Green Dogs Unleashed training talented team of deaf dogs



TROY, Va. (WVIR) – Most dogs come when called, but two talented dogs at Green Dogs Unleashed are learning through hand signals.

The nonprofit is a special needs animal rescue and therapy dog program. It also has a team that competes in disc competitions.

“We start out by teaching them to catch rollers which is where we hold the disc to them and they run out and get it. We reward them for coming back. It’s all positive reinforcement training,” Director Erika Proctor said.

Finn Proctor has trained with two dogs, Rogue and Rumor, for the last two years and is now the number one Junior K9 disc toss and fetch handler in the world.

“Each week the scores are tallied against everyone else in the world that’s playing in their leagues, there’s teams, all over,” Erika said. “There’s handfuls of different countries that participate, and every week the scores are due on Thursday night and the rankings come out on Friday.”

“It’s an accomplishment, but what’s really good is that I get to spend all this time with the dogs,” Finn said.

However, there’s something different about these dogs.

“Finn actually competes with deaf dogs,” Erika said. “We are the only deaf dog team in the world.”

“It’s harder for them because you can’t call them back, but it just forms this bond between you and your dog,” Finn said.

Despite the challenge, Finn says he hasn’t seen a difference.

“I think it just shows that even with deaf dogs, they can still do everything a hearing dog can do. It doesn’t matter if they can hear you or not, they love you just the same, and they love playing with you just as much as any other dog,” Finn said.

The Canine Disc Toss and Fetch World Competition is happening September 11 and Finn will be competing with both dogs.

Copyright 2021 WVIR. All rights reserved.

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