Every year during the last full week of September, the nation celebrates Deaf Dog Awareness Week. Many dogs are born deaf due to inherited defects and some lose their hearing from injury, illness or old age, this special week is dedicated to raising awareness and knowledge to improve the lives of deaf dogs.
Did you know the most common breeds to have hearing problems are Dalmatians, German shepherds, Boxers, Jack Russell terriers, Maltese's, toy and miniature poodles, and West Highland white terriers?
People often assume that deaf dogs are mute, when in fact all can bark; but they may not use barking as a main form of communication like other dogs do.
Deaf dogs are often white in colour, they are born without pigment and they are also missing important "hearing cells". These cells start from the same stem cells as pigment-producing cells. so If a dog has no pigment in its body, it's highly likely that it will also be missing the “hearing” cells, resulting in deafness.
Some potential dog owners worry that they won't be able to train a deaf dog. However, just like other dogs, deaf dogs can be trained as they are able to learn hand commands. It's true that their recall skills will not be the same as a hearing dogs and some owners prefer to keep them on the lead, but they are just as trainable and obedient.
Many deaf dogs and puppies find themselves in rescue shelters as their owners feel they are unable to care for them. This week is designed to highlight the rewards of re-homing and rescuing a deaf dog, they are intelligent, loving and can become a much loved member of the family.
Why not check out the The Deaf Dog Network for more information