Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to run a pole but dont know how, but if you could give your thoughts on keeping puppies alive that have both sight and hearing gone feel free or a simple yes or no would be nice.

These are not my puppies, these are puppies out of Great Dane harliquin breeding from a breeder I know, this does not meen bad breeder as it happens even to the best breeders so I dont want it to go that way, you can pm me if you have questions on why the harl gene causes this.

Basicly there are three that are solid white and are possibly both deaf and blind and shes having a hard time culling them because of them being pups and being very sweet, if you have ever raised pups you will know how she feels..
Personaly i feel that its not humane to keep one that has both defects and I hope that possibly some of you would agree with me and maybe it would help her feel better about doing what I see is the right thing, and she knows it is but that doesnt always make it easier.
If they have only one of the defects Im going to take the deaf ones for training before they are homed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
Cull.

I'd cull all of them with both defects, any that are blind, and I'd give a lot of thought to culling the deaf ones.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,549 Posts
Nasty spot to be in, no one wants to kill puppies.
Having said that, cull.
It's hard enough to ensure a healthy dog will have a good life, these poor pups will not only have physical disabilities, but I'm sure you and your friend know that any Dane shouldn't go to just anyone, but needs a special home.
Do the puppies a favor and cull.

Then have a stiff drink and a good cry 'cause life's just not fair.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
I have a both a blind dog and a deaf dog. We live on a farm and both dogs have proven their usefullness around my livestock. Nobody is better at catching and holding young lambs than my totally blind dog. He was blinded at 5mos of age and never saw a sheep until he was 5 years old. They are also my companion dogs and spend a far bit of their time holding down my couch.

BUT, if a pup was both deaf and blind, I think I would cull it before it was weaned. I can see a lot of fear in the life of that dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,901 Posts
I have been in the same situation. A merle to merle breeding that was accidental. First, you will not know if they are deaf and blind until they get CERF's and at the very least some home hearing testing....BAER testing is better. In my experience I had a litter of 8. Four were double merles (the proper term is homozygous merle, but I will use double merle for simplicity). One was a toss up at first, could have been a sable merle headed white because of the amount of color on her head. Then I noticed the white on the backs of the ears which was proof she was a double merle. I waited until 8 weeks to make any decisions as double merle does not automatically mean blind and deaf even if completely white. Three of the double merles had very little or no color on the head. One had a normal colored head. I would have expected the one with a normal colored head to have been sighted and good hearing. One CERF's we found all puppies had sight impairments. The one with the colored head was slightly visual in one eye. One with a white head with one little splotch of color on the head was normal in one eye and blind in the other. The other 2 were completely blind. We then did hearing testing. The 2 that were completely blind were also completely deaf. I made the decision with my vet to euthanize them as I felt there was several issues- first, they would be VERY difficult to communicate with, train, keep safe and live with. Second, if frightened they had a high possibility of biting out of fear....a big deal with a large dog especially. The one who was normal in one eye is stone deaf. The pup with the colored head could hear certain pitches (higher pitched voices, etc)- but that did not develop until the pup was a bit older. At first she had great difficulty hearing voices- only responded to high pitched whistling. I decided these 2 puppies could have a good life with special training- hand signals for the deaf boy and touch training and whistles for the other girl. Both are doing wonderful at a little over a year old and people can miss the fact that they have these defects. I do not regret my desicion to let these 2 grow or to euthanize the ones I knew for a fact were both blind and deaf. I am glad I waited until CERF's and hearing testing was done, or a wonderful dog would have been euthanized. The color headed one I placed recently into a home where they work with disadvantaged children (physical and/or mental disabilites) and she will go to meetings and camping with them. She also goes to work daily with the "parents" and loves playing with thier other collie. They thanked me for choosing them to adopt her as they feel she is wonderful.
Here is some photos of my pups...
The mostly blind and partly deaf girl:


The deaf but sighted boy (adopted by my adult son):


These 2 are the ones that were blind and deaf:



As you can see, they have more color on the head than the one that can see, so you cannot go by that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
As much as I love Danes. I'd cull them. That is an awful lot of dog to be having such issues. It will do no one any favors to keep them. Can you even imagine 6 boisterous 8 week old danes who were deaf and blind. Oh my goodness!
 

·
Carpe Vinum
Joined
·
1,735 Posts
I would screen/test them as Willowynd suggested, would put down any that were blind/sight impaired. Would try with the ones that were deaf, I would not adopt out the dogs, and if I couldn't keep it/them would euth it. Cowgirl is right, thats too much dog to be disabled, and lately we've had a couple of threads concerning deaf dogs and the folks trying to adopt them, both puppies were biters and over the top I think, and it didn't work out well. Sad situation, not an easy choice.
 

·
Enabler!
Joined
·
3,865 Posts
I too would test. I can see keeping them if they had one or the other but not both defects. It is a hard choice but probably the best one. They would have sense of smell and touch and would be really difficult to train just with those two. To me with both defects it would be a limited and not very happy life. I cannot see a blind and deaf dog running and playing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I want to thank you all for your imput, it seemed to me I was the only one saying put them down, there is aparently people wanting these dogs to live and they want to adopt them, I believe as thearapy dogs and thats just flat out scarry to me, poor dog would have no way of understanding a normal house hold much less going places.
I hope this helps her know shes making the right choice despite what the save them alls say and Im glad to know others share my views as I was starting to feel cold hearted, but doing what I do I see to many healthy dogs being put to sleep, I cant see going all out just to save one that will have such a hard time with life. I told her people like those, want to do something to make themselves feel good rather then have the best interest of the dog in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,901 Posts
How old are the pups? Have them been tested? If there is some that are deaf or blind and need to be touch trained...it really is not that hard. If you need info on that, I would be happy to share. The hardest thing I found was training the deaf puppy to be quiet, but with carrying treats around in my pocket and treating whenever he looked at me, I trained him quite easily to look at me/for me. So even when he is 30 ft away, I can give a hand signal for him to quiet and he will. Now my gal that was mostly blind and partly deaf was touch trained as well. She picked it up quickly. She was never a barker...heard her bark maybe twice and she was a little over a year when she was placed. I think the most important thing with pups like this is to get them out and about and exposed to as many different things as possible. Crate train early....I beleive special need pups need a crate more than others- they need a spot to feel secure and call thier own and know they can eat without being bothered. Treat them like a NORMAL dog, but put the needed safeguards in place and adapt the method of communication. Socialize them with other dogs too. I strongly suggest keeping a blind dog with another dog- they help them get thier bearings, they play with them (yes, blind dogs can play too...they can even fetch if you use a scented object) and make them feel more secure. Deaf dogs are fine being placed by themselves and both need to be supervised around dominant dogs as being deaf they will not hear any vocalizations, or blind they will not see the body language.
I agree. Deaf AND Blind dogs IMO are not suited for therapy. I would be scared to even place them in a home- as they could be frightened by a child's sudden touch or a fall- that is another major reason I chose to euthanize mine. I know there have been people that keep deaf and blind pups, but I don't beleive it is fair to the dog or people aorund them.
I know exactly what your freind is going through - what thoughts are racing through her mind. Especially when you have a puppy that loves to lie in your lap and be cuddled. It is the hardest decision I had to make. I asked myself these questions and it helped me not feel as though I was a cruel monster:
1. Do I have the time to care for a deaf and blind dog without reducing the quality of care and attention my other dogs get for the rest of its life?
2. Can I prevent this dog from biting someone else if it accidentally gets frightened?
3. Do I have the environment that this dog would be safest in?


I answered no to every one of those. I was also determined that none of these special needs dogs would wind up in rescue. Oh I had several rescues offering to take the other 2 pups (that were either deaf or blind)....but they stopped when I voiced my opinion on that. I refused because I feel that they were MY resposibility. Even though I did not plan for them to be born- they were still mine. The rescues have plently of dogs who have been dumped or given up for some reason or because owners died. If they were to have taken these pups, they would have been taking up space for other dog that had a real need to be there. I was perfectly capable of providing for thier needs and learning how to train them- and if I found it was too much, then I would have euthanized them before I placed them in rescue. I did let the rescues tell people that the one girl was available, but asked that they give out her info only if another dog did not fit what they were looking for- afterall, this girl had a home for life if I could not find the perfect home for her. I see no issues with placing special needs dogs- especially when it would mean they would get more individual attention- but the homes that want them are few and the ones that will provide the best environment for them are even fewer. So if your freind is not prepared to keep the special needs pups for life, they it would be kindest to euthanize.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,901 Posts
I would screen/test them as Willowynd suggested, would put down any that were blind/sight impaired. Would try with the ones that were deaf, I would not adopt out the dogs, and if I couldn't keep it/them would euth it. Cowgirl is right, thats too much dog to be disabled, and lately we've had a couple of threads concerning deaf dogs and the folks trying to adopt them, both puppies were biters and over the top I think, and it didn't work out well. Sad situation, not an easy choice.
Why put down sight impaired only? If they can hear, smell and feel- they still get around quite well with no issues. Same for the deaf only. Remember , the puppy has never known any different. It does not miss that sense- it never had it. It does not know other dogs have that sense either like humans do since I doubt dogs talk about that :) Instead the gets along fine with the remaining senses of smell (very strong sense in a dog) and touch and either sight or hearing.
I beleive the issues that occur with deaf or blind dogs is not due to thier lack of that sense but thier breeders/owners. When they are not socialized early and introduced to different things and environment and dogs it does them a great disservice. If done when they are young pups, and worked with through thier fear periods- they take everything in stride as adults. The problem is people think- awww poor thing, let's protect it. Well it is that "protection" that turns them fearful and into biters. When I first started advertising Spring (mostly blind/partly deaf) as available I would not let anyone with young children take her- it was in my ad- no young children. Though some people ignored it, I turned them down. I had to know she was reliable and her reaction on being frightened before I could trust her around children. Later I took that restriction off as I knew how she reacted and she had already worked through her fear stages and was socialized with all ages. The other thing people think is they can't possibly discipline that poor pup. Again...big mistake. As any dog would that pup will turn out over the top, pushy and demanding. So I think you are being unfair to say that a blind or sight impaired dog is a risk. It is no more a risk than any other dog IF it is treated as a normal dog. It would be fair to say an unsocialized, untrained sight impaired dog or deaf dog is a risk.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have worked with both blind and deaf dogs and know they can go on living modified normal lives but not with both, I wouldnt know how to train one with both defects and Im the type of trainer that takes only hard cases.
I have offered to do the pre training on the deaf pups, I prefer to use a vibrating collars along with touch, not to be confused with shock collars for those that dont know.
The pups are 5 weeks old from my understanding shes hoping that the biggest merliquin is not with both defects as hes the largest and friendliest of the litter. Friday will tell more about their future and I hope for the best for her and the puppies effected.

Lesson for breeders, this is a second litter out of the same parents, the first litter was all born healthy with non of these problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
777 Posts
I saw a deaf white Dane adopted as a cute 8 week old puppy returned for euthanasia as a 7 month old. The dog was too big, and too strong for the owner to control while trying to teach it to pay attention for signals. Very few homes can manage a young dog of this size with serious disabilities.
 

·
Carpe Vinum
Joined
·
1,735 Posts
Why put down sight impaired only? If they can hear, smell and feel- they still get around quite well with no issues. Same for the deaf only. Remember , the puppy has never known any different. It does not miss that sense- it never had it. It does not know other dogs have that sense either like humans do since I doubt dogs talk about that :) Instead the gets along fine with the remaining senses of smell (very strong sense in a dog) and touch and either sight or hearing.
I beleive the issues that occur with deaf or blind dogs is not due to thier lack of that sense but thier breeders/owners. When they are not socialized early and introduced to different things and environment and dogs it does them a great disservice. If done when they are young pups, and worked with through thier fear periods- they take everything in stride as adults. The problem is people think- awww poor thing, let's protect it. Well it is that "protection" that turns them fearful and into biters. When I first started advertising Spring (mostly blind/partly deaf) as available I would not let anyone with young children take her- it was in my ad- no young children. Though some people ignored it, I turned them down. I had to know she was reliable and her reaction on being frightened before I could trust her around children. Later I took that restriction off as I knew how she reacted and she had already worked through her fear stages and was socialized with all ages. The other thing people think is they can't possibly discipline that poor pup. Again...big mistake. As any dog would that pup will turn out over the top, pushy and demanding. So I think you are being unfair to say that a blind or sight impaired dog is a risk. It is no more a risk than any other dog IF it is treated as a normal dog. It would be fair to say an unsocialized, untrained sight impaired dog or deaf dog is a risk.
This is going to sound so wrong Willow but if it was a sheltie or a collie we were talking about my opinion would be different, but as its a Great Dane yes I would put down the sight impaired pups and concentrate on the deaf ones. I know someone who has a double merle Great Dane thats never been hearing or sight tested. I feel that it is impaired and it is unpredictable and aggressive, I personally won't touch it or let my child near it, and I haven't been to their home in 2 years. This woman likes aggressive dogs, something I will never understand. It probably is unfair to judge the situation based on the size of the dog/breed alone, but I still feel that a blind Great Dane would be really hard to manage, and its not something I would want to do myself, JMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,901 Posts
I understand your point Honorine...but would it matter of the dog was full sighted and perfect hearing if that is the kind of dog this woman breeds for? You actually have the key to this difference of opinion right in what you said. "This woman likes aggressive dogs,"....she breeds for that. Now what if this double merle or double harl dane was from tempermentally sound, non-agressive parents....would you feel differently?
I don't think it is a breed issue or special needs issue but a temperament issue. I have seen extremely shy collies and shelties, agressive collies and shelties and some that were just plain nuts. If they were bred accidentally or otherwise, I would hope all the pups would be euthanized (ducking here). Let me explain before anyone start firing off. No matter if they had normal vision and hearing or were deaf or blind, the pups have a pretty darn good chance of having those traits and live a miserable life through no fault of thier owners. I have a sighted /hearing dog in my kennel right now from show lines that are known for thier agression and shyness....the dog is a rescue from the breeder who passed from cancer (no I still have not put her down as she started making some progress again). She is a basket case and will never be able to be placed in a normal home. She should have been euthanized as a pup- instead she was bred and produced more shy and agressive pups....and at least a few of those pups were passed on to novices who continue to breed them because they are "beautiful".
I agree, I personally would not want to manage a blind dane myself either. I was carrying/encouraging with some pulling and pushing Spring through her fear periods with stairs and lead training was a challenge then- I could imagine how difficult it would have been with a dane pup. But then again, I am a small woman and cannot even pick up my adult male collies. Maybe someone bigger/stronger would think it was no big deal.
It all depends on what the breeder can handle, temperment of the dog, how much time the breeder can devote and the ability to provide a secure enviroment. If even one of these things are lacking, then it will not work and the pup is best euthanized. But if all these things are viable, then the pup should be given the chance to live a long healthy, happy life. Regardless, I don't want to come off sounding judgemental. I would never fault anyone for deciding to humanely end a pups or dogs life they brought into this world or rescued if they honestly felt it was the most humane thing to do. It is a personal decision that until you have been there, you honestly cannot imagine how difficult it is and even after the choice is made either way, you can spend months wondering if you made the right choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,901 Posts
You would think after she beat fate the first time, she would have not tempted fate again. But what is done is done. Please give us an update. it is wonderful that your offering to work with the deaf pups. If there are any that is blind, will you work with them as well? Or has she decided to euthanize any blind ones? I do not know if you ahve worked with sight or hearing impaired pups before, but if you would like info on how I worked with mine, I would be happy to share. Do stress that it is important that the defective pups get worked with several times a day and ideally need to be with someone inside for mini sessions many times a day. I used different scents placed in different places to help the pups find thier way easier.
Also, I found if I carried a small bottle of room freshner, I could spray that and cause the pup to stop and sniff the air, giving me a chance to get a hand on it to give a command.


I have worked with both blind and deaf dogs and know they can go on living modified normal lives but not with both, I wouldnt know how to train one with both defects and Im the type of trainer that takes only hard cases.
I have offered to do the pre training on the deaf pups, I prefer to use a vibrating collars along with touch, not to be confused with shock collars for those that dont know.
The pups are 5 weeks old from my understanding shes hoping that the biggest merliquin is not with both defects as hes the largest and friendliest of the litter. Friday will tell more about their future and I hope for the best for her and the puppies effected.

Lesson for breeders, this is a second litter out of the same parents, the first litter was all born healthy with non of these problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
Many good posts and lots of good advice.

Your friend sounds like she doesn't understand the merle gene...the gene that provides the pattern in both the merle and the harl Great Dane. Doubling up on that gene (breeding harl to harl or harl to merle) is always going to be a crap shoot as far as getting deaf and/or blind pups. It shouldn't be done. You might want to advise her to breed to a solid or a mantle from now on.

Now on to the problem at hand. I agree with Willowynd. Get them tested. The gene that produces the problems is not absolute and there is no guarantee that these pups are absolutely blind and completely deaf. With some sight and hearing they can live reasonably normal lives and in some cases....completely normal lives. I do feel that completely blind deaf pups should be euthed. The chance of a quality life is very much diminished when both of these senses are missing.

There are many dogs who enjoy good lives who are missing either sight or hearing. I would hate to see them euthed until the breeder knows for sure that there is little hope of a good life.

The breeder has chosen to bring these babies into the world. It doesn't sound like an accidental breeding. She now needs to accept responsibility for them. In today's economy, as someone else said, so many completely normal dogs are being euthed because there are no homes. Even with partial hearing or vision these dogs may be very hard to place or go to homes who just see a free Great Dane and think they can handle the handicaps. These 'bargain hunter' homes usually dump the dog when things get tough to deal with or they find out how much extra effort it will take to train them. If she isn't willing to keep these guys for ever, if the perfect home doesn't come along, then she should euth and accept that it is a very sad lesson in breeding. If she is willing then I would recommend the testing to determine just how severe the problems are.

In reading the post about the woman who likes aggressive Danes.....I didn't read that to be the same person who has the pups. If they are one and the same....shame on her. I would say definitely put the pups to sleep if the parents are aggressive. There is no room in this world for an aggressive Great Dane....normal or handicapped. Hopefully, the breeder isn't the same person who likes aggressive Danes and these pups are from sweet parents who exemplify what the breed is supposed to be. Temperament potential is definitely something to consider when planning the future for these pups.

Willow101
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
this isnt a harl to harl or harl to merle breeding, but a mantal to harl if Im not mistaken, this said she will not breed those two again. I asked that it not become a matter of breeding ethics as what is done is done.

I cant say I agree on culling blind over deaf only, I think that having a deaf dog is harder to deal with than a blind, but neither should be in a family with small children that cant understand not to come up on suddenly.

I have work with both imparments but if you have tips WW I am never above learning anything new, the fact Im always willing to learn is what I feel makes me a better trainer
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
I wouldn't necessarily cull if it was only one disability, but I would if it were both. As I said, it's a lot of dog with a disability for a person. Many people out there can't even control a 'complete' sensory functional dog much less one that is disabled, especially large dogs like a Dane. I love the breed, but I also understand their faults, strengths and weaknesses.

***I hope I don't offend with what I'm about to say, but these are my feelings on this:

Willowynd I like that you've trained and taken responsibility for the dogs you bred (though I know it wasn't intentional), but not everyone is capable of properly training a disabled dog and nor should they be encouraged to do so. Collies and danes, while they are both a dog, danes are just so much larger and could really hurt someone more so than a smaller dog...body wise as well as bite wise. Danes also aren't the 'brightest kids on the block' compared to a collie-I know there are some exceptions to this, but I have one-she's not so bright and is also a 'fearful' dog-she does not take change well. O also know a lot of danes...they are not labs or collies by any means. I feel that the training on a dane would take quite a bit longer in general than a collie hence requiring more time and patience. It really takes a dedicated person who has a bit of time to work with the dog...heck most people can't take care of their kids properly much less a dog with special needs...

Anyways...If this woman doesn't have time or the experience to train them (as in a full time job outside the home-I honestly don't think that she'd have time to train them all if she did have another job) then she should cull them if they have multiple disabilities-of course testing is going to cost her more money and not many people are willing to pay normal pup fees that one would ask for a 'normal' litter, for a disabled pup-another thing to think about.

Being a responsible breeder sometimes means making these kinds of tough decisions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
this isnt a harl to harl or harl to merle breeding, but a mantal to harl if Im not mistaken, this said she will not breed those two again. I asked that it not become a matter of breeding ethics as what is done is done.


A harl to a mantle should not produce deaf blind pups. a mantle is genetically a solid dog with white trim. It is likely that the dog that is supposed to be a mantle is actually a harl with a ton of black...masking the fact that it is a harl. In the Australian Shepherd this is called a phantom merle as the dogs look like tris. No matter what, I'm glad she isn't breeding these two again.

Willow101
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top