Deaf Sheepdog Learns Sign Language and Loves Rounding Up Sheep
A sheepdog in her senior years learned how to understand sign-language to do some work herding sheep.
Nine-year-old Peggy is a border collie in the UK, but after she lost her hearing, she was handed over to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals according to the South West News Service.
Her luck took a turn for good when she was adopted by Chloe Shorten. Chloe is an animal welfare manager for RSPCA Mid Norfolk, and was able to provide her a place to stay and receive much-needed training.
SWNS reported that the 28-year-old and her husband, Jason, started teaching hand-signals after they realized "she wouldn't be going anywhere."
With help from some other sheepdogs named Sid and Nora as well as a specialized trainer, Chloe and Jason were able to teach Peggy how to recognize hand signals and body language for basic communications.
"We knew Peggy wanted to be working so we started the long process of teaching her how to herd and work with a shepherd without relying on voice commands," Chloe told SWNS. "We used repetitive and positive reinforcement and instead of pairing a verbal command with an action, we'd use a physical hand gesture… For example, thumbs up means 'good girl.'"
Aside from being praised, Peggy now understands hand signal commands like "Stop," "Slow Down," or "Change direction."
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