Banned from AKC competition, rejected by the Dalmatian Club Of America, these loving, intelligent, healthy Dalmatians excel at being Man’s Best Friend.
DEAF DALMATIANS HEAR WITH THEIR HEART
by Patricia Belt March 2011
TN Safety Spotters is a non profit charitable organization of deaf therapy dog group. 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.
Therapy dogs encourage adults and children to reach out and interact. The Dalmatian is such a friendly “touchable” breed. A Reading Assistance Dog never questions or pressures the person, and it is even possible that a deaf Dalmatian is understood to never criticize the way a word is pronounced!
The organization hopes to educate the public because deaf dogs make great companion dogs. We want to ultimately increase the number of adoptions and decrease the numbers of deaf dogs killed only because they were born deaf. A dog’s sense of smell is so keen that the loss of sight or hearing is not as serious as it would be in a person.
As you know AKC does not allow deaf dogs in competition and we understand, dog shows are about selecting the next generation of breeding stock. But why does the Dalmatian Club of America[#1] strongly insist on euthanasia of any deaf pups? Can’t members of the national club be trusted not to breed deaf Dalmatians? Does the club not educate members? Deaf Dalmatian puppies can be spayed or neutered (at the appropriate age) so they can’t be bred by some unscrupulous person. Isn’t that better than killing an otherwise normal innocent puppy?
New scientific studies now show 30% of Dalmatians are born deaf[#2]. For years I have tried to convince the American Kennel Club and the Dalmatian Club Of America that deaf dogs make wonderful companion animals and to euthanize a healthy pup for their deafness is unconscionable.
UKC (The United Kennel Club) allows them to compete in all performance events, everything but conformation. UKC understands the deaf Dalmatian can train for performance events just like any hearing dog.
Please visit http://tnsafetyspotters.org and see what deaf dogs are capable of if given a chance. Lottie Dot has been one of the very lucky deaf Dalmatians to work with kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Dora works with dyslexic and autistic children. They both work with abused and special needs children and teens and have educated hundreds of children on the rules of fire and dog safety.
I would love if these dogs could be recognized for their wonderful attributes because in every way, they are wonderful Dalmatians. They just happen to be deaf and to destroy is simply barbaric! Deaf dogs, when treated kindly by caring owners, learn to “watch” the owner, they instinctively understand hand signals, and are a blessing to the good people who let them live!
Reference and Related Dalmatian Information:
Ref #1 http://www.thedca.org/deaf1.html
Ref #2 http://www.lsu.edu/deafness/incidenc.asp
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