Deaf, but no dumb animal

Melissa Bruce of Clever Paws hopes to find ‘too cute’ Sassy a permanent home.
Melissa Bruce of Clever Paws hopes to find ‘too cute’ Sassy a permanent home. Darryn Smith

SASSY the cattle dog cross sits, drops, heels, stays and comes without dog behaviourist Melissa Bruce having to say a word.

Sassy is deaf and Melissa has trained the foster dog to obey commands using hand signals.

Sassy came to the Buderim-based dog trainer via Red Collar Rescue at Biggenden, west of Maryborough, where she had spent most of her life in a shelter.

She was sent to Melissa, who occasionally takes on foster dogs with special needs, in the hope some training might help her find a new home.

Melissa said many people were reluctant to take on a deaf dog but their fears were not necessarily well founded.

"A lot of people don't understand deaf dogs and think it's going to be hard to have one, but in actual fact, it's not," she said.

"It's not a case of whether it's harder - it's just different."

Melissa, who runs her own training business, Clever Paws, worked with Sassy between clients.

Sassy has made such an impression on Melissa that she is in danger of keeping her - unless she can find her a new home.

Melissa said potential new owners would need to have a fully fenced yard, preferably live on the Sunshine Coast, and be willing to work with her to learn the necessary commands.

Sassy is about a year old, desexed, vaccinated and Melissa described her as a happy and generally easy-going dog, fine with kids.

"She likes walks, she likes to go down to the beach. And she's a little bit too cute."

An adoption fee will apply to Sassy and will go towards Red Collar Rescue.

To offer Sassy a permanent home, contact Melissa via

Topics:  animals dogs hearing impaired pets

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