View Full Version : Hoping to adopt a cav who barks barks barks!

25th February 2009, 09:31 PM
I hope someone can give me some advice ....
We will hopefully be adopting a 1yr old former stray cav who is also deaf ...

Staff at the rescue say he's great with the other dogs, BUT he barks all the time when in his kennel / run. I'm guessing he doesn't like being kennelled, is lonely, confused, and if he can't SEE the staff and certainly cannot hear them, he thinks they've gone and left him, and he's all alone AGAIN!
What is the best course of action? Will he most probably settle down in a home environment? Should we consider getting 2 dogs so that when he's left aone, he will have canine company? Has anyone else had a similar experience? Thanks in advance.

25th February 2009, 09:44 PM
Hi Helen,

I have no experience with a deaf dog but we did have one puppy and got another one as company and they are inseparable. They get on very well and love playing together. They do not like being alone and love cuddling together on the sofa or in their bed. If one of them is gone, maybe at the vet or having the bath the other one is not happy at all!! I would recommend getting two dogs, its hard work but when I go out to the shop etc they keep each other company and I dont feel bad about leaving them.
The barking maybe just nerves, Charlie barks all the time on his walk but it is just nerves. Once he has a good walk he calms down and is too tired to bark!!

Hope this helps a bit.

25th February 2009, 09:56 PM
Good luck with your new addition, I really hope it goes well. :p

We got Prince as a foster just before Christmas and we got so attached we decided to keep him. He is mostly deaf but not totally. At first he would bark a lot when we left a room but this has settled down in time. He has grown used to the fact that we come and go and move around the house. We have also been training him using advice from a book on training deaf dogs and this is going well. He is quite active and likes to run and play fetch. So yes, he was a bit unsure of himself at first but this has settled down.

We have a deaf foster at the minute and I find he his displaying similar behaviour to Prince when he first arrived. He barks a lot when we leave a room or if I even rummage in a handbag he barks because he thinks I might be going somewhere. He is not too bad though.

Im not sure that you can do anything to stop them from barking as such but I think they do get used to routine in time (well I have found anyway). Other things I have observed with having a deaf dog is obviously off lead walks are awkward as the dog wont hear you of you call. If we are somewhere secure we do let Prince off lead and if he can see us he will come back although he is not inclined to wander far. The oddest thing is when we come home they dont run out to greet us!

Im sure you will be able to find plenty more info around the place but overall I have found having a deaf dog isnt all that different to having a hearing dog.

25th February 2009, 11:17 PM
Thaks for the advice (apologies for posting this question twice!).
I hope that if we do get to adopt him, our experience will be the same and that he will settle eventually. Don't know how he is with cats yet either (we have 6 -ahem!) :winkct:

25th February 2009, 11:20 PM
Thanks for the advice (and apologies for posting this question twice!). Looks like we might be buying 2 of everything then .... OH fancies an Old English as dog #2 :lpy:

25th February 2009, 11:54 PM
Just be aware that OES are not easy dogs -- as with any breed, make sure you are both fully aware of how demanding they are and the time they will need and training. I would not recommend getting two dogs at the same time if one is deaf and one is a challenging breed. It would be better to let one dog settle in and then maybe in 6 months to a year, consider a second. :) OES are like collies -- large, boisterous, intelligent and energetic as well as strong willed, and will need more time than some other breeds. Also you would not really want to leave a small deaf dog with a large energetic dog alone. I'd discuss these plans with the rescue for guidance and advice. :thmbsup:

PS I merged the two threads.

26th February 2009, 12:21 AM
We adopted Mary Alice over 2 years ago and were told that she was a 'howler' and very 'needy'.

She's a very happy dog, lovely personality in all ways BUT she's still a howler.

Nothing will ever change her, IMO, it's partly due to her abusive background, anxiety when she finds herself alone in a room (you could be a few feet away in the next room, she won't come to you, just howls til you come back).

Mary Alice howls at all times of the day and night, not non-stop but at her whim. Most nights she sleeps through, but it wasn't always that way and I had to get up and hold her to keep her quiet.....sometimes for over an hour.

I'd say that her howling is down about 40% from when she first arrived, she feels safe and secure, as well as having Rosie (2 yrs old) for company.

A barking dog, esp. one who's partially deaf and cannot hear itself, may or may not cease after settling into your home.

From our experience, I'd not count on it though.....Mary Alice will howl to some degree for the rest of life, IMO.

Maybe part of it is just the dogs' personality too.

Thought you might want to hear from someone with a very vocal Cavalier.

Good luck with your decision, they all deserve a great home and love. :)

26th February 2009, 01:37 AM
Thanks Zippy & Karlin - I agree that it would be better for one to settle before introducing another (he will have a devil of a time finding a rescue OES in any case I think :badgrin:) plus he is not as tenacious as I am!

As I know it would be down to me to do all the doggy housework etc, I'd rather a couple of small ones than one great big bouncy one :dogwlk: .
I'm also taking on board the possiblilty that he may always bark. Considering investing in gallons of calming doggy pheromone (kitty pheromone stopped cat number 2 piddling under the stairs!):D

26th February 2009, 04:27 AM
Something that might be a consideration if the barking is incessant is a route my breeder had to take. She had a dog get brain damaged while under anesthesia for a cesearean. She believes the dog got oxygen starved as none of the puppies could be revived either, and when her girl woke up, she was never the same. This dog is mental now. For one, she chewed her tail SOOO bad that it got infected and then the bandages that were put on to help wound up causing circulation problems, so the tail had to be amputated. Additionally, she barked NONSTOP at EVERY movement or stimuli. The breeder made the choice to de-bark her. It was a last resort. Otherwise she would have had to do something with her. All her dogs live in the house with her and it would have been intolerable. She is a happy cav, just tailless, and you can see her "barking" at every movement and sound, just nothing comes out. I think this is extreme, but if the dog is otherwise miserable to live with, it is better than banning them from the house or putting them to sleep.

26th February 2009, 10:03 AM
It is ILLEGAL to debark dogs in the UK, where this dog is based. So thankfully, that is not an option. :eek:

In my experience, some deaf dogs will bark more in some situations. I have seen it in every deaf cavalier I have dealt with including the one I own. I would say much of the barking will settle once that poor dog is not living in a kennel but a home environment. But probably will always bark a bit more than a hearing dog all else being equal, if it already barks quite a bit. As long as you have factored that in, which you clearly have, I would not worry.

26th February 2009, 02:39 PM
I have no real experience with deaf + barking (my deaf Casey is the opposite- we never hear her bark!) but my terrier was a major barker. I believe if they are barkers, they will always be barkers.

My suggestion would be to always look at the worst case scenario. Would you accept her if she continued to bark? If not, do not adopt her.

26th February 2009, 02:43 PM
I also have a deaf rescue - Molly. She had quite bad seperation anxiety when she came to us. I couldn't leave the room for more than a split second before she got very anxious and started barking the house down. The solution that worked for us was to keep her with me all the time and gradually extend the time she was left alone. I also used Dr. Petals elixir (like rescue remedy for dogs) and a DAP. I'm not sure how useful they were but over time she has settled down and rarely barks now. Bella has razor sharp hearing and sort of acts as Mollys hearing dog - it's very cute to watch them together.

Obviously every dog is different so only time will tell if you can control the barking but thankfully we were able to work with Molly to sort the problem out and hopefully you will too. Good luck :thmbsup:

26th February 2009, 08:35 PM
It is ILLEGAL to debark dogs in the UK, where this dog is based. So thankfully, that is not an option. :eek:

Having seen my breeder's dog in action, I know she is thankful she had the option, though torn it was something that she even felt she had to do. Otherwise the barking NEVER ends. You move your hand and the dog goes into a fit of barking. Someone starts to say something, and she barks for several minutes. The episodes just run all into one another and she never stops. She clearly was brain injured from the anesthesia, and to keep everyone's sanity, it was a last resort that was chosen to keep her living among the household members and other dogs. Due to the dog's mental state, training her to reduce the barking wasn't working, and my breeder was having to relegate her to a part of the house away from the action. This was unfair as well. It was a hard choice, but ultimately was what my breeder chose over having to put her to sleep or leave her isolated all the time since there was no way to train her. I am not sure I know of anyone who is a saint enough to live in the house with a dog that goes into a barking fit every time something moves or makes a noise...literally.
If a dog can be trained away from that behavior, well, absolutely! I'd never advocate debarking as a shortcut to training! In fact, I can't think of another reason to debark a dog right now. I'd say this case was the exception, and there are usually always exceptions.

26th February 2009, 08:47 PM
That is terrifying though! What happened with the anesthesia?
Jen and Ilsa

26th February 2009, 09:31 PM
De-bark????!! I think if that was available for humans, my husband would have had that done to me years ago :badgrin:
I am crossing my fingers it is kennel related. Apparently he now has kennel cough to add to his woes :(.
We are making an initial visit tommorrow, armed with a bone filled with something tasty (apparently) a kong, various other tasty filllings and a ball he'll have to roll to get the treats out. I'm hoping to persuade the rspca staff to let him have them in rotation to give him something new to occupy him, as it sounds like adoption could take a while. Feels like we're visiting someone in prison :(:(

26th February 2009, 11:11 PM
That is terrifying though! What happened with the anesthesia?
Jen and Ilsa
She was having a difficult delivery and was taken for a c-section. The vet put her under and, my breeder fears, she was not monitored properly for blood-oxygen levels. NONE of the puppies could be revived, and her dog woke up a changed dog...permanently. Very sad, but commendable that she has done everything possible to keep her life as normal as possible.