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Deafness in dogs can result as either an inherited trait or a result of environmental factors or injury.  Dogs can have hearing loss in one or both ears, however many deaf dogs are able to lead very normal lives!  According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, “Congenital deafness has been reported for approximately 80 breeds, with the list Evie Majorsgrowing at a regular rate (see list of Dog Breeds with Reported Congenital Deafness); it can potentially appear in any breed but especially those with white pigmentation.”

Overall, approximately 5 out of 10,000 dogs are deaf.  Dalmations are at the top of the list for deafness– In the US, 22% of Dalmations are deaf in one ear & 8% are deaf in both ears.  OFA also states “The disorder is usually associated with pigmentation patterns, where the presence of white in the hair coat increases the likelihood of deafness.”  Blue eye color, Merle color and pie-bald patterns & genes have also been associated with deafness.   Other breeds imacted by deafness are:

  • Collie
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Dappled Dachshund
  • Harlequin Great Dane
  • American Foxhound
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Bull Terrier
  • Samoyed
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Boxer

For dogs impacted by congenial deafness, the deafness usually develops in the first few weeks after birth while the ear canal is still closed. Other enviromental factors which can lead to deafness are chronic ear infections, wax build up and old age.

Evie, a 2 year old Boxer just started at Puppy Playground and adjusted wonderfully on her first day!  She responds to hand signals for her commands.  If you would like to learn hand signals for dogs, here is a great resource: http://www.deafdogs.org/training/signs.php

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