Meet Jelly Bean, the deaf canine contender for World's Most Amazing Dog title
A deaf Ontario dog is in the semi-finals of the World’s Most Amazing Dog competition, an interactive Facebook Watch show where dogs compete for a US$100,000 prize.
Jelly Bean, a three-year-old Australian cattle dog who lives in London, Ont., can catch and pass a ball with his front paws and jump on a stranger’s back. He follows the instructions of his handler, Melissa Mellitt, by sight because cannot hear.
“He is so highly intelligent,” Mellitt told CTV London. “He has no idea that he’s deaf. He doesn’t care. He’s just as happy as any other dog.”
Mellitt adopted Jelly Bean from the Deaf Dog Rescue of America when he was five months old. He has since gone on to travel across Canada as a professional stunt dog and works with Mellitt as an assistant to help rehabilitate fearful dogs.
“We knew that he had this potential,” she said. “This is exactly what I knew he was going to be.”
Mellitt hopes that Jelly Bean’s performance in the competition will help shatter some of the stigma around deaf dogs, who are often believed to be ill tempered and incapable of being trained. Mellitt said breeders euthanize many of them at birth, but she believes that Jelly Bean’s inability to hear is his “cool factor.”
If Jelly Bean wins the competition, Mellitt said that she plans to give half of the winnings to the Deaf Dog Rescue of America.
Viewers of the World’s Most Amazing Dogs competition get to vote on who should move to the finals.
“I think he could go all the way,” Mellitt said.