This week I have dedicated my blog to Deaf Dog Awareness Week. We don’t hear too many conversations about deaf dogs and with an entire week set aside to raise awareness it’s a good thing. It wasn’t so long ago when after sharing an awareness post about the plight of dolphins in captivity that a friend actually said, “Ok so now I’m aware of dolphins in captivity what good does that do?”. I took a second to organise my thoughts before listing why awareness days do make a difference. Here’s what I would say if asked about Deaf Dog Awareness Week.
Do you know why they’re deaf? Some dogs are born deaf through the breeding of two merle dogs. A merle dog is a pattern in a dog’s coat, often commonly incorrectly referred to as a colour. The merle gene creates mottled patches of colour in a solid or piebald coat, blue or odd-colored eyes, and can affect skin pigment as well. 25% of pups born from two merle dogs are born deaf and or blind. We class this type of breeding as an irresponsible practice. Another cause of deafness in dogs is the deterioration of hearing due to the ageing process and finally damage from ear infections and poor ear health. Now you’re aware of the causes of deafness and possibly take this information and not go to a breeder who breeds merle dogs and place more importance on your dog’s ear health.
Do you know why deaf dogs are overlooked in shelters? Deaf dogs are overlooked because they are viewed as broken, untrainable, have special needs, and not a whole dog. People read the word special needs instantly go to a place of oh no, that sounds costly, hard work, and not for me. They’re unaware that these dogs simply communicate in a different way than a hearing dog yet with sign language training and patience they live a full life, and they’re not broken. In fact, you’ll have a bond that’s so special you won’t even be able to explain it to other people. Now you’re aware that they can be trained, you’ll be able to communicate with them, not be so scared, and open your heart to a deaf dog.
Do you know how a deaf dog uses its deafness to its advantage? Deaf dogs say what thunderstorm? fireworks? I have no idea what you’re talking about. There’s no need to worry about loud bangs and strange noises when it comes to your deaf dog it’s just not a thing that would concern them. How about when your dog goes to a pet event? no problem there, barking dogs can bark all they want, it’s not going to phase your deaf dog. Now you’re aware how a deaf dog takes noise in its stride and is the easiest companion to take to any event.
Deaf Dog Awareness Week expands the deaf dog conversation, it answer questions, dispels myths, and provides valuable information for anyone who has a negative view of deaf dogs. My goal this week is to show deaf dogs in a beautiful light since they’re often in the shadows, highlighting why a deaf dog is a fantastic addition to your family, and by doing so, together we make a difference.
In honour of the thousands of people raising awareness for deaf dogs this week, I’d like to give away two of my Vegas Rock Dog TOGETHER WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE bracelets. One for the winner and a friend. Please leave a comment below about Deaf Dog Awareness Week to enter.
Watch how together we make a difference for deaf dogs in just one week.