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Discussion Starter #1
We got our new baby Saturday, her name is Storm. Within an hour of picking her up, I suspected she was deaf. I shared my concerns with hubby last night, he had also noticed she wasn't responding to sound. Vet check today, vet is positive she is deaf, as well. BAER testing is $250, vet says it's a waste of money, there is no doubt she cannot hear.

Breeder has offered a replacement puppy, or a partial refund, and asked what we thought was fair. I need to get back with her tonight with a decision.

I've been doing research, I know a deaf dog isn't the end of the world, and I know we can train her with hand signals. I will not let her be put to sleep. SHE doesn't know she is deaf.

Our heartache, we have a 3 yr old, he is a bit delayed. It may be a year before he understands to stomp the floor to let Storm know he is there.

What should we do?

Hubby wants to have the breeder replace her with another puppy, and allow us to find a home that can deal with a deaf puppy. Breeder says she has never had a deaf puppy before, I do believe her about her, and she did not say what she would do with Storm if we exchanged her for another puppy. I am afraid she will put her to sleep...everything I've read on Google says most breeders will do that.

I am simply devastated. I was prepared for HD, but a deaf puppy never crossed my mind. We ALL love her (hubby and all our kids). I want to keep her, and if I have to, put a basket muzzle on her until the toddler can understand how to alert her to his presence. Hubby thinks that is terribly cruel and unfair to her.

Please share your thoughts, I have cried for the last two hours since the vet confirmed our suspicions. I HAVE to put my son first, obviously, but I need to be fair to this baby too. CAN she have quality of life in a muzzle most of the time????? Can she EVER be trusted not to startle bite?
 

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I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.

Having children and a GSD puppy is hard enough when those kids are 7 and 9 (in my case) and I cannot imagine having one and a 3 year old, and, on top of that, a special needs 3 year old.

I would put emotion aside and look at the next 10 years, and take a replacement puppy and start with the odds more in my favor.
 

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As hard as it is to say it I think sunflowers said it best by trying to remove all emotion from it. I like the idea of you finding it a home but the breeder may not want you to do that.

If I was in your situation with a young child, I would want to be able to get my dogs attention from a distance just in case and for everyone's safety
 

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I agree , it's a heartbreaking situation. Has the breeder said what she would do with the puppy?
 

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I agree with the others. A deaf dog presents many challenges, and your human family needs to come first. I would get a replacement pup and let the breeder place the deaf one.

I had not heard of deafness in GSDs. Is she white?
 

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I do not have experience with this issue other than a deaf kitty....no kids in the house so I really do not have anything to offer in what you are asking. I wanted to tell you I have been following your other thread and we all had fingers, toes, paws and hooves crossed for a better diagnosis for your family and sweet baby girl, Storm. I was SO excited anticipating the arrival of our pup so I can imagine how devastated you are.....big hugs. I believe you will need to follow your heart along with your instinct in this decision. I can tell you have a big heart and would definitely give little Storm every opportunity to have a wonderful life with your family. I also want to say if your instinct question whether this is right for your family, then their is no shame in thus situation in not trying to keep her. If you don't keep her, I love hubby's idea if y'all placing the pup in the right hone. Good luck and I hope all works out for the best to you, your family and sweet Storm.

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Are the other 3 senses good on her? One thing is you would never have to worry about storm with fire works, bangs booms and things. You would have to protect her more though. From cars and things like that. You would be surprised how well a dog can get along missing one of their senses. I say this in hopes that the breeder gives her a chance at life.
 

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That is terrible. My heart goes out to you and Storm. I do believe you should replace the puppy, but you need to make sure she will not put her to sleep. And you know, why not give Storm to a family that can handle a deaf puppy, and then get the partial refund. So, Storm still has a life and a home, and you get a puppy that works for your family. Good Luck!
 

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I'm usually the first to protect children from potential problems and getting another pup is probably the best choice.
On the other hand.
I don't understand why the breeder needs to know tonight. You just got the pup and shouldn't be hurried into a decision. There is no hurry right now.

I don't know a dang thing about raising a deaf pup but I believe you should at least have time to speak to someone who does.

Maybe Jean would know. She is an administrator on here.
 

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I think it can be really hard to work with a deaf puppy, I know alot of aussie people deal with deaf dogs (it can be rather prevailant within the breed espec merlexmerle breedings)..I DO Know it CAN be done.

I believe there is a deaf dog forum 'somewhere',,that could help.

I'm not sure I'd have the time/patience to deal espec with a puppy:( Keeping them forever onleash, in fenced areas especially.

My 13 yr old aussie lost her hearing maybe a year ago, she's deaf as a doornail..However, I teach all my dogs hand signals early on, so it's easier dealing with this "now" vs her whole life..

I like your husband's idea..ask if the breeder will allow YOU to find an appropriate home for her, if she refuses, I would kinda want to know what they would do with her.

It's very hard to keep 'emotion' out of it because it's not her fault, she's a cute little bundle of fur.

I don't envy your decision, good luck with whatever you decide
 

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I don't know how you take the emotions out of it. Maybe some can, but not me.
I don't think I could send an otherwise healthy puppy back to a breeder, if there were any possibility it would be euthanized.

I can't offer advice re dealing with a special needs pup while raising a special needs child, as I haven't lived through that.

Having a blind dog has permanently changed me, and how I view these dogs. I never thought I wanted a special needs dog. I ended up with one by accident after we fostered this dog -- and fell madly in love with his clever, goofy, fun personality.
He was meant to be part of our family all along.

Having a blind dog has made me a better, more aware dog owner -- it's been an awesome, fun, wonderful journey with this dog. I haven't had a deaf dog (other than a senior who is going deaf), so I don't know if it's the same experience. I can say that my life is better for having this blind dog in it, even though he is missing one of his senses. We don't feel like we have a "broken" dog--we have a dog who has become a dad-gum mascot for our training group, is known by name all over town, selected as the dog of the year by a charity group, who lives life to its fullest and is one of the happiest dogs I've ever known.

I think you'll have many challenges with this pup. I know it's a very hard decision. Good luck!
 

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I really hate to say it. Go get a replacement puppy.
A 10-15 year lifespan vs the short time you've had her?
I am sure a non-deaf puppy will be a lot easier on the entire family.
Sorry for having such a tough decision to make.
 

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I don't know how one would take the emotion out of it either..For me, if I knew the puppy would go to a good home with someone willing to devote the time this is going to take, I would be at peace with that..
 

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I would recommend returning the pup to the breeder. I don't know how this could have been missed, not with good socialization. I know when I have my pups I take one pup out of the "pack" and have it hang around with me one-on-one , a dog of the day . Had she done this she would have caught it , easily. My vet , who does house calls, does neurological tests for hearing , eye , balance , and co-ordination reflexes.

She is offering a replacement -- that is good , but have it tested (satisfy yourself !) . I don't understand the partial refund ??? --- FULL refund . You have only had the dog a few hours - .
The onus should be on her to find a home, not you or your husband. She will have the network -- even if she were to offer the dog to someone who has previously had a deaf dog (white boxers?) (dalmations) .
If you were to keep her the family dynamics will suffer. Stress . Inhibitions . It is not fair to have her under vigilant surveillance and muzzles . She needs to be a natural dog , your child needs to stretch and be spontaneous and be a natural baby , "kiddo".

As far as hand signals for training , fine if you had dedication and skill and had an attentive dog receptive to learning -- not all are ! and as you see on the forum , people seem to be challenged with normal pups .

there is a difference when a dog has been with you and bonded and over time and with age things fail -- you have the foundation and routine and relationship which will help you accept problems and continue to enjoy a good rewarding relationship. When you start off and it is work-work-work- frustration - right out of the gate , that is different . Better to rehome for someone totally prepared , rather than regret or resent and rehome later , when family tempers are frayed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ugh, this is so hard. Just to clarify, the breeder did not say I had to let her know tonight. I called her as soon as I got home from the vet, to be within the 72 hour health guarantee. I left her know Storm is deaf, she immediately offered a new pup. I said no, but that I thought a partial refund was in order. She asked how much, I said I would discuss with my husband and get back to her tonight. Obviously my heart was (and still is) doing the talking, fortunately my husband is a little better at looking at the long-term unemotionally. To my knowledge, there are still puppies available from her litter. I feel that if I want a different pup, I should let her know ASAP.

The board seems to be pretty unanimous we would be better off with a hearing puppy, and since you all have no vested interest one way or another, that's important to me.

I need to do right by my kiddo, and I need to do right by my puppy. This is really hard.

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Have you considered keeping the deaf puppy and getting another one as well? I would be concerned about what the breeder might do to a less than perfect puppy. I had a deaf cat for 17 years and he did fine but I've never had a deaf dog.
 

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MAybe you should ask for a full refund and go with a different breeder altogether? Perhaps she would let the puppy be placed through a reputable gsd rescue? That's what I would try to do. I would not give that puppy back if you think there is even a chance she will be pts. Ask her directly what she is going to do with the puppy and also contact rescue to ask if they would consider taking the pup if the breeder signs him over.

I personally would keep the pup but I don't have a developmentally delayed child and I always adopt animals with known issues. :rolleyes:

Also, just in case you are thinking about keeping her--there are other options such as tethering her to you (which is the best way to teach housebreaking) and using crates and gates to keep her separate from your son until he gets how to handle her.

Did you join that yahoo group I posted on your original thread? I am positive they could give you much better advice than we can.
 
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