Deaf dog Pip from Northowram scoops bronze citizen award

Deaf dog Pip who has earned a Good Citizen Dog Bronze Award, with owner Joanne Zalesinski, second from right, and trainers, from the left, Pauline Hage, Julian Hage and Anne Marshall, at St Anne's Church Hall, Southowram.
Deaf dog Pip who has earned a Good Citizen Dog Bronze Award, with owner Joanne Zalesinski, second from right, and trainers, from the left, Pauline Hage, Julian Hage and Anne Marshall, at St Anne's Church Hall, Southowram.

A deaf rescue dog from Calderdale is the first of her kind to win a bronze Kennel Club good citizens award.

Pip, an 18-month-old Whippet cross Staffy, of Northowram, scooped bronze, despite her disability.

Her trainer, Pauline Hage, who runs Daley’s dog training club, Southowram, said she enjoys the challenge of training dogs with disabilities.

She said: “It’s been a learning curve. We have had to use hand signals for Pip to be able to understand us.” She said a thumbs means a good job or a wag of the finger means she has been naughty.

Pip was rescued by Joanne Zalesinski, who said: “We liked the look of her and we already had another dog, a specific requirement of the dog trust, so that Pip could learn what to do in the home from our dog.”

Joanne enrolled Pip at Daleys nine months ago. She said: “We took her as a form of socialisation. We can’t let her off her lead outdoors, as she is deaf.”

Pauline added: “Training Pip to bronze level has not been difficult as Joanne is so enthusiastic and Pip just responded. I always knew she would pass with flying colours.”

Bronze success means sausage and liver treats for Pip. Joanne said: “She’s anyones friend for a bit of sausage.”