Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mistaken Identity Turns Deaf Dog Unwanted

An English Bulldog is in middle of controversy between the owner and breeder in Pittsburgh, PA, about a dog they learn is deaf. In the article, it states, "... the dog was healthy when sold." When they said healthy, they really meant "perfect" in the breeding world. Many deaf dogs are healthy to begin with and their deafness often go undetected by many people.

Responsible breeders would get them BAER tested or people with common sense would identify a dog being deaf. BAER stands for Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response and it would determine whether or not a puppy is deaf. I am opposed to using this measurement to euthanize deaf newborn puppies as some AKC endorses in their statement.

The breeder said her veterinarian performed examination. Veterinarians can't tell the dog is deaf by giving it a physical exam and spending brief time with the dog. All veterinarians I take my dogs to don't know they are deaf until I tell them. One of the hints people can rely on is listen to the barking of a dog -- deaf dogs usually bark louder than hearing dogs as they can't hear themselves.

One of my dogs was purchased and then dumped after learning he was deaf. I know of some people who were tricked into getting a deaf pup but they opted to keep it anyway. Just because a dog is deaf that earns the image of imperfection, it doesn't make them unworthy. They lead a very happy and normal life just as deaf people do. Deaf dogs will always exist no matter what as it is genetic, even by responsible breeders. Genetic deafness do not only happen with animals but us people as well and our existence is NOTHING to be ashamed of.

I can't believe this went as far as getting court involved when there are more important things to fight about. As for this deaf English bulldog in the article that awaits decision from the court, I hope this deaf English bulldog is now in a good home who understands about living with a deaf dog.

Onto a happier note relating to a different deaf English bulldog, I met a deaf English Bulldog puppy from this owner of Chic Petique months ago. By the way, Pet Chic is a wonderful neighborhood pet store that specializes in the all natural and most healthy products for your pet. It is located in Philadelphia, PA. I go there whenever money permits and they offer many great things.

She knew about this site and met my deaf dogs but had no way to contact me to tell me about the deaf English bulldog puppy. Coincidentally, I stopped by her store and saw the puppy outside with her. She was so cute. She chased after the wheels and bit the wheels of a stroller that a mother was pushing with her baby in it.
The owner, also a rescue, was happy to see me and told me about this deaf puppy that a breeder gave to her at no charge, trusting her to find her a good home. She asked me for advices. While I'm not fond of any breeders, responsible or not, as there are still not enough home for the cats/dogs that are waiting for home, I am thankful for this breeder who neither chose to euthanize her nor deceive anyone about the puppy's hearing status nor just dump her at the shelter as some would.

This owner has 5 English bulldogs and 1 French bulldog that she adopted from shelter/rescue who all live with her at home. Another English bulldog with health problem that she pulled from shelter when someone abandoned him there. She lets this dog live out his life in her store. She has more than enough dogs and her parents, who has an English bulldog, wanted to adopt this deaf English bulldog. She said her parents are building a fence just for her in the Poconos, which I think is great.


  1. I own an English Bulldog puppy who is deaf. I purchased her from a breeder 5 weeks ago I just learned that she can't hear. I didn't want to purchase a dog from a pet store because I wanted my children to have a healthy, happy dog. I found this dog through another breeder and paid $2,200 for a 20 week old puppy. I was deceived! This breeder won't refund me the money. For someone how didn't own a dog for 20 years, it took 4 weeks to notice it....a breeder should have noticed it! I am very confused at this point. I don't plan to have another puppy to help our dog learn.


  2. I am sorry you have to go through this.

    Depending on who the breeder is and if it's a reputable one, I think you can report him or her to the AKC. Good breeders would give your money back. However, if it is a backyard breeder, that may be a problem as I'm not sure what you can do about it.

    I hope you would consider keeping this puppy and giving her a chance. They can lead a normal life, given that they are exposed to visual commands that put them on an equal footing as their hearing counterparts.

    Any reason you decide not to keep her, let me know because my brother has two neutered hearing English bulldogs, who are brothers, and have talked about the possibility of adopting a female English bulldog, even a deaf one.