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I have a new 8 week old male solid White Boxer puppy with Blue eyes that i think maybe deaf, he acts like he can hear if i'm close to him. But if i'm 15 or more feet away he acts like he can't hear,i used a whistle to test him out. Other than this he seems to be completly fine,he runs & plays and is such a beautiful Boxer. He's going to be such a nice looking adult Boxer, but i'm wondering how hard it will be to have a dog that's deaf? From all i have researched about White Boxers i knew they have a good chance of being deaf, and going blind. But i really thought he could hear when i got him, but as time goes by i'm thinking he's about halfway deaf. And i'm worried what may be happening is he is slowly losing his hearing,and will end up totally deaf. Also with his eyes one is a very bright Blue, and the other is a darker Blue. Will his eyes being Blue make him have a bigger chance of going blind?He's such a smart and wonderful Boxer, this is truely a heart breaking situation.Is there anyone here that has a Boxer that is deaf, and how hard is it to take care of one? I'm going to do whatever it takes to make 100% sure he lives a happy life, i WILL NOT have him put to sleep! (as some others have suggested,even a Vet) Thanks for letting me talk about my little White guy, and Thanks for any help you can offer. Larry
 

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I also wanted to let everyone know how i came to own the little White Boxer, i got the Boxer from someone that had bought it a week ago. He took it to a Vet to get it checked out, and the Vet said it couldn't hear good and it wouldn't get any better. So the guy knew i had a 4 year old Flashy female Boxer and that i love Boxers,so he asked me if i wanted him. So i took him because i don't want to see it go to the wrong home, or end up neglected, it's not it's fault it's here so it deserves to live a happy life in a loving home. And another thing is i sure don't want someone trying to breed him to another Boxer,that's the last thing the Boxer breed needs. There seems to be plenty of Boxer breeders, but NOT enough Boxer breeders that want the help the breed! The one thing i really don't like is people that think they can make a quick buck on a litter of pups,and don't care at all about the Boxer breed itself. And i WILL be getting him neutered as soon as i can. I want to put up some good pic's of my female Boxer to see what you guy's think of her,as soon as i get some good ones i'll put them up. Thanks again,Larry
 

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Hi there,
Congrats on your new baby, and I'm sorry that he has been having issues with his hearing. I'm going to break your post apart and see if I can answer your questions one at a time.

he acts like he can hear if i'm close to him. But if i'm 15 or more feet away he acts like he can't hear,i used a whistle to test him out
Other things that you can do to test his hearing is to have someone hold him so that his back is toward you and walk up behind him clapping your hands very loudly. Do this on a concrete surface, if at all possible to avoid letting him know that you're sneaking up on him (if you do it on hardwood floors, there is a chance that he'll be able to feel the vibrations through the floor).

Other things you can do is begin associating treats with plastic bags, or some other bag that makes noise when you open it. Continue to give him treats from the bag until you're sure that he associates the bag with the treats (ie: Put the bag up on the counter, return to it later, pick it up and see if he comes running.), and then approach from behind, messing with the bag. If he turns around, you know that he can hear it.

how hard it will be to have a dog that's deaf?
It will be more difficult, and you will have to alter your training methods considerably. THE ABSOLUTE BEST thing that you can do for him is to work on getting and keeping his attention on you at all times. This could inevitably save his life someday. Please know that deaf boxers have a much higher chance of being hit by cars. This is simply because once they get away from their owners, they cannot hear them when they are called back. Because of this, it is absolutely imperative that your dog is NEVER allowed to be off the leash or uncontained by a fence or some other type of enclosure. Also, I would work on making him sit before exiting doors, each and every time you go through the door. This will ensure that he does not become a "bolter" and that he does not rush through the door and escape past you.

From all i have researched about White Boxers i knew they have a good chance of being deaf, and going blind.
Yes, white boxers have a higher chance of being deaf. It has been proven that the cause is unpigmented (white) hairs inside the ear canal. These unpigmented hairs die off at a very young age (I believe by 3-5 weeks). As a result, the hearing is lost. Unilateral deafness (deafness in only one ear) is also possible. Please know that hearing loss with regards to the white color does not happen after this time period. In other words, your boxer will not continue to lose his hearing; what is done is done, so if he has hearing in one ear, he will likely retain his hearing in that ear into old age.

The old wives tale about white boxers being prone to blindness is untrue. So, barring old age, you most likely won't have to worry about that.

i sure don't want someone trying to breed him to another Boxer,that's the last thing the Boxer breed needs
Kudos to you! And you're absolutely correct in thinking that breeding a deaf white (even to a colored boxer) has the potential to produce more whites, AND the potential to introduce deafness even into our colored boxers as well, per Dr. Strain.

There seems to be plenty of Boxer breeders, but NOT enough Boxer breeders that want the help the breed!
I agree with this completely, and unfortunately, this is why our rescues are full of unwanted boxers, why many boxers no longer look like boxers, and why health and temperament problems are running rampant in the poorly bred stock in our breed. Good for you for having him neutered, this is also just one more way that you can prevent issues from cropping up in the future!

Good luck with him - he sounds like an absolute doll. You're doing everything correct with him, it will just take time, patience, training and understanding. You might also want to contact a training club near you - the help and advice that they will be able to provide to you will be immeasurable.

Can't wait to see pics of your girl!
 

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Also work on hand signals in training.  These dogs are so smart - my Chloe understands hand signals for sit and stay (although she isn't consistant at 17 weeks).
 

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BurningRiver\";p=\"557 said:
how hard it will be to have a dog that's deaf?
It will be more difficult, and you will have to alter your training methods considerably. THE ABSOLUTE BEST thing that you can do for him is to work on getting and keeping his attention on you at all times. This could inevitably save his life someday. Please know that deaf boxers have a much higher chance of being hit by cars. This is simply because once they get away from their owners, they cannot hear them when they are called back. Because of this, it is absolutely imperative that your dog is NEVER allowed to be off the leash or uncontained by a fence or some other type of enclosure. Also, I would work on making him sit before exiting doors, each and every time you go through the door. This will ensure that he does not become a "bolter" and that he does not rush through the door and escape past you.
Jessica, I think I am going to have to disagree with you on this point  :wink:  Actually training deaf boxers is easier, because you have to alter and be aware of your body language. If we trained hearing dogs like we train deaf dogs, we would find them easier to train as well. Although you do have a very key point about the recall. Our rescue had a similar situation to the OP, we got a call from Animal Humane, they had a boxer mix puppy that was deaf, adopted out and returned (they have a strict return = euthanization policy, no matter what reason is given) so I took this pup (Radar) and went to my trainer for tips and training hints. Here are the things she recommended:

1. Consider a vibrating collar for recall. Be sure you have a very good and well qualified trainer to assist you in getting this type of collar adjusted properly and training you and the dog to use it.
2. RIGHT NOW you need to put the dog on a long leash (~15-20ft) and take him to somewhere safe, and let him wander, every time he turns to look at you use the hand signal for come, and give him the Caviar of treats. Your goal here is to train him to look at you often no matter the distraction, the leash is so that once you give the "come" signal, you can reel him in. Always look like the sun rises and sets on this pup when you are doing this exercise. This is the most crucial part of his training. This part may save his life on that odd chance he gets loose.
3. I would recommend you get the books "Dont Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor and "The other end of the leash" by Patricia McConnell, other than being great books for any dog owner, they will help you to learn and use what is called operant conditioning, you will need the tips and hints on how to vary treating schedules and rewards in order to make something stick.
4. Deaf dogs are so wonderful, they dont start barking if someone in the neighborhood is barking, if a car door slams or if the kids next door are running pell-mell around the neighborhood.  :wink: disadvantage is that they have no modulation on thier voices and tend to be a little loud. Again the books from # 3 can help you in teaching him how to control his voice.

Lastly, I believe the Greater Ohio Boxer Rescue has some great links to training deaf dogs. One of their volunteers is a trainer that works with deaf animals. They would be a great resource to find information.

Congrats and give the little tyke a hug from me  :D
 

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I have one Deaf dog who is 5 and a hearing dog who is 3. May i just say that the Deaf dog was easier to train than the other. One thing that i was told when i got my deaf princess was that i would not be able to let her outside with out a leash. Because she grew up with a much older,wiser boxer, she now goes outside to pee, and comes in without a leash. Maddy, the deaf dog, does know a couple signs, but she mainly goes on body language. One word she knows very well is "No" and for good girl sign we just wiggle our fingers, and she goes on and wiggles her bum. Dont be concerned that your baby will be harder, there are many deaf dog sign language books out there that may come in handy. Another thing that deaf dogs have a plus in is, i find that my deaf babe is much more sensitive than my other dogs. She knows my body language and has a much kinder personality.
I hope this gives you some insight. Its simple, but practise is key. Good luck with your new puppy. :)
 

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Deaf dogs can be easier to train than hearing dogs.  That is because they don't have sound distractions to deal with.  They are also more likely to look to you for guidance.

Hand signals are great.

Good luck!

Liz and Lilly
 

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We just got Sadie about a month ago.  She is also a white boxer.  She doesn't appear to have any hearing problems other than her being stubborn at times.  I wouldn't worry to much if he/she is deaf because I've seen people post very informative websites about hand signals.  I would suggest snapping your finger beside/to the back of each ear and see if you get a response.
 

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Bless you for taking him on.  I have no experience with deaf boxers but you have gotten good advice here.  Any time you need questions answered there are a lot of experienced people on this forum.  I'm glad you found us!
 

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My hearing boxers listen to my hand signals way better than my voice commands.  Only issue you will have is the come and I have a hard time to get my hearing dogs to respond to that voice command as quickly as I'd like so we will still be on the same page!  You're wonderful for taking on that great pup.  I had a male boxer go deaf later in life and I was so glad that I train with hand signals.  He never missed a beat!

Nano
 
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