AN elderly border collie that went deaf and had to stop work can round up sheep again after being taught sign language.
Nine-year-old Peggy was handed over to the RSPCA when her hearing loss meant her previous owners could no longer keep her.
But when animal welfare manager Chloe Shorten took her in, she fell in love and vowed to get her back to the job she loved.
Chloe, 28, and her shepherd husband Jason, 34, began to teach Peggy hand signals for short simple instructions such as “away”, “come by” and “steady” — and the dog is now thriving.
Chloe, from Norfolk, said: “It’s amazing to see her with this new lease of life. She’s proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks
“We knew Peggy wanted to be working so we started the long process of teaching her how to herd and work without relying on voice commands.
“She reads our hand signals and body language as a way of telling what we’re asking for. So thumbs up means ‘good girl’.
“She’s still learning new things and improving all the time.
“The main thing for us was being able to tell her that she’s a good girl and reassure her she is going to be okay.
“It took her a while to learn that we loved her and to gain her trust but it’s been so rewarding knowing that she now understands our praise.
“But she’s such a happy little dog.
"She’s no spring chicken, and she is generally retired — but she loves going out to work with us and running around in the fields, helping out.”
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