Living With A Deaf Dog Is A Reward In Itself… Take It From Someone Who Knows

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 27, 2014

One deaf dog pawrent decided to spill all on what it’s like to be best friends with a pup who can’t hear, and boy is this little Chi cute! Don’t let misunderstandings influence your opinions on these fantastic dogs–take it from someone who loves one with all her heart.

Check her most frequently asked questions (and answers!) below.

“Your dog is deaf? I would have never known!”

This is the typical reply I receive when strangers meet Pixie, our sweet deaf Chihuahua, for the first time. She is a well-behaved, loving, energetic and smart dog, that just happens to be deaf.

pixie in bed

Feeling sorry for them doesn’t help.

When I learned Pixie was deaf, it was heartbreaking at first, and then quickly became heartwarming. You see, I was devastated that this beautiful little creature would would never hear the sounds of the world, never hear her own bark, and never hear the sound of me calling her name. But as the days passed and I researched more and more about deaf dogs, I realized that there was nothing to be sad about. She was born this way and knows no different, and I could bond with her like any other dog, I simply had to learn to communicate with her differently.

looking out window

Why are dogs deaf?

Dogs are deaf for many of the same reasons that humans are deaf. Many dogs are simply born with deafness, which is called congenital deafness. From what I’ve learned, deafness in dogs is caused by pigmentation, most directly in the ears. All puppies are born deaf, and then they develop their hearing. If the nerve endings in the puppy’s ears lack pigmentation, they will atrophy off and die, causing deafness.

smiley pixie

Isn’t it more difficult to train a deaf dog?

Honestly? No, it really isn’t. Now that I have two dogs, Pixie and her brother Blitz, I’ve learned that training a puppy is hard work, impaired or not. I think training Pixie was actually easier in some cases because I could keep her focused much more easily than I can with Blitz. Sure, I had to learn some sign language to talk to her, but after realizing she’d listen to signals, I started just making up my own that made sense to her and me.

pixie and blitz

Do they get along with other dogs?

Yes. Pixie absolutely adores other dogs, and other humans as well. She’s confident in herself and has no clue that the world has sound, and really doesn’t care. She’s more about having fun and living in the moment. Also, when we got Blitz, she was, and continues to be, an amazing mentor. Blitz learned sign language faster than verbal commands because Pixie was always showing him how! Now they’re just two peas in a pod.

peas in a pod

Sadly, many dogs get put down, or euthanized, simply because they are deaf.

As a deaf dog owner, I encourage you to ignore the misconceptions out there about deaf dogs and understand that there are a lot of deaf dogs who are sent to shelters, or even worse, euthanized, simply because they are hearing impaired. There are organizations out there, such as DDEAF and Deaf Dogs Rock that support the adoption, training and love of deaf dogs across the nation. Remember, deaf dogs are still dogs, and they’ll love you no matter what.


Do you have a deaf dog?

If so, I’d love to hear your story in the comments! And across social media, tag your deaf dog with #deafdogsrock to join Pixie and the every-growing pack of wonderful and loved deaf dogs.

Featured Image via @instapup_pixie

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 27, 2014

Nutritionist-crafted food for your dog's breed or mix.

Recipes designed for dogs' individuality



A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.