Deaf animals aren’t much different than any other dog or cat, and they are wonderful four-legged family members. Their deafness in no way reduces their potential to bring joy to your life and become a loving companion for your family. Instead of communicating by voice, we simply communicate with sign language. As long as you can come up with a visual command for it, there’s really no end to what your deaf dog or cat can learn. Emma has done a few different dog sports, and most of the time, she “listens” better than our three hearing dogs!
Deafness in animals can be congenital or acquired through trauma, drug reactions, or old age. Deafness is more common in white animals, though any animal can be deaf. Some breeds, such as Dalmatians and Boxers (like Emma), are more prone to deafness than others.
A lot of people want to feel bad for Emma (or any deaf animal) – but don’t! Her life really is quite normal. Heck, we forget she’s deaf most of the time! Having a deaf pet does have it’s benefits though:
- When we open a bag of chips, she’s not always right on our heels.
- We can sneak in/out while she’s sleeping in her crate, and she rarely knows (unless she feels the vibrations of our footsteps).
- She doesn’t get scared of thunderstorms, fireworks or vacuum cleaners.
- She’s the only one not barking like a crazy one when the doorbell rings.
- Barky neighborhood dogs aren’t a distraction for her when she’s outside on a walk or doing her business!
For more information on deaf pets, feel free to ask us any questions, or visit http://www.deafdogs.org.