September 20-26, 2015 is Deaf Dog Awareness Week!
Check out this great information from our friends at the ASPCA:
Do you hear what I hear?
It has happened so many times, a “bad dog” is abandoned at a shelter. Finally someone takes a minute to examine the dog and finds that he/she is deaf. Being deaf may make your dog appear to be disobedient or even defiant, when in reality they truly do not grasp the goals at hand.
Once a dog is diagnosed as deaf, their family can learn to communicate with them in different ways. While learning American Sign Language may not be necessary to communicate with your deaf dog, learning about and understanding how to communicate with a deaf dog will allow you and your dog to enjoy a much better relationship and reduce the dog’s chances of being abandoned or worse due to their inability to hear sounds like we assume all dogs do.
Why is it so difficult to recognize our pet is deaf?
Deaf dogs still bark. Maybe they don’t bark in the same way other dogs do, but they will still use their bark instinctively. This may result in inappropriate barking. Instead of getting upset, get your dog’s hearing checked!
What are the most common breeds that present with deafness?
Deafness is often found in “all white” dogs. It seems that “hearing cells” originate from the same cell family as pigment producing cells. Thus, the same deficiency that causes a lack of pigment may also reduce the dog’s hearing. Aside from pigment related deafness, there are some breeds that are diagnosed more frequently than others with deafness, the top 10 are:
1. Australian Shepherds
2. Boston terriers
3. Cocker Spaniels
5. German Shepherds
7. Jack Russell terriers
9. Toy and Miniature Poodles
10. West Highland white terriers
What is most important to realize is that deaf dogs are trainable! Just like other dogs, deaf dogs learn hand commands and tricks. While they will never have the same recall skills as a hearing dog, they are just as trainable and obedient.
Learn more about deaf dogs: