does not need words. We simply need to learn to listen. Every dog in the world naturally speaks this language and dog handlers have started to learn the language too.
Just imagine the difference it will make to your dog's life when you, too, start to understand your dog’s perspective.