September 18-24 - Deaf Dog Awareness Week
Deaf dogs often present an interesting challenge to pet owners, and while some buy a brand-new puppy unaware that their baby is deaf others adopt an older dog, fully knowing that he or she is deaf. Deaf Dog Awareness Week aims to focus on all that goes unrecognized by so many, and it allows for a new perspective to be shown on deaf dogs, as the bonds formed with deaf pets can many times become some of the strongest bonds humans can comprehend.
Why are dogs born deaf or why do they become deaf?
Dogs often lose their hearing with old age, ear infections, trauma, or injuries but occasionally they are born deaf. Signs that your pet is deaf or becoming deaf is usually quite obvious to an average pet owner as you notice abnormal quirks in your pet such as: not answering when their name is called, not hearing their food being put in their bowl, not waking up when called and not responding unless touched. To properly determine whether your pet is deaf or not, a Brainstorm Auditory Evoked Response test must be performed by a professional.
Additionally, many assume that when a dog is deaf, they do not make sounds; however, it is quite the opposite as dogs still bark, growl, and snore whether they are deaf or not. Some breeds are more common to encounter hearing loss. These include, but are not limited to, German Shepherds, Jack Russell Terriers, Boston Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, and Poodles. Fun Fact! Hearing cells and coloration cells originate from the same type of stem cell therefore all-white dogs have a higher-than-average chance of being deaf.
How can you keep your dog safe if he or she is deaf?
ALWAYS keep your deaf dog on a leash, they are obviously unaware of what is around them. This means sounds that could indicate danger, like a car approaching from behind, cannot be heard. Often deaf dogs will also appear scared or anxious with small movements since they don’t know what direction they are coming from. Pet owners with deaf dogs will usually take heavier steps, thereby vibrating the floor, to try and alert their pet they are coming.
Despite their differences in hearing, deaf dogs can be just as obedient through training as other dogs - they just don’t have the same recall skills and require a different way of training. Treats are the best way to train deaf dogs. To learn more about deaf dogs, check out Deaf Dogs Rock - a blog entirely dedicated to educating people about deaf dog ownership. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to adopt a deaf dog of your own!
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for Pampered Pups’ next blog!
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