Picture of A Vibrating Deaf Dog Caller Collar <5$
Deaf Dog 0c deaf dog area.jpg
How do you call a Deaf Dog?

The joke say it doesn't matter he won't come anyway. But seriously, what if the dog (or whatever) is really deaf or the handler is mute? Then what? How can you get your pet's attention and alert them to stop or return to you?

About 3 years ago, my friend came to me with this dilemma when Jake, her very old Siberian Husky was loosing his hearing. She usually kept Jake in a large fenced property but when he decided to chase a rabbit, get loose, jump the fence, head onto the roadway, etc. He would be so focused or distracted that no amount of calling would get his attention.

I solved her dilema then with a Deaf Dog Caller Collar. The great thing about this idea is with a bit of training my friend found the dog would at least stop, change focus momentarily, look around for my friend and usually return, even if at his leisure for a treat.

For this Instructable, I built my second unit so it only took me less than 1 hour to locate everything I needed and less than 3 hours to finish the building.
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Step 1: Background to the Dog Caller Collar

Picture of Background to the Dog Caller Collar
Deaf Dog 00 Rusty collar detail.jpg
This instructable is a medium difficulty Instructable, about 1 to 3 hours building time, to convert a Remote Control Toy (a car) into a vibrating dog caller collar. Distance range for this to project is limited by the quality of toy used.

Further information can be fond at this website They sell manufactured vibrating dog collar units. Some of these units go up to a mile away but you may find this out of your budget. This site also suggests making your own unit much cheaper similar to what I did for this instructable. However they didn't write an instructable for it.

This simple remote control could be slightly modified to control many other applications.

If you build this with a light rather than a vibrating motor you can find your night wandering pet much easier, is just one example.

Note: 'Jake' has since passed and so 'Rusty' has volunteered to model the Deaf Dog Caller Collar. He says, "Please send cookies!"
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msminnamouse3 months ago

Thanks! One of my dogs needs this for manual check ins on hikes and I was hoping to not have to support shock collar companies just to be able to have a vibrating collar. I'm not able to buy shock collars anyways because of a pledge I took as an animal behavior professional. Now I don't have to break my pledge. :)

meanpplsuk1 year ago
Would it be easy enough to incorporate a camera flash for a non-deaf dog and have 2 functions. 1 for vibration to warn him and 2 for zapping him when he didn't mind... Please don't think of this as animal cruelty. I don't know if a camera flash would be too strong or if maybe you could adjust the intensity.
joerice014 years ago
Your half way to making a remote control dog LOL
harry5995 years ago
 Cute Doggie, my doggies tounge sticks out like that to!
hammer98765 years ago
The joke is "How do you call a deaf cat?" "It doesn't matter. He won't come anyway." 
vishious15 years ago
problem with dog collar devices is their size. I have small dogs and would love something like this to distract them when they are off lead. how about the thing that makes a cell phone vibrate?
arcticpenguin (author)  vishious15 years ago
Size can matter after all. But r/c toys now come in toy cars about 1-2" (won't likely find them in a junk store). If you are into electronics at all there are lots of motors, vibrators etc that can be wired. The only reason I used pre-built toys is the cost and that the modules are compatible.
Briguy95 years ago
Aww, as a fellow dog lover I'm sorry that your dog has passed. I think my dog might be on the verge of pushing up daisies, actually.
Briguy9 Briguy95 years ago
*One of my dogs (I have 3)
Delaney6 years ago
"The car must be the kind that does not run the motor unless or until you make the transmitter send a signal." This is not true at all... I actually just made a similar device using the above mentioned type. All it requires is a diode. Just some info. Cheers
arcticpenguin (author)  Delaney6 years ago
While I agree this is possible, I thought it would be too technically detailed than the project required. Where would you suggest the diode be placed in the circuit and what type?
Well first you have to find out which way the current flows when the switch is not pressed by using the diode at one of the motor terminals. The diode will be placed the correct way when the motor does not run until you press the remote button. soldier and you're done.
omnibot6 years ago
Cool concept. I like it. I've been thinking the same for our cat.
jdege7 years ago
And what happens when your dog goes swimming?

You need to take a serious look at how you're waterproofing this thing.

In commercial collars, the electronics is embedded in epoxy, the case is filled with silicone, and the openings are sealed with O-rings. Even then, a lot of users will wrap the entire thing in electricians tape.

Taping a collar

arcticpenguin (author)  jdege7 years ago
You're right. If your dog is a swimmer a better waterproofing/taping job the better. If it's a dry land animal then waterproof for rain. Judge according to your specific environment. With Jake it was farmers fields in summer and snow in winter.
yeah but i dont really think anything smaller than a car battery is enough to put your pet in danger at all, even then a "regular" car battery may not even do anything in relation to the size of the dog. The worst that can happen is the electronics can get fried. Just simply epoxy the damn thing shut and be done with it!
There have been dogs who have been very seriously burned by shorting electronic collars. There's a lot of energy in those little batteries. Don't believe me? Take a pair of NiCad 9 volts and plug them into each other, and see how long you can hold on to them. Make sure, though, that you do it where they're not going to land on something flammable when you drop them.
arcticpenguin (author)  jdege7 years ago
Keep in mind that there are collars made to actually shock dogs remotely to train them. They would likely have more 'electric juice' in them. The pair of 9v batteries demo is a bit off as well. My motor actually worked with 2 AA batteries but the holder held 4. In this case I would think the circuit would likely just short out and die. Nobody around here wants to wear this one in the bathtub, especially me. A will agree about some of the power of a 9Vdc battery though as I've put one in my pocket that also had a few coins. It does give off enough heat to burn skin.
"A will agree about some of the power of a 9Vdc battery though as I've put one in my pocket that also had a few coins. It does give off enough heat to burn skin." I've done that as well. The looks you get when you suddenly go; "Ow! My pocket is burning!" lol
There's more than twice as much energy in a AA as in a 9V. Compare the mAh ratings:

9V * 220 mAh = 1.98 Wh
1.5V * 2700 mAh = 4.05 Wh

And the question isn't whether you're going to jump in a bath with it on, but whether your dog is going to roll in a puddle or run through a sprinkler. You can't tell your dog to stay dry, and your dog can't take the thing off, should it start to burn.

dniloc2cv6 years ago
That xtra cell phone that can be set to vibrate if we have the xtra cash to keep it activated each month. Good battery life an with Xtra battery just swap out.
great idea! big Q...what is the range? i have deerhounds they can cover a lot of ground fast! i can't:-( also i have issues with them being barky at others in the car, they have trashed the interior, aargh! a buzz may remind them of manners;-) some days a zap! would also be handy though.
arcticpenguin (author)  amicus curiae6 years ago
Good point. The range is totally dependent of the quality of the RC toy. If you use a cheap toy like I did, single function speed only, it may work for 100 yards or so. If you pay more, as in higher end toys you could likely go 1/4 mile plus possibly even 'non-line of sight'. If you go Used you can use a beat up toy as long as the motor and transmitter works, thus it's rather inexpensive. Disadvantage is that with new, distance, sophistication and power adds to the cost. Advantage of sophistication is you could likely modify slightly to have multiple functions ie, buzzer to alert the dog, bell to hear the dog if you can't see him, and even a light to find the dog in the dark or watch where he is going. Good luck.
smokehill6 years ago
An excellent instructable, and should be very helpful. We do dog rescue, usually about 30 dogs, most old or otherwise unadoptable, but we always have a few Dalmatians, and at least half of our older ones are deaf. With our fencing, safety isn't an issue since most are never going anywhere else. However, we picked up a 4-month old deaf Dalmatian puppy last week, really great & quite adoptable, so we're starting on some hand signal training soon. This should make it MUCH easier and give her new owners, eventually, a really great tool. Your instructions are PERFECT. Now I just have to scrounge up an old RC toy somewhere and get to work. Preferably a small toy, since she's still a puppy. Many thanks!
bqbowden7 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
arcticpenguin (author)  bqbowden7 years ago
Thanks, Interesting that your icon pic is a horse. My thinking is that it might have an application there as well. Hopefully, the buzz/vibrate wouldn't spook him too much. Would be interested to know. I've now found that there are RC microbot cars sold rather inexpensively and these parts would be smaller by nature.
The buzzing shouldn't bother a horse except perhaps initially for a very spooky horse. The electronic dog training collars we use for hunting dogs, or for other types of training, were initially invented for horse training, by a horseman, Rexe Carr, but for horses. His collar training for dogs is basically the "industry standard" now. My wife learned how to use the collar from Rexe Carr, after he had adapted it for dog training, and was still teaching a few classes for pro trainers. For some things -- like getting a dog to stop chasing cars, or other dangerous activities at a distance -- nothing else will really work. However, using it isn't a job for amateurs unless they read extensively first. We've never used it on our horses, but I know that tens of thousands of people have. There is probably a lot of info out there in books or the Web, to give someone an idea of how to introduce this sort of thing to a spooky horse. In theory, though, this should work fine for them, especially since it isn't even a low-level "shock" (buzz might be a better term), but just a vibration .... the point being just to get the animal's attention.
YES! My little Bobby (Short for Bobble Head ... he's special.) is completely deaf. I looked at retail prices & they're expensive! Needed a DIY option! <3
Yeah, I thought about the size factor. Def have to go with a tiny little somethin' or other.
arcticpenguin (author)  no lol today6 years ago
Cute dog. With his size you'll likely need a smaller version, therefore smallest toy you can find. There are some micro-bot cars (don't know what kind of range) available for about $20-30 new and I see no reason it won't work. Good Luck
'lil Bob
Briguy96 years ago
What is a project without it (duct tape)?

It's just not a project at all. (see math formula below)

Whole buncha tools + some tech stuff - duct tape = ?????
Briguy9 Briguy96 years ago
pickford786 years ago
If your dog has a larger amount of hair and doesnt feel this try using a lead weight with a odd shape instead of the cut gear.
Inventive, potentially life-saving idea! It could spare some owners of deaf dogs from heartache. Rusty is an adorable model. Of course, I am biased because he resembles my dog.
Thanks for the kind words. It could also work well for a deaf owner, I'd think. Email me anytime.
Elric7 years ago
Great project... Now all I need is a deaf dog! %-)
pieman1237 years ago
nice one my dog hates I mean loves it
You should consider changing the title of this one. The point is that you made a collar for a deaf dog, not that you used a RC car to do it, right? Something like "Vibrating Deaf Dog Collar"
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