When Man’s Best Friend is Deaf: Pets That Are Deaf

Sometimes our loving and loyal furry companions are born deaf or become deaf due to injury. There is an extensive network out there to give more information to owners of deaf pets or those who are looking to adopt a deaf pet. 

The dog you see your neighbor walking down the street, or the cat that rubs against your leg and purrs, might be deaf. Yes, dogs and cats can be deaf too! Some breeds actually have a propensity for hearing loss. In the case of dogs, some people believe that if a dog is deaf, it should be destroyed because of the effects of the hearing loss; others have disproven this by successfully training deaf dogs.   

Teaching a deaf dog may present unusual challenges, but inventiveness can overcome many of them. For example, deaf dogs, when out on a walk, a laser pointer could be used to attract the animals attention. The DEAF web site addresses identification and training. Another article, “Why the Deaf Dog Barks” explains how an owner or breeder can identify hearing loss in a deaf dog.

 People who find that their pet is deaf or who are willingly raising deaf pets, have discussion lists that they can turn to for information and support:
            DeafDalmatians – As the name implies, this is a list for people caring for and raising deaf Dalmatians.
            DeafDogs – This is a broader, large discussion list for people who have deaf dogs of any type.

Many people who have deaf pets are proud of them and want to show them off! Profiles of deaf dogs and cats are plentiful on the web. One of those directories is DeafDogsAtlas. On this web site, subscribers to the DeafDogs discussion list (and others) post profiles of their dogs. 

If you are looking to adopt a deaf animal, About Deafness/HOH has a Frequently Asked Questions page, “Can I adopt a deaf pet?” for those who are interested in adding a deaf pet to their household.

There is an abundance of information, support and resources available to owners and breeders who discover that a pet is deaf, or knowingly take in a deaf pet. All of this can help you have a better chance of keeping and raising the animal with love and confidence. 

Other Resources: