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Despite this being partially true (only 65-70% of Dalmatians have normal hearing), this was not the reason why they were initially brought to fire houses. Unfortunately there are a good number of poorly-bred Dalmatians around, mostly produced when unknowledgable pet owners watch the 101 Dalmatians movie and think it might be fun to make spotted puppies and sell them for big bucks. The reason is because Dalmatians are prone to deafness. While deaf or partially deaf Dalmatians should not be used for breeding (as they are exponentially more likely to produce deaf puppies) there is no reason whatsoever why deaf Dalmatians or any other deaf dogs would not make great pets. The answer is yes, they can be either fully deaf or deaf in part. In the early 1980s, it was discovered that some Dalmatians hear in one ear but are deaf in the other. Other breeds with higher incidents of deafness include the bull terrier, English setters, Australian cattle dog, the Catahoula Leopard dog, whippets, and Parson Russell terrier (formerly known as Jack Russell terrier.) Dogs with a lot of white in the coat may have hearing problems. A common legend has it that Dalmatians were chosen because they’re deaf and therefore, the loud siren won’t hurt their ears. Dalmatians are willful and independent. In their book on ear diseases in dogs and cats, Sue Paterson and Karen M. Tobias note that dalmatians with blue eyes have a higher rate of occurrence of deafness than dalmatians in general. DEAF DALMATIANS HEAR WITH THEIR HEART. Deafness can be passed down from all Dalmatian bloodlines as a polygenic trait, and it’s said that around 8% of the breed is born completely deaf, while 20-30% are born with hearing in only one ear. Dalmatians seem to be the most at risk, he says, with 30% of puppies born deaf in one or both ears. So dalmatians, but also dogo argentino, English bull terrier (when mostly white)… mind, not all: some, like pastore maremmano abruzzese (who is only completely white) don't. Dogs with larger patches of black are less likely to be deaf. … Continued. It’s easy to get the two mixed up, but it’s deafness that Dalmatians are predisposed to, not blindness. Are All Dalmatians Prone To Deafness? 6 Apr 2020 Clicker Training and Dogs Less well known is the fact that they can suffer from a genetic defect that causes them to spend their lives in silence or with impaired hearing. In fact, it is estimated that 10-12% of all Dalmatians are deaf. If you’re thinking of getting a Dalmatian or already have one, then you probably want to know if they can suffer from deafness. Dalmatians are the breed most frequently affected by the condition -- 30 percent of dalmatians have hearing loss in one or both ears. With their black and white spotted markings and their familiar image atop fire trucks, Dalmatians are among the most well known of dogs. Without these, dogs can become hard of hearing. These deaf Dalmatians have been rescued and are now registered therapy dogs, Reading Education Assistance Dogs, Education Assistants teaching Fire Safety and Dog Bite Prevention. These dogs are said to have unilateral (one sided) hearing, and are also called unilaterals, or unis. Understanding Deafness in Dalmatians . Though most Dalmatians have normal hearing in both ears, some Dals are totally deaf. This makes the Dalmatian the breed most prone to deafness. TN Safety Spotters is a non profit charitable organization of deaf therapy dog group. A good Dalmatian, I said.. A good Dalmatian is a dependable, dignified gentleman, yet high-spirited and playful. Are Dalmatians Deaf. by Patricia Belt March 2011. 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