Moved, lonely dog and ANOTHER DEAF PUP!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by sara, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. sara Moderator

    So I moved out of My Mom's house.... again! lol (long story there) but I was living there for almost 2 years. I adopted Scout while I was living there... then when I decided to keep Oliver, I had to move, as he was a little bit bigger than the height restriction for the condo LOL. so now I am all moved and settled.... Ollie is NOT. I left Scout with my mom (we have a shared custody agreement lol) Scout doesn't like Ollie and is a bit stressed when here... so she stays with my Mom. I am sure she would get used to it... but she is sooo happy there, i dont want to disturb her for my own selfish reasons (but boy do I miss her!) Thing is... Ollie does NOT like being an only dog! He walks around crying, he cries at the door, then wanders, then cries at the door. I can distract him with play and training, but when I sit down, he starts wandering again... he is doing it less now that he has a friend that he plays with in the morning and evening, but he still does it.

    So I was starting to think about adopting another young dog.... just the beginning stages mind you. when a friend of mine in Spokane messaged me about a deaf mini doxie puppy on Craigslist. well long story short, I am getting another deaf dog!!!!! in about a month, I will be driving through the mountains (gotta wait until the snow stops falling in the mountains) to the American border above Spokane, where my friend will be meeting me with my new baby girl! She is 4 months old, white with a dapple ear, and rear and blue eyes... she is deaf because of some idiot person bred 2 dapples, carrying a mutation gene, together that resulted in "lethal white" common in any breed of dog with the merle gene (dapple is a form of merle). lethal whites can be deaf and/or blind, and can also carry other health issues, this one thank goodness is just deaf. So now I will have 2 deaf dogs for my next demo! I am soooo stoked! She will be a great match for Ollie, even tho he is much bigger than she is. she is being fostered right now with 7 danes and plays very well with them.... she has NO FEAR.... cutie!

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Congrats on the new pup!!! I bet she's gorgeous.

    I once knew(but did not particularly care for) a guy who had two merle Aussies....KNOWING the risks of breeding two merles, he allowed them to breed and was baffled when he came up with AT LEAST one deaf pup. I knew a certified deaf dog trainer who wanted her sight unseen. When I told him about her, his response was that he wasn't getting rid of this one because he didn't want her "in the wrong hands." Quite frankly he's an idiot who knows nothing about dogs, deaf or hearing, so she was in the wrong hands as it was.

    But anyway.....big congrats on the pup, and good luck with her. Get some pictures!!!
  3. sara Moderator

    I really sucks when people are stupid! knowing the risks and he still let them breed! stupid! they can do a genetic test to see if the mutation gene is present with the colour gene (the mutation gene is what causes the deaf and/or blindness) if it is present NEVER breed the dog, you will be perpetuating the problem... even if you breed it to a non merle. It's sad when people cant follow simple rules, or wont get educated about their breed.... there are sooo many lethal whites than never needed to happen (but when they do they dont deserve to die) at least the guy you know didn't kill the pup, which is most commonly done by breeders.
  4. snooks Experienced Member

    Sara you are an angel for giving another dog with a disadvantage in life a loving home. Bless your heart. It makes me angry too when people breed with total ignorance or disregard for money as their purpose. Even I know about breeding double dapple doxies and lethal white and I don't have doxies. If you look on the internet there are pages of people advertising double dapple doxies and breeding them as if they were a desire commodity, not a real animal that might suffer and have problems.

    This is good that you mention it to so that people become aware that a responsible breeder is not a back yard breeder or a hobby breeder. GRCA the golden retriever club of america has a good bunch of info on avoiding puppy mills Golden Retriever Club of America - All About Goldens as do other sites. Puppy stores and malls are all mill dogs as are dogs sold on the internet. If you don't do a rescue be sure and do your research and don't give a dime to mills or breeders that are turning out unhealthy dogs. Not all deaf puppies are as lucky as Sara's.

    Be aware of the health problems of any breed you choose and read about temperament. Is this dog right for you? www.akc.org and then go to breeds and breed clubs. They are a great source of information. Even the Amish have started selling mill dogs so be sure you KNOW what you're getting and can visit the breeders home and see where the dogs are whelped and raised AND meet the parents. If you can't it's probably a mill.
  5. sara Moderator

    The lethal white problem is HUGE.... there are so many breeds that have the potential.... ANY BREED that can be merle coloured can have a double merle (or dapple as doxies are called) that includes doxies, Shelties, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Catahoula Leopard dogs, Great Danes (even tho Merle is NOT a recognized coat colour, they're still breeding them) there are many others. ANY lethal White from ANY breed has the potential to be deaf and/or blind... as well, they often have other health issues. The worst part is breeders dont take responsibility for their deaf pups... they're usually killed. Another awful fact about deaf dogs: an estimated 30 % of Dalmatians are born deaf. Do you see 30% deaf dals? no you dont, thats because the Dalmatian Club of America' code of ethics states that deaf pups are to be euthanized. period. they will go after breeders that keep or find a home for their deaf babies. There are reasons why they do this (all BS as far as the deaf dog people are concerned) but many more VALID reasons not to. Deaf dogs are really no different than hearing dogs... you just communicate slightly different. I will always have deaf dogs... frankly, I like them better.
  6. snooks Experienced Member

    Are some deaf dogs really barky and others silent. It seems as though the personalities might be the biggest affector. Just curious. That is one reason i train my girls with hand signals. Eventually if we are blessed to have our furry friends around long enough they may be hard of hearing. The voice cue part is there for vision issues if that arises.

    Many people don't realize they get deaf Dotty dogs or boxers (one of my loves very affected by lethal white recently). I know a few people that gave up their deaf dogs for that reason alone. I just couldn't. Why do you prefer them out of curiosity? It would be lovely to convince people to keep them.
  7. sara Moderator

    Let me count the ways..... lol. there are many reasons. training is often easier as there are no noise distractions, you often get such complete focus. they dont bark at "Phantom noises" like some dogs do. you can come in the house, take your coat off and shoes put down whatever is in your hand, before going and waking the dog up (unless they sleep in front of the door so you hit them when you come in.... as Scout does... we walk in very gingerly now!) Deafies are velcro dogs, never leaving you side, you have to be in eyesight, because they cant keep track of you otherwise. you never have a dog that scared of noises... lol.

    Yes some deafies bark alot, some dont bark at all... it just depends on the breed, and personality, just like any other dog. Scout is a very protective dog, and will bark when she feels that something is invading our property..... fortunately for us, she cant hear... or she'd be barking non stop. she only barks at something she sees...

    and last reason I like deafies best: they are truly unique, I can use them to educate about Puppymills and Back-Yard breeders, adopting from Shelters "look at my dog Scout, she was 2 hours from euth. because no one wanted to adopt a deaf dog, and now she knows 47 signs... blah blah blah!" I do demo's with her and am focusing my next one on adopting less-than-perfect dogs, and what a joy they are.

    and honestly, i am not alone in my love for the deaf dog there are thousands of people out there who own 1,2,3 or in one person's case she has 8 lethal white danes, some deaf, some blind and some a mix of both. and often once you get one, you will LOOK for more deafies to adopt. many of us are really on the lookout for deaf dogs. I transported a deaf and partially blind dane from here to the border above Spokane (a 12 hour drive one way for me) just to get him to someone who wouldn't put him in a shelter.

    yes there ARE drawbacks to a deaf dog, they shouldn't go off leash, except in a completely dog-proof, fenced area... you cant call them back to you, and alot of the complicated tricks are tough because the dog has to be looking at you fot the "click" but deaf dogs are used in Agility, herding, obedience trials (not AKC because they wont allow them, even tho they're registering mutts now for AKC sporting events), retrieving, hunting, therapy dogs, service dogs (for some things... obviously they wouldn't make a good seeing eye dog or hearing-aid dog) Someone on our deaf dog yahoo group has a deaf pit bull as a service dog (she's in a wheelchair) but is living in a state with BSL bans and can no longer use the dog... stupid BSL!

    thing is, dogs learn first by body language, not our voices, so training them is easier than even I expected before I got my first deafie.

    and I know about the white boxer thing... aweful. and alot of breeders kill the pups before finding out if they are even deaf, spouting off that they are "unhealthy" which is bull! not every white boxer is deaf, and they are no more unhealthy than their coloured littermates!

    k, well that was long... and I hate typing, so you'll understand how passionate I am about deaf dogs!
  8. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Something I've always wanted to do(eventually) is have/train a deaf dog for agility.

    I've met many deaf dogs and am in awe at how quickly many of them learn. Have met a few deaf Aussies who were service dogs. One of my faves I met recently was a deaf ACD. She had a hearing sister who she was very dependent on. They were quite the pair. The deaf one was very shy, and if sister was unsure about someone, then she wouldn't have anything to do with them. If sister barked for any reason and deaf girl saw her, she'd copy--but wouldn't look to see when sister stopped, lol! Much of her learning was more from sister than trainer, and she was very smart. Deaf girl was constantly checking in with sister to see what she was doing and how she was responding to anything around her. They were sweethearts. :doghappy:

    I'm not sure about other breeds, but I'm pretty sure white Dobies and Danes do tend to have some health issues, sometimes major. Skin problems is typically the main one.


    Have you ever used vibration collars for "recall" or anything else? What do you think of them? Is this generally a helpful tool or one that you avoid?


    Random question for whoever wants to take a stab at it--BC/Aussie mixes are pretty common all over the place, and I've seen many here. Is the merle/merle issue harmful in crossbreeding as well? Meaning, does a merle BC/merle Aussie crossing have the same risks as a merle BC/merle BC or merle Aussie/merle Aussie breeding? Just curious; never thought about it before until now and was wondering.
  9. snooks Experienced Member

    Some breeds have different reasons for producing double merle dogs and white dogs that have with no risks (common in bc's called white factoring is a gene at the S locus). There also disorders commonly mistaken for double merle like albinism. These white factor or albino dogs are perfectly healthy because they do not have two dominant merle genes they have two recessive color genes. Much of the reason for confusion in why breeding merles together produces deformed puppies is caused by a total ignorance of genetics. Most double merles are not totally white so many puppies evaluated are actually sold without the new owner knowing the risk because the breeder doesn't know or care.

    A lot of hobby breeders have no idea what makes lethal white happen or even what it is. I see stuff all the time from things as stupid as oh my dog was impregnated by a neighbor dog and now all her puppies are forever not of pure lines she's tainted. WHAT??!?!? Do you know how pregnancy works?? Her genetics don't change b/c she got preggers. This comment from my neighbor who was an RN and had a black Lab. You'd think she would know.

    It's pretty simple to understand some very basic genetics and what recessive genes are and how they are carried and manifest. reading even comments between "experienced" breeders it's obvious that many people are picking up their knowledge of breeding from comments of other people they overhear not science and reality. So there's a huge difference in a professional educated breeder (and I don't mean PhD but that understands the genetics) who is breeding for health and breed standard and someone who is breeding for color. Some of the color breeders have been breeding for 20-30+ years and truly believe their idea of how color works is reality.

    Blue merle to blue merle or red merle in many European countries is called Agony Breeding and is against the law in many countries. Germany is one country where many breedings of dogs at risk and dogs with poor ranked hips, elbows, genetic disorders, and recessive genes is just flat out illegal. It's sad that in the US we can't outlaw more of this breeding that makes dogs suffer and has many money grubby people whelping puppies and killing litters to play doggie russian roulette with genes.

    After carefully researching breeders, getting references, seeing who is competing and winning in working dog or confirmation breeding in your breed then you start to call breeders and go visit their homes or facilities. If you show up and the breeder has Merle adults AND Merle puppies then turn around. This breeder has chosen to get merles by breeding merles which means that statistically 1/4 of these dogs will be double merle. Depending on how severe the birth defects they may be killed at birth, if not obvious they may be sold to unknowing owners.

    I found this page that does a great SIMPLE job of explaining the genetics because it really is simple. There's not some voodoo magic as some of the hobby breeders attribute to it. It's a very simple math problem. http://hubpages.com/hub/PuppyColoring And there's a good description of the health risks both immediate and progressive. The kicker is it's all totally preventable. Should answer TXCG about xbreeding aussie/bc merles.

    A reputable breeder will know and tell you about Merles. Their pedigrees usually will be registered on line as will certifications for hips, elbows, heart, eyes, and where applicable thyroid and other genetic disorders. Responsible breeders flag puppies as dapple or merle when they are born even if there is a risk and they aren't certain.

    In answer to TXCG's question about Aussie's and BC's it sounds like the same gene issue or dominant merle allele is passed from both parents to puppies in both breeds. the puppy gets the dominant merle gene from both parent he still would genetically have double merle and all the same issue/risks. That's why merle to merle Aussies/BC's shouldn't be bred.

    You could breed an merle aussie to a white BC if that BC is white due to different genes at the S locus rather than the M locus (Merle) and have healthy puppies because one dog does not carry the dominant merle gene. Merle is dominant over the recessive color gene like brown eyes are dominant over blue eyes.

    I was rather interested in all of this b/c I had what i thought was a blue merle cattle dog and they are all merle I thought. So why aren't all ACD's double merles? ACD's actually aren't ever merle they are roaned or ticked. Catahoulas can be both merle and piebald. You could get a healthy Merle CLD with a piebald pattern that is an Mm, go back to the link above. That dog may look like an MM double Merle but is not. That's why very careful breeding records are a must.

    The reason for deafness in ACD's, related Dalmatians, and Danes etc is totally different. I don't understand the Piebalding or Harlequin genes since I had an ACD and was more concerned with ticking. Though I never got a good explanation for ticking and deafness or if they were related other than color genes are often the same as eye and ear genes.

    When we got our Dobie they had a blue in the litter and I almost took her just b/c she was so unusual until I read that they have skin problems almost 100% and lose all their hair. This is a type of albinism called tyrosinase positive that does have pigment so they are not white but cream/gray/blue color and not prone to deafness. Tyrosinase-negative dogs do not have pigment and are more typical of what we recognize as albino with pink pads, noses, etc. which are most likely deaf. The middle ground between the two extremes of + and - is where some are deaf and some not for Dobies and other breeds that are not harlequin, piebald, or ticked.

    I'm not sure how much is really understood about the other harlequin, piebald, or ticked deafness. It was way over my head and generally related to pigment amounts with less pigment tending toward more deaf. Collies and Aussies are a lot more straight forward but also could be albinos. Now you see why good records and good understanding are important. This is why I do not breed dogs.
  10. sara Moderator

    In some breeds (mostly herding breeds) it is not the merle gene itself that causes the lethal white... it's a mutation of the merle gene... which can be genetically tested against. this color thing is right back to high school genetics... and the Punnett square (I hope that's the right name.....lol) and Merle is not actually a color... it's a dilution gene. so a blue merle is genetically black and white, and a red merle is brown and white, they just have an "extra" gene that dilutes the colours... make sense? Just like a Dalmatian is genetically a black or liver dog, with a blanket... weird stuff.... I've been force-fed alot of this stuff since getting into deaf dogs. and THATS just a minute portion of what I've read on the subject... hours of entertainment..... (bit of a geek here...)
  11. sara Moderator

    AND from what I read... there is no such thing as true Albinism in dogs... it doesn't exist... We had a huge thread/discussion on that (lasting a few weeks) on the deaf dogs yahoo group... with people doing a ton of fact finding for us.
  12. snooks Experienced Member

    I knew about the dilution part and the incorrect belief that some people had that the dilution was the way to get the colors they wanted when in fact is not though looks as if it should be if you were mixing paint and that's how genetics worked. :dogblink: NOT!

    Interesting. Is there no true albinism b/c they don't survive. I knew almost none of the lethal whites are every truly white everywhere that they have some pigment.

    Also did not know it was a merle mutation--it's been a while since I had that ACD old crusty girl. Great that they can test for it to. Even more reasons this should be easier not to mess up.
  13. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    A friend of mine recently adopted a blue Dobie, not for her color, but simply because she fell for her when a shelter owner told her about her. (Friend is a dog trainer.) Her vet told her that blues have skin problems but didn't say all that. o-o Vet told her to add fish oil to her food for life, but that's about it. Any tips for her? Her history is unknown--local no-kill shelter found her, no one ever claimed her(which is wierd), stayed with foster until friend adopted her. She is definitely 100% Dobie though. Will she be prone to anything? What can she do to help keep her skin/coat healthy? She is currently on a very high quality food. She's 3 months old.

    Ah I see....zoology class is paying off. Dihybrid crossing I believe it's called(punnett square based on TWO traits, rather than one--meaning basic color trait and merle/nonmerle trait). Hmm. Interesting.

    Snooks thanks for the link. :) Very helpful.

    Lethal White Syndrome happens in horses as well, but not for the same reasons, and not with the same results. A foal born with lethal white syndrome never lives--they are born with an incomplete digestive system and basically die of constipation. Obviously not the same as dogs. If I remember right it has nothing to do with color, but rather just a recessive gene carried by some horses(typically Paint horses or other patterned breeds). Need to do some refreshing on that...
  14. snooks Experienced Member

    Very good recollection on the horse info. You are correct and that is where the term came from even though it is not lethal per se to dogs and is different. Lots of dogs are killed when born so it is in a secondary way lethal. Interesting stuff at any rate.

    On the Dobie, I've heard they almost always lose their fur so it seems a canine dermatologist would certainly make sure that any secondary infection, allergy reaction, or immune issue would be addressed swiftly. A regular vet may not be familiar with the issues and just let them go or not test for the right things.

    My impression is that if you never let it get bad and stay on top things are pretty manageable.
  15. sara Moderator

    No from what I've read, Albinism just doesn't exist genetically in dogs.... there are white Boxers and Dobies, and other breeds, but they are not a true Albino, I cant for the life of me remember why, or find the link I was given to read up on it.... but the white dogs, are genetically white, not Albino (there must be a difference...)

    "Lethal white" was first used for horses. certain breeds will have a white foal that dies usually within a few hours of birth, I haven't done much reading up on that, so I dont know why. but the term is used for double merle dogs now, for the reason Snooks gave... people kill them due to deafness and/or blindness. the term isn't exactly accurate, but descriptive.... White Boxers are not lethal white's as it is only used to describe the double merles... at least in the deaf dog world... there are rescues out there who's sole purpose is rescuing and educating people about Lethal Whites (Lethal White Aussie Rescue, to name one) I will now be able to tell people that my dog is a Lethal White Daschund... She's gonna get a ton of interest anyway... as she is one unique looking Doxie!
  16. snooks Experienced Member

    I read somewhere that a lot of people google or search lethal white so most people if they want their things read do include the words lethal white to pop up in the internet searches. i think anything that adds a little drama and urgency to a cause catches the eye too.

    just a guess but since the foals that die are born white some pigment parallel was drawn and that was a good catch phrase for a an important cause. stopping the suffering caused by irresponsible breeders is so very important. getting people NOT to buy these dogs even if they don't understand why completely is the answer. if there's no money in it people won't breed them.
  17. sara Moderator

    We have discussed the buying of lethal whites often. you find one that a breeder is selling.... you want to rescue it, but it's not right giving a breeder money for a deaf or blind Lethal pup. often we will offer to cover costs, but if they wont take that... well that's a tough one, someone unsuitable might buy it... or it might get killed. we discuss this several times a year. Interestingly the only way to get an entire litter of merle puppies is to breed a Lethal (double Merle) to a solid.

    and to answer a prev. question by TXCG that I missed, no I have never used a vib. collar, but Scout pays such close attn, that it isn't needed. and my new pup will be too little... the collars are too big for little dogs. but many people do use them and are quite happy with them.

    I am a bit confused by the Harlequin vs Merle dane thing too. the dane that I transported last fall was deaf and visually impaired. he was a lethal white.... but not Merle.... the symptoms were double Merle, but he was a lightly patterned Harle... I dont get it. and cross a merle dane with a harle and you can get lethals too..... they call them Merlequin....

    ACD's and Dals have the same genetic reason for deafness.... I dont really understand that one either.

    and TXCG, all lethal whites (caused by the double merle) can have other health problems on top of the deaf and/or blindness. Megalosophagus is fairly common in the danes, but I haven't heard of any skin problems being common. White dobies and boxers are prone to skin issues I've been told. but it's funny, I dont think the dobies are commonly deaf.... we dont have a single one on our list that I know of.

    And yes Snooks, I LOVE the way they breed dogs in Germany, I wish every country followed their example! I bet they have a much healthier dog population because of it!
  18. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Indeed Germany is a wonderful role model for all countries to follow(as far as dog breeding, lol).

    I didn't know merles/harlequins could produce lethal whites. News to me!!! That's odd...because the harlequin pattern isn't really a merle pattern at all, it's just spotted just like a pointer or a Dallie. Wouldn't expect that.
  19. sara Moderator

    I know, it's rather odd. I think I am going to post on the Deaf Dog list, see what the experts come up with.... because that has me curious as heck. If their piebald then why does a double produce a lethal? or why if it's bred with a merle does it produce a lethal.... things to ponder..... lol

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