White, Deaf Dogs: 5 Myths Corrected

Many dogs suffer ailments such as deafness and blindness as they age. Some dogs, however, are deaf the majority of their lives. Many of these dogs are the result of irresponsible breeding. Genetic abnormalities may result in a varied coat color that corresponds with the deafness. Certain breeds are more commonly found to have this symptom. Deaf dogs are far from handicapped. They can be excellent pets. Learn a little about common myths assigned to these precious animals.

They are Born Deaf

Dogs that are born with genetic deafness are not lacking the ability at birth. The receptors that allow for hearing die off within the first few weeks of life, however. The condition is caused by the absence of pigment cells in the ears. White, deaf dogs are the result of recessive genes on from both parents. This early loss of hearing is not related to any type of trauma.

They Don't Play Well with Other Dogs

Dogs rely a lot on body language to communicate with each other. They may not hear a growl, but can see the physical signs of the other dog's intentions. Some of these signs include the stance, action of the tail, and position of the ears. A play bow means the same to a deaf dog as it does to a hearing dog.

They are Difficult to Train

All dogs benefit from learning signs to go along with commands. Deaf dogs have the same ability to learn signs as hearing dogs. It is best to start by teaching them to look to the owner for instructions in the form of sign language. Tether training is used to teach a deaf dog to always look at the owner before considering an action. Deaf dogs are also very in tune to the expressions of humans. They can read emotions such as anger and happiness by watching the body language of their owner.

They Don't Bark

Do not be surprised to hear a deaf dog barking at a passerby or a squirrel in the yard. They are just as loud as other dogs. Barking is a natural reaction to various stimuli and is not absent in the life of a deaf dog. They may sleep more soundly, however, and often need to be woken gently so they do not startle. Many respond to vibrations, lights, and air pressure changes, making them great protectors of the home.

It's Okay to breed them

It is not a good idea to intentionally breed a deaf dog. Many deaf dogs end up discarded in shelters and on the streets due to their inability to be sold by breeders. Many deaf dogs are full breeds produced by irresponsible and greedy breeders. Boxers, Dalmatians, and Great Danes are a few common breeds affected by deafness. The affected puppies are usually white in color, as well. If a breeder has two white varieties of common breeds, they should be genetically tested before mating. 

Deaf dogs can be great pets and loving family members. They do not require any long-term treatment for the ailment. Proper training with signs is the best way to help these dogs learn and feel secure. Many deaf dogs can be found for adoption due to being rejected by breeders. It is important to take the time to understand these precious animals.