Fort Wayne family’s deaf dog gifted with specialized collar

Bentley with specialized collar

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A deaf Fort Wayne dog has been gifted a specialized collar that will allow his owners to get his attention with ease.

The Koscher family adopted Bentley when he was eight weeks old. The mixed breed dog is now three-and-a-half years old

He’s an adorable puppy who loves food and being loved. But because he was born deaf, raising him has been tricky. His owners have been teaching him sign language, but that’s not always enough to get his attention.

To help out the Koscher family, Summit Hearing Solutions has given Bentley a specialized, remote-controlled, collar. It vibrates so he’ll know when his owners want him.

“My fear is that one day he will get off leash or run out of the house and I won’t be able to call him to get him to come back,” said owner Kim Koscher. “So this will be a safe net for that especially and then also when we’re at the dog park when he’s out playing we’ll be able to get his attention to come back and check in with me to see if it’s time to go or if there’s other direction I need to give him.”

Training him on the collar will take a lot of work, though. Today, Bentley didn’t really react to the vibrations but in time, he’ll associate them with all things good because he’ll be rewarded with food and love every time he reacts to it.

“I think it’s awesome first of all,” said Allen County SPCA manager Stephanie Fries, who helped connect the Koschers with Summit Hearing Solutions. “This family is amazing what they’ve done with their puppy already. They have taught him so many things. A lot of people are a little nervous about taking home a deaf puppy. Well, they took him home. We didn’t really know he was deaf at that point because he was only 8 weeks old but the fact that they’ve worked with him so much, I’m super impressed with how much they’ve done.”