Dogs and humans are not so very different: there are an incredible number of breeds, personalities and idiosyncrasies, habits, and preferences. I have also written an article about visually impaired dogs. A reader asked via the social network how to deal with a puppy from her litter that is deaf.
That’s why I’m very happy to go into the topic, because of course deaf or hard of hearing dogs can also enjoy an excellent education and lead a very happy dog’s life. The most important ingredients for this are exactly the same as for hearing dogs: patience, love, and consistency. After all, it’s just the ears that don’t work as well as with the littermates – nose, legs, curiosity, love of cuddling, fur, paws, and joy in playing also work at least as well as with the dogs, whose ears help them in everyday life.
Causes of Deafness in Dogs
The causes of hearing loss and deafness in dogs are very diverse: The deafness can be congenital, so the world sees the light of day without hearing. Hearing loss can be caused by massive and delayed middle ear infections, hair, earwax, and water or dirt can also be the cause. Tumors can block or constrict the ear canal. In addition, as in humans, there is the classic age-related hearing loss. Poisons can also affect the dog’s hearing. This does not necessarily mean a poison bait, but drugs such as cytostatics can also be the cause. If the dog has been exposed to a noise explosion, for example abroad, acoustic trauma and tinnitus can occur. Ideally, the blast trauma will subside after the eardrum has recovered. Tinnitus describes a ringing in the ear, which is usually permanent.
How Do You Notice That Your Dog Can Hear Poorly or Not at All
In general, puppies can only hear from about the 2nd week of life, because that’s when the auditory canal really opens. With one-sided deafness, in particular, the dog usually becomes disoriented. You can test this by calling the dog a few meters away. You can also notice with the deaf dog that he neither jumps on the doorbell nor gets up when he is supposed to. Motor disorders can also be noticeable because since the ear is the organ of equilibrium, dizziness and thus swaying can occur and non-hearing dogs are often unable to swim.
How Do I Work with Commands and Commands?
You replace acoustic commands and orders with characters. Hand signals are thus trained. Your dog is neither inattentive nor stupid just because it is physically incapable of hearing sounds.
Deaf dogs are often afraid of losing the pack, so getting them used to walk off a leash is easy. This also gives your sweetheart self-confidence. You should definitely practice in a wide field, where please don’t disturb car traffic, but where other dog owners like to go for a walk with their fur babies.
It is also easier to train a deaf dog if it is kept as a second dog with a hearing, trained dog. Just because a dog can’t hear doesn’t mean it needs to be caged. However, he should be kept busy, and being jumpy is a wives’ tale in this respect. However, the fact is that deaf dogs are very alert and affectionate. Therefore, if you honorably choose a dog who can’t hear, you should morally prepare yourself for a snuggled bed partner, because a deaf dog needs a lot of physical contacts.
A flashlight can also be a great help in education. You can definitely call the dog back with this. The light from the lamp replaces the command “Here!”, for example, and only has an optical effect instead of an acoustic one. However, you must not shine the light in the dog’s eyes, but in front of him, on the ground.
If you would like to have another aid, secure yourself with a vibration collar. With this collar, you can give the dog the signal to roll call without having to hear it.
Can Deafness be Treated?
Hard of hearing can often be improved, but deafness can rarely be cured. Of course, it depends on the cause of the disease and its severity. There are now even hearing aids for dogs to make everyday life easier for them. In the case of inflammatory or tumor diseases, medication or surgery can sometimes help.
Which Breeds Have More Hearing Problems?
Dogs born with white fur are particularly at risk. A genetic disposition is known in particular in the Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Jack Russell, Australian Cattle Dog, and Dalmatian.
In principle, dogs that are deaf from birth should be neutered. If only because breeders tend to put them to sleep because such animals do not bring in any financial returns.