Deaf dogs are quick to respond to their people, highly social and eager to please. Because they have less distraction due to their lack of hearing, they pay rapt attention to facial expressions, body language and hand signals. Deaf dogs make stellar companions, and are capable of everything a hearing dog can do and more.
Congenital deafness is present at birth, and can be found in over 80 breeds. Dogs bred for coat color such as white, dapple or merle are subject to increases in the probabilities of producing deaf and/or visually impaired puppies when mated merle to merle, dapple to dapple, etc.
In many breeds, such as Dalmations, deafness is very common. Hereditary deafness is a complex genetic condition that is difficult to eliminate from pre-disposed breeds, even with careful breeding.
Conduction deafness can be caused by injury, cancer or other tumors, infection, or wax/debris blocking the ear canal. Repeated exposure to loud noise such as gunfire, trauma, and some medications may also cause deafness.
Deafness may be unilateral (one ear) or bilateral (both ears). Some dogs may be able to hear only high or low tones, or very loud noises.
Senior dogs may gradually lose hearing, often not noticed until they are also losing vision.
How can you tell if your dog is deaf?
-Sleeps through loud noises
Sadly, many people feel that deaf dogs should be euthanized, or view them as disabled. We believe that most deaf dogs can be stellar companions if trained and socialized properly. We’ve yet to meet a deaf dog that isn’t exceptionally smart.
Need more information or have more questions? See if your question is answered here:
Frequently Asked Questions
About Deaf Dogs
Here at Deaf Dog Rescue of America, we consider deaf dogs to be “specially-abled”. Many consider them disabled or slow to learn. They couldn’t be more wrong!