The Hound of Silence
Deaf Dog Awareness Week is [DATES]
Think hearing-impaired dogs are somehow handicapped? Tell that to Ghost, the deaf pit bull mix who is now a Washington state narcotics detection dog! Once considered unadoptable and on death row at a Florida shelter, Ghost is an example of the contributions deaf dogs can make when given the opportunity.
Deaf Dog Awareness Week was created to not only celebrate the specialness of these pets, but to bring awareness to the condition and how prevalent it is among canines.
Just like people, dogs can lose their hearing as they head into their golden years. However, there are many breeds—such as Australian shepherds, Boston terriers, cocker spaniels, Dalmatians, West Highland white terrier and German shepherds—that have a genetic predisposition to deafness. While deafness can occur in any dog, it’s especially prevalent in dogs with white skin and fur.
Training a deaf dog is just like training any dog—it takes patience and consistency. There are also some significant benefits to having a pooch pal who can’t hear: they don’t get spooked by fireworks or thunder, they’re known to be more emotionally connected to their people, and can make especially good therapy dogs.
Deaf Dog Awareness Week is also a chance to make yourself familiar with the signs that your pet may be losing his or her hearing. They include:
- Ignoring loud noises
- Suddenly barking more than usual – if they’re deaf they can’t hear their own barking
- Frequent ear pain or infection
- Snaps at you or other pets when surprised
It’s even more important to be aware of these symptoms if you have a dog that is genetically susceptible to deafness.
Deaf dogs make wonderful pets and your local shelters and rescues can point you to wonderful dogs with hearing impairment that need a home. If you have a deaf dog or want to know more about training and adoption, Deaf Dogs Rock is a great resource.
We can also help with testing if you think your dog may be suffering from hearing loss—just make an appointment online or call us at [HOSPITAL TEL NUMBER].