View Full Version : Deafness ,Hard Of Hearing or Just Plain Stubborn

Brian M
17th July 2011, 07:55 PM

Daisy can be described as one of the above and its certainly either hard of hearing or stubborn .She is
a very independent and stubborn girl with a very definate mind of her own but when in slumber she now takes
a nudge rather than a call to wake up but when awake and attentive she is quite attentive and good with hand commands
via treats I have taught all of them .I never let them any of them off lead when any roads and I am fortunate that Luke
is with me on all walks to go get her if she dawdles too far behind ,which she always does.

How can I determine if she is going deaf or just being plain stubborn and any guidance please on the care
of harder to hear Cavaliers.

17th July 2011, 08:37 PM
Thats interesting Brian,
When we had Leo MRI'd and he saw the neurologist he too wondered if Leo's hearing might be a little poor as his recall is appaling. He totally ignores me when we're out and the neurologist thought it might be his hearing. Personally I think he's just ignoring me :shifty:

Anyway I did wonder about his hearing but then he can hear the rustle of a crisp packet at 500 yards so now Im not so sure icon_devil

17th July 2011, 09:14 PM
To me it sounds like Daisy just decides to be a cat*, sometimes. Molly does it, too. If she is out playing in the garden, we can call the "treat" word several times without result. Indoors she hears it every time? But somehow the ice cube machine can be heard from all over the garden - the sound of a falling ice cube can get her in from anywhere :D

*We call it her cat-like behaviour, when she decides to be deaf and independent. :rolleyes:

Sydneys Mom
17th July 2011, 09:55 PM
When Sydeny was younger, I always suspected that it was just "selective hearing". However, when I really suspected he was going deaf, I had him at the vets..While I distracted him, she dropped a stainless steel bowl on the floor to see if he had any reaction. I know it's not very scientific, but it did give a quick indication of what was going on. Of course, he didn't have a heart condition then.........

17th July 2011, 11:02 PM
Have someone snap their fingers behind her hear, or crinkle paper. Although I must admit Thistle never hears me when it's time to leave the park, and yet she can hear me pick up the bag of treats from anywhere in the house.

17th July 2011, 11:11 PM
I agree that if she responds to loud sound behind her or rustle of treat bag, then you know she's just being Daisy. On related topic, several folks here cautioned me about an ear infection medication recently prescribed for Gracie. That it has led to temporary or permanent hearing loss, but mostly in older dogs. well, our neighbor's pug has had a few ear infections and has taken Mometamax three times over past year and is now half deaf. He is just 5 years old. So just thought I would help alert that it is potential issue.

18th July 2011, 12:35 PM
but when in slumber she now takes
a nudge rather than a call to wake up but when awake and attentive she is quite attentive and good with hand commands
via treats I have taught all of them

These are classic signs of deafness and I am sure she is somewhat deaf if you need to nudge her awake. It is kinder by the way to gently shake the couch or bed so she gently wakes up -- nudging a deaf sleeping dog can really startle them and can result in a bite. Your description is exactly how Lucy and Jaspar began to show signs of deafness.

A recent study showed some hearing loss in a very high proportion of cavaliers, though many owners will not notice because they are alert and especially if there are other dogs, they follow their cues. Dogs probably rank hearing as about the least important of their senses which is why training to hand signals (ideally both) gets a far more accurate response than vocal commands for most dogs.

I would argue that dogs are not generally 'stubborn' -- at least not cavaliers -- some other breeds are actually bred to be independent thinkers for historical reasons and it is a bit unfair to then describe them as 'stubborn' when they were deliberately bred to be 'independent'! A 'stubborn' dog (eg one that doesn't always seem to listen or follow commands) tends to be one that isn't trained to know to respond all the time (or at all! :lol:) to a command.

If you want a confirmation of degree of hearing you can have a BAER test performed but really there's no reason unless this is important detail for you. She is definitely showing deafness given your description. Jaspar despite being deaf is actually the one dog who is most attentive and responsive. No one would guess he is deaf to see him because he constantly is watching what is happening and so bright and intuitive in learning things -- it took me ages to realise how deaf he actually was. Deaf dogs lead pretty normal lives excepting needing to be extra careful if they are outside or off lead. It frustrates me to see how many vets in particular consider them to be seriously disabled to the point of sometimes recommending deaf dogs/puppies be pts!

Kate H
18th July 2011, 12:40 PM
Oliver is almost totally deaf in one ear - which I picked up because he didn't hear me come into the room if he was sleeping with his bad ear uppermost. When awake, his good ear will pick up sounds quite well - so yes, he can hear the lid being taken off the treats tin (!), but usually Aled hears it first and Oliver follows him. When he was last scanned at Chester Gates, I took the opportunity to have his hearing tested (he wore earphones connected to a computer - Snoopy sitting on top of his kennel pretending to be the Red Baron came to mind!) and that was when we found he was so deaf in one ear. Old age as much as anything (he's 10), though as it is also on the side where his dilated ventricles interfere most with the mechanism of his pupils, I do sometimes wonder whether there's a CM connection. He barks more than he used to, as if he can hear noises outside, and I wonder if he is actually hearing noises in his head and has some tinnitus because of his deafness, as human sufferers from SM do. The only thing I have to be careful with when out walking is to make sure he sees me change direction, and that he doesn't get out of earshot. He hears a low growly voice much better than a high one.

Being a Cavalier, he is also selectively totally deaf in both ears at times, of course!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

18th July 2011, 12:41 PM
PS there's a whole section on working with deaf dogs in the Library; I am sure if you do a search on the site you will get a link plus some other threads.

The thing that really indicates deafness isn't the behaviour you see when a dog is awake as they can scent or see indications that a treat is coming etc, and respond to the other dogs too. The needing to nudge a dog awake who does not wake any longer to noise is just about a foolproof indicator of at least some degree of deafness.

Margaret C
18th July 2011, 02:00 PM
Early deafness has been a reported problem in some Cavaliers for many years.

I once had a dog who was poor at recalls. In the park he would look up when called, stare around, and then continue sniffing or trot in the other direction.
I used to get so angry at him. It did not occur to me that he may be hearing some indistinct sound, but be unable to locate where it was coming from.
There was nothing in his behaviour at home to spark off any suspicion that he could not hear.

When he went to live with friends they said he did not seem to hear them when they called his name. I walked into their lounge and called him & he immediately looked up. When they called he seemed uninterested.
It became apparent that he could hear my higher pitched call but not their lower tones.

That taught me that selective deafness may actually be intermittent deafness. Loss of hearing can be gradual and a partially deaf dog may hear some sounds better than others.

18th July 2011, 02:21 PM
(he wore earphones connected to a computer - Snoopy sitting on top of his kennel pretending to be the Red Baron came to mind!)


Good point about some dogs being deaf in one ear only.

Also Margaret, those are also great points. Leo has always had that difficulty picking out directional sound and I trained him to recall to a shout and a waving motion of the arms or else he will run off after other people :eek:-- though he has no problem hearing at short range.

18th July 2011, 09:42 PM
Hi Brian. Having now read the other answers, and your question again, I will apologize for trying to be funny. I misunderstood it. I am sorry. It was out of place, and I hope that Daisy turns out to be fine.

Brian M
18th July 2011, 10:16 PM
Hello Charlotte

No offence taken at all so pls dont think I have taken any ,just very interesting reading and learning
from all our experts thats whats so brill about CT you ask a question and you get many varied and
super answers which I am always thankful for .:o

Ps anyway I dont think Daisy heard what we have been talking about she is fast asleep so
will go any gently wake her but def no nudges I shall waft a treat under her nose .:)

18th July 2011, 10:16 PM
Oh I think having a laugh is OK too. :) I think some of us were just offering the more serious side for consideration but there are definitely dogs who are selective in hearing commands when a treat is in the hand and who are oblivious when there's no reward in sight. :lol:

team bella
18th July 2011, 11:39 PM
On a lighter note, how can I check if my husband is deaf, stubborn or just a bad recall ?? He seems to have the same symptons as Daisy ;)

Margaret C
18th July 2011, 11:43 PM
On a lighter note, how can I check if my husband is deaf, stubborn or just a bad recall ?? He seems to have the same symptons as Daisy ;)


I have one like that

18th July 2011, 11:52 PM
:rotfl: My partner is like that if he's in front of his laptop or iPad... :rolleyes:

19th July 2011, 12:22 AM
On a lighter note, how can I check if my husband is deaf, stubborn or just a bad recall ?? He seems to have the same symptons as Daisy ;)

Have him visit a licensed audiologist! (Sorry, shameful plug for my professionicon_whistling) We might be able to help with the hearing loss. Can't do a darn thing about the stubbornness or bad recall. A clicker might work for that.:lol: