Myths About Rescuing Deaf Dogs

Sadly, there are thousands of deaf dogs born each year. Some simply grow deaf due to age, illness, trauma or adverse reactions to drugs. Many uninformed people still believe that such dogs are brain damaged. Others believe that these dogs are more aggressive or un-trainable than “hearing” dogs. DEAF (Deaf Dog Education Action Fund) says these myths are groundless and perpetuated by breed and kennel clubs, trainers and other so called dog “experts.” Unfortunately, such groundless beliefs have resulted in the needless destruction of these poor animals. DEAF outlines a few of the many deaf dog myths below:

Myth: Deaf Dogs are Easily Startled and Aggressive

While it seems to make sense and is therefore rarely questioned, in truth, deaf dogs will adapt to their hearing loss and become comfortable with their surroundings. Deaf dogs can also be conditioned to wake easily in response to a gentle touch. Many owners will wave their hands in the air, flip a light switch on and off, lightly blow on the back of the dog, or toss a ball or small stone near him. A deaf dog that hasn’t been conditioned will not bite or attack, but simply react like any hearing dog would.

Myth: Deaf Dogs Should Never Live With Children

Like any other dog, if a deaf dog is well socialized to children, it can safely interact with them. The main consideration here is the dog’s history, its personality and specific breed characteristics. These dictate how the dog reacts to typical children: small, quick-moving, and unpredictable humans. In most cases, children must be reminded that dogs — deaf or hearing — are not toys and should be treated with love and respect. The right deaf dog can teach a child a lot about dealing with someone who may not have the same abilities they do. Properly instructed and motivated, children usually make great dog trainers.

Myth: Deaf Dogs are More Likely to Be Hit by a Car

This myth assumes that most dog owners let their dogs run around, unsupervised, without a leash. In truth, most owners of city-dwelling/suburban dogs will have their dogs safely on a leash when they’re outside. Most cities have leash laws that force dog owners to be responsible in this regard. The myth further assumes that hearing dogs have an advantage because they can hear an approaching car and jump clear before being struck. In reality, dogs don’t instinctively associate a honking horn, screeching brakes or on-rushing car with pain and injury. According to DEAF, ANY dog wandering off leash in a city with passing cars is at risk, and that even the best-trained hearing dogs have been known to run into a car’s path, especially if they’re chasing a cat or squirrel.

About DEAF—Worthy of Your Support

The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund provides education and funding for improving and/or saving the lives of deaf dogs. A publicly funded not-for-profit organization, DEAF depends on the support and donations provided by its members and volunteer staff. This support enables DEAF to lobby kennel clubsworldwide to allow deaf dogs to enter obedience, agility, and skill competitions under the same conditions as other dogs. DEAF also has a network to help deaf dogs find a loving, caring home. And it maintains a travel fund to help move deaf dogs to their new homes. If you would like to support DEAF, visit their Membership page to find out how you can help.



Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jayasri Amma
Jayasri Amma3 years ago

Thank you!

Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago

Thanks to all who care for a disabled pet.

Angela K.
Angela K4 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Vicky P.
Vicky P4 years ago


Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla4 years ago

Anyone rescuing a dog or any other animal with a disability is a hero!

Jim Ven
Jim Ven4 years ago

an informative article, thank you.

Darla G.
Darla G4 years ago

Thank you for an informative article. I learned a lot.

Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa4 years ago

Thank you

Beverly C.
Cathy K4 years ago

Thanks For Sharing This Info. --Our 13 1/2 year old Cocker Spaniel, "Sasha", has become more and more hard of hearing and now is almost deaf. --We're so thankful that she is with us because we love her so very much. She is Our Furry Child. We've always referred to her as "Our Perpetual Baby".