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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 22, 2006
    Posts
    475

    Default Older dog losing her hearing

    I have a 13 year old dog who is starting to lose her hearing. She comes absolutely everywhere with me and has always had an excellent recall command. Recently, however, I've had to start yelling her name more forcefully to catch her attention. She's always loved to be off leash on hikes, at the beach, etc., but the fact that she's becoming more dull to her surroundings is worrying me. Any tips from other senior dog owners on how to deal with this?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 1999
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA USA
    Posts
    5,623

    Default

    You do have to watch them on hikes, the beach, etc. as they lose their hearing. Their noses still work, but with age and hearing loss sometimes eventually will come a little mental disorientation, too, and they may wander off in a way they wouldn't have before. And they can't hear you calling, so it's your responsibility to put them on a light long line so they can't get lost. Hopefully that's still a ways off. In the house you can always give a stomp to the floor and they'll feel the vibration and come to you. Easy to teach now, as are hand signals, and the hand signals will work great until vision falters. Of course they have to be looking at you to see the signals.

    So around home she'll be fine, but please consider a long line when away from home. For her sake.

    Another thing I've thought about older dogs, having had several live to ripe old ages. Do they wonder, "why has she stopped talking to me?" We talk to our dogs all the time and tell them how wonderful they are, so I always make sure that the oldsters get quality 1-on-1 pets when I'm telling them that still, even though they're deaf as a post. But they see me and feel my breath and get their pets & ear skritchies so they know they're not only a Good Dog, but a Great Dog.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    19,592

    Default

    My sheltie was pretty much completely deaf his last couple of years. He did a good job of sticking next to me when we were out in the yard or the like but to call him I had to improvise. If he was in the backyard I pounded on the sliding glass door with an open hand to get him to come. In the house I would stomp my foot on the floor a few times or slap my hand on the bed frame if I was in bed. He could feel vibrations long after he stopped being able to hear the sounds. Not sure what I would have done outside if he hadn't stuck right by my side. You need to find something that makes a vibration instead of just a noise.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    Location
    south eastern US
    Posts
    2,519

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    I've had several seniors who've lost their hearing as they age. They seem to hear me but can't seem to determine where the sound is coming from. My little Yorkie/poodle cross would consistently run the other way looking for me whenever I called her! It got so bad that I didn't try to call her name while outside anymore, I'd have to get her attention other ways like stamping my feet near her so she could feel the vibration. Unfortunately she was loosing her sight too so that made it even more difficult, I think she could make out general shapes and light and dark but that's about it. Getting old is harder on some than on others.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
    Posts
    1,125

    Default

    I have no clue, but I wonder if maybe there are frequencies she will hear better than others. So if she's losing her lower ranges, she might still be able to hear high-pitched noises. You might be able to teach her to come to a whistle.

    StG



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,453

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PRS View Post
    I've had several seniors who've lost their hearing as they age. They seem to hear me but can't seem to determine where the sound is coming from.
    That is where we are. Joey has flinched and whipped his head at obnoxiously loud, sharp noises like a loud shrill whistle. His head turns in totally the wrong direction. Long line or hand signals when in a really safe area -and I have all the time in the world .



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2010
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    247

    Default

    I had a dog lose his hearing when he was fairly young. He was an agility dog, so I knew something was going on. I got a collar that vibrates, not shock! When I vibrated the collar i would wave a light so he would know where I was. It worked great for the yard so he could still go out, also if I had to wake him without startling him. He did great and adjusted to not hearing very well. I also trained my other dog to "go get Jaz' and she would guide him to me, for meals and such .



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,198

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bcody View Post
    I had a dog lose his hearing when he was fairly young. He was an agility dog, so I knew something was going on. I got a collar that vibrates, not shock! When I vibrated the collar i would wave a light so he would know where I was. It worked great for the yard so he could still go out, also if I had to wake him without startling him. He did great and adjusted to not hearing very well. I also trained my other dog to "go get Jaz' and she would guide him to me, for meals and such .
    Ditto, on the vibrating collar. Great for dogs going deaf. Use it to teach them to look at you when it vibrates, and then use hand signals to ask for Come, sit, down.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 22, 2006
    Posts
    475

    Default

    Thanks for the advice! I'll look into the vibrating collar. She'll enjoy the positive association work with the vibrate-treat repetition!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2000
    Location
    Berlin, CT
    Posts
    4,014

    Default

    Try having 2 that are both going deaf at the same time!!! My older corgi and my aussie are both going deaf, the Aussie is the worse of the two. The other day my husband and I came home and 2 of the dogs were at the door to greet us. The third was sound asleep in the other room and had no clue we had returned :-)

    I've been debating trying a vibrating collar on the Aussie, hearing that it has worked for others is good to know.

    If we go anywhere, the Aussie is always on a leash, the corgi is very much a velcro dog so as long as I stay within sight of him I can let him off leash at places I know he will be safe from traffic, etc.
    "You are under arrest for operating your mouth under the influence of
    ignorance!" Officer Beck



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2002
    Location
    way out west
    Posts
    3,080

    Default

    My English Springer Spaniel went deaf when she was about 10, and lived until she was 13. She transitioned to hand signals as she lost her hearing, and never really seemed to have a problem with it. I'd often come home and find her asleep by the door. I'd just stomp my foot to let her know I was home..she'd feel the vibration. She was always super attentive to me, and was basically my shadow, so teaching her hand signals was easy. She was the best dog I've ever had.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012
    Location
    gulf coast
    Posts
    907

    Default

    this site has some good info on vibe. collars.
    www.deafdogs.org/resourses/vibramakers.php
    just click on resourses and go to vibrating collars.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,314

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StGermain View Post
    I have no clue, but I wonder if maybe there are frequencies she will hear better than others. So if she's losing her lower ranges, she might still be able to hear high-pitched noises. You might be able to teach her to come to a whistle.

    StG
    When our old dog lost his hearing we asked the vet about this - he said that they had probably lost the highs and lows as well, we just can't tell as easily because we don't communicate to them in those ranges. I think he actually said that the middle range (like our speaking range) is one of the last ranges to go, but I'm not positive.

    Stomping and clapping help a lot. A vibrating collar would be good also. It's hard to remember that they can't here you coming - e.g. your car pulling in or the door opening. So practice stomping as you enter the house, for example, so you don't scare them by suddenly appearing near them while they are sleeping. I always felt so bad when we startled our old guy.



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