Nonlinear Dogs

Do you think that the decent dog owning humans of the world, with the humans of the
deaf dogs community will support an "official position" consensus that:

"Genetic Deafness is a non-medical feature of healthy dogs of all recognized dog
breeds, just as are for example chronic color-blindness and varieties of such features
as coat colors, fur (hair length) and ear shapes" [?]

The declaration rests on well documented observations by over 3,000 humans owning deaf dogs
world-wide that when socialized and treated decently deaf dogs are capable of all activities of
ordinary dogs of all breeds, excepting that they do not hear with ears, as likewise black furred
dogs aren't brown or red, and so forth among the accepted official breeds.

Further we can assert with documented modern scientific confidence that deafness is not a
genetic disease like diabetes or epilepsy requiring medical treatment for healthy happy domestic
dogs living with decent humans, no more than is color-blindness of dogs and some humans [me].

The rational liberal alternative:  

Because organized human groups who have a financial conflict of interest, such as the Dalmatian
Club of America (DCA), assert that deafness is a dangerous contagious sort of defect warranting
elimination of the puppies that have the ‘affliction’, then for consistency and “equal treatment” ALL
dogs by that ought be "put down; euthanized; killed" because the deafness gene is present in all
breeds and as shown by cross breeding of Dalmatians is easily transmitted to other breeds by
sexual contact. [See end-note from Reference:]  The draconian “kill all
the deaf puppies” policy position of the DCA has proved inadequate to purify the genes of their
registered dogs: <> “… 13% of Dalmatians in the survey were either
partially or totally deaf. … Data based on 763 dogs.”  That 13 percent, as shown by other data,
was nearly half of the probably deaf Dalmatian puppies of the Club that year. The DCA Survey in
calendar year 2001 apparently reflected the residual high deafness percentage probably caused
by the non-compliance of their members with the DCA policy of killing all identified deaf Dalmatian

Quantitatively, the CY 2010 genetic scientific research data and other documents about dog
populations reported on the Internet suggest Dalmatians were potentially the predominant source
of puppies killed each year in the US as a matter of economic policy; [Ref: DCA,
org/deaf2.html, et al.]   

Recent reports of genetic Dalmatian research suggest that the current breeders of Dalmatians
were selecting for (causing) the deafness of a high percentage of the puppies that are killed
annually in the US: “<>; Research shows that
Dalmatians with large patches of color present at birth have a lower rate of deafness, and
breeding for this trait, which is currently prohibited in the breed standard, might reduce the
frequency of deafness in the breed.[] One of the
leading reasons patches are a disqualifying factor in Dalmatians is to preserve the much prized
spotted coat—the continual breeding of patched dogs would result in heavily patched Dalmatians
with few spots.” And also see: <

By the year 2010, the DCA approved <> the adoption and
inevitably the breeding of uni-deaf (single-ear deaf) Dalmatians, although officially ‘for the record’
declaring: “Breeding unilateral Dals does not improve hearing in their puppies, so unis are rarely
sold as breeding prospects.”

Because the current population of deaf dogs is probably primarily a result of deliberate selection
by breeders who were seeking financial gain or other goals, there is no evident additional harm
done by the AKC permitting deaf dogs to participate in events, as they currently permit
Dalmatians to compete who aren’t obviously deaf but produce deaf puppies that ought by the
DCA’s public policy be “put-down – i.e. killed.” :

AKC Positions and Regulations, etc [as of 22 Aug, 2010; extract of AKC text posted on the

    1.)  Deaf dogs may not participate in any activities.  Deafness was inversely defined as
    lacking ‘a useful degree of hearing’; i.e. Dals with unihearing (one ear) may participate.  

    2.)  Hearing” is not apparently defined in the official texts.  On the usual US legal position
    that anything not officially prohibited is permissible, that leaves open speculation that any
    dog that used non-ear hearing may participate in AKC approved activities. Incidentally,
    “attachments” are banned, so dogs with hearing-aids seemed to be banned.

    3.)  “Simulated Deaf-Dog” participation by hearing-dogs is permitted in most AKC activities.  
    Hearing dogs are permitted to pretend/simulate deafness by responding in competitions
    exclusively to silent signals and commands - - i.e. some hypothetical version of dog-ASL
    {Akennel-Sign-Language?}.  Ear-deaf dogs conceivably might out-perform hearing dogs
    taught to pretend to be deaf, as the truly ear-deaf dogs might be less distracted by the
    noises of their owner’s, the judges, and the crowds.]

Having received permission for enormous numbers of uni-deaf deaf Dalmatians to compete in
AKC events, the DCA Board objected to extending equal opportunities to other breeds, as they
reported: “  Dalmatian Club of America ... Board of
Governors Meeting Minutes ; August 22, 2009 - Crowne Plaze - Bloomington, MN “…..  A decision
was needed on how the Dalmatian Club of America should respond to the mention of allowing
deaf dogs in competition at AKC Companion events in the August 2009 Gazette, on page 17 of
the Secretary’s pages. The Board directed DCA Corresponding Secretary Mrs. Sharon Boyd to
send a letter to AKC Secretary Mr. James Crowley expressing our grave concerns on the subject
of permitting deaf dogs in companion events.””

Disclosure: As a human who is color-blind, a parent of a partially deaf daughter, and owning a
deaf dog and her hearing mother, I have a personal interest and close knowledge of the ethics
and realities of statistically anomalous often highly intelligent creatures – I have a Ph D and my
deaf daughter has a BS college degree.

End Note : [DCA] Position on Dalmatian Deafness: From the Board of Governors of the Dalmatian Club of
America;  [where
comments in Brackets were added by Hal for clarity of context]

With the rising popularity of the Dalmatian breed, there has been a rapid increase in the number of deaf
Dalmatian pups showing up in homes, pet shops and Humane Societies across the country.

Deafness is NOT uncommon in Dalmatians. It has been estimated that from 10% to 12% of the breed is deaf [in
both ears and roughly 20 % ear-deaf in one ear (uni-deaf)]
. Recent discoveries in the genetics of deafness have
made it possible to reduce the incidence of deafness, with the possibility of virtually eliminating it in the future.
Hearing research is currently being financed by the
Dalmatian Club of America Foundation, Inc., various regional
Dalmatian clubs and interested individuals. However, for the time being, it is important that
[ALL] deaf pups be
dealt with
[killed] in a responsible and HUMANE fashion.

Responsible breeders NEVER knowingly sell, place or give away deaf pups to pet homes.
[ALL] Deaf pups
should ALWAYS be humanely destroyed by a veterinarian. In the event that a deaf pup is inadvertently placed, it
should be replaced with a hearing pup. Many breeders have
[ALL] their deaf pups put down at three to four
weeks, though some choose to wait a few weeks longer. Dalmatian pups normally start to hear at fourteen to
sixteen days of age, and hear by five weeks of age if they are going to hear.

[ALL] deaf pups which are showing up in unsuspecting homes, pet shops and Humane Societies are
generally bred by either "commercial breeders" (puppy mills) or by inexperienced Dalmatian owners who are
unaware of deafness in the breed, are unable to identify deaf pups or are unwilling to have them put down. NO
ONE should consider raising a litter of Dalmatians without being prepared to deal responsibly with any resulting
deaf puppies.

The Dalmatian Club of America Board of Governors feels very strongly that deaf pups should NEVER be sold,
placed or given away, and most certainly should not be bred from.

Deaf Dalmatians are hard to raise, difficult to control (they are often hit by cars when they "escape") and often
become snappish or overly aggressive, especially when startled.
[As described in Observations of a Deaf Dog,
as compared to the experience of other breeds, difficulty raising deaf Dals and the high death rate of deaf
Dals was potentially from poor management and training by the human owners - -  other breeds experience
minimal such difficulties.]

IF YOU ARE THE OWNER OF A FEMALE DALMATIAN, and plan to raise a litter, be sure that you are prepared to
deal responsibly with any resulting deaf pups. If you have trouble identifying
[ALL] deaf pups, please ask for
assistance from an experienced breeder.

IF YOU ARE A STUD DOG OWNER, be sure that your stud contract requires that deaf pups be properly handled.

IF YOU ARE THE OWNER OF A DEAF DALMATIAN, and are having problems with the dog, don't feel "guilty" about
it. Consider starting over with a healthy, hearing pup
[i.e. ALL deaf dogs were declared by the DCA Board to be
“unhealthy” because hearing dogs were defined by contrast as the exclusive “healthy” dogs! ]
(And DO have
the deaf dog put down

do not attempt to place the deaf Dalmatian puppies and adults that come in, and do not advertise for a "special
home" for the "poor little deaf Dalmatian." The HUMANE approach is to put down
[kill] the deaf Dals and
concentrate on finding good homes for the healthy, hearing dogs
[i.e. deaf dogs and possibly those humans
who are genetically deaf are certified by the DCA Board as “unhealthy.”]

IF YOU ARE A PET SHOP OWNER, please remember that deaf Dalmatians should NEVER be sold.
the new DCA position on unideafs may permit giving away – gifts or rescues of – deaf Dals.]

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO PURCHASE A DALMATIAN, contact the Dalmatian Club of America, the closest
regional Dal club, or an experienced local breeder who will guarantee that any pups offered for sale have normal

IF YOU ARE A VETERINARIAN, please advise your clients to put down any deaf pups they may have bred.
PLEASE do not make it any more difficult for your client by suggesting that perhaps a "special" home might be
found. With the enormous surplus of unwanted dogs in this country
[The United States], there is no need to
[ANY] dogs with problems such as deafness.

August 2010

If you have questions, comments, or would like more sources on deaf dogs, please contact us at  We'll answer as well and promptly as we can and all queries will be
kept private.

See also:, an excellent science-based site about
deaf and blind dogs.

On to Observations of A Deaf Dog
The Deaf Dogs' Manifesto