How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Deaf?

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Just because you have a deaf dog does not mean that they cannot do everything a hearing dog can do.

Deafness in dogs is a fairly common ailment that affects almost every breed of dog. While having a deaf dog does mean unique challenges when it comes to training, there are many proven methods for working with deaf dogs. A deaf dog can make a great family pet or working dog despite their disability. Recognizing deafness as early as possible is important for starting training and learning how to interact with your pet in a way they will understand


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Things You'll Need:

  • Bell
  • Dog Squeaky Toy
Image Credit: JZHunt/iStock/GettyImages

How to tell if your dog is deaf

Step 1

Watch your dog as a puppy for signs of deafness. The most common sign of a deaf puppy is when they do not wake up when it is time to feed, yet all of their litter mates are nursing.


RELATED: How To Care For A Deaf & Blind Dog

Another common sign is biting even when their litter mates yelp out of pain. Yelping is generally an instinctual reaction to being bitten too hard and puppies will back off when they hear the sound.


Step 2

Have a BAER test administered. According to, the Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response test is the most accurate method of testing to determine whether the dog is fully or partially hearing impaired. This is the identical test to the one performed on human babies, and can be administered any time after 6 weeks of age. This test can be expensive, therefore this option may not be viable for you. However, there are many facilities that offer the BAER test at a variety of costs to the owner.


Image Credit: artisteer/iStock/GettyImages

Step 3

Test your dog with home supplies. You may notice that your dog doesn't come when called or doesn't react to sounds. One of the better tests is ringing a bell or cell phone, or squeaking a toy behind your back. If the dog does not react in any way, it may be possible that they are hearing impaired. Be sure that they cannot feel the vibrations of the sound during the test, as this can give incorrect results. You should also use a variety of tones and pitches because a dog can be deaf to some tones and not others.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.


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