Miniature Pinscher Puppy - deaf? Half deaf? losing my mind

kaczman

New Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2015
Messages
4
Likes
0
Points
0
#1
Hi all,

I have a 7 week old miniature pinscher. I feel 80% confident the dog is deaf. It is not responding to any words or commands. I cannot get its attention by snapping in its ears.

The ONLY way I can get the dog to respond is by shaking a tin can of coins. The dog hears it, and can tell in which direction I am shaking it.

I usually cannot wake it with any other sound than the cans in the tin. The Vet I took it to had nothing to say.
 

Maxy24

Active Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
8,070
Likes
2
Points
38
Age
26
Location
Massachusetts
#2
The vet didn't respond to your concerns at all? At 7 weeks I wouldn't really expect him to be responding to commands...I can't imagine he knows much. I also find very young pups are heavy sleepers, they become more alert later on. But unique or loud sounds should still get some sort of response when he's awake. If he responds to the coins (and you're sure he isn't seeing you shaking your arm and responding to that) then he likely hears at least a little bit. Have you tried a squeaky toy held behind your back? Or a whistle? I believe the only way to know for sure is a BAER test, done by a vet. Also be sure he doesn't have ear infections or anything like that which could be impacting his ability to hear.
 

milos_mommy

Active Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2006
Messages
15,349
Likes
0
Points
36
#3
At 7 weeks, it could be possible he's just not aware of how to react to noise. Does he react when you make a strange noise (not a word) like a whistle or purr or PUPPUPPUP noise? Or click your tongue?

I'd find it strange if he reacted to a can of coins and not other noises, because that's not an extreme pitch where if he could only hear higher pitches or lower pitches, he would react. Does he look at a slamming door or notice when you come in a room if he's not sleeping but also not looking??

Where did you get the puppy? Does the breeder or rescue have anything to say about it?
 

kaczman

New Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2015
Messages
4
Likes
0
Points
0
#4
The vet didn't respond to your concerns at all? At 7 weeks I wouldn't really expect him to be responding to commands...I can't imagine he knows much. I also find very young pups are heavy sleepers, they become more alert later on. But unique or loud sounds should still get some sort of response when he's awake. If he responds to the coins (and you're sure he isn't seeing you shaking your arm and responding to that) then he likely hears at least a little bit. Have you tried a squeaky toy held behind your back? Or a whistle? I believe the only way to know for sure is a BAER test, done by a vet. Also be sure he doesn't have ear infections or anything like that which could be impacting his ability to hear.
Thanks for your response. The vet diddn't do anything but check the ears and said they looked very good. No infections she could see. He responds to the coins, and if I jingle keys, both wake him up or get him to turn in the direction they are if I am behind him. Also today a coworker slammed a door about 15 feet away and it started him heavily, which gives me hope.

At 7 weeks, it could be possible he's just not aware of how to react to noise. Does he react when you make a strange noise (not a word) like a whistle or purr or PUPPUPPUP noise? Or click your tongue?

I'd find it strange if he reacted to a can of coins and not other noises, because that's not an extreme pitch where if he could only hear higher pitches or lower pitches, he would react. Does he look at a slamming door or notice when you come in a room if he's not sleeping but also not looking??

Where did you get the puppy? Does the breeder or rescue have anything to say about it?
Thanks for your response. No odd noises will get any attention. A snap of my fingers or hand clap does nothing. Today a coworker slammed a door about 15 feet away and it started him heavily, which gives me hope. Thats the first time jingleing keys or rattleing cans have ever had an effect on this dog. I'm starting to think he can only hear very high pitched noises.

I got the puppy from a group of hiillbillies that have never bred a dog before. They were feeding him kibbles & bits with milk on top, and gave him NO shots or any type of vet visit... for 7 weeks.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
540
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
Oregon
#5
You need to take your dog to a different vet who will actually listen to you and do a hearing test on him. But at that age he probably doesn't know any words or commands (I'm assuming you haven't had him for very long?)

I also recommend you take him to puppy classes so he can learn some commands and get some socialization.
 

milos_mommy

Active Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2006
Messages
15,349
Likes
0
Points
36
#6
I'd recommend calling another vet for a second opinion and asking for a hearing test.

There is a chance, if he's responding to the sound and not vibration, of a door slam and keys/coins jingling (as those noises vary in pitch and aren't particularly high or low) that if this dog was in a really strange environment as a puppy (like a puppy mill type situation, or even just being yelled at or around yelling from birth) that he's somewhat immune or shut down to human voices, clapping, etc.

It's really hard to tell over the internet, and might even be hard to tell in person without a real hearing test. The good news is, deafness seems to affect dogs fairly minimally, and the puppy will still be very capable of learning hand signals and being trained if he is deaf, and can live a totally normal life with really minimal intervention.
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
128
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
San Diego
#7
It does sound unusual from what you are saying, but we all hope there isn't anything wrong. How about a squeaker toy? This typically gets most young dog's attention
 

kaczman

New Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2015
Messages
4
Likes
0
Points
0
#8
You need to take your dog to a different vet who will actually listen to you and do a hearing test on him. But at that age he probably doesn't know any words or commands (I'm assuming you haven't had him for very long?)

I also recommend you take him to puppy classes so he can learn some commands and get some socialization.
I'd recommend calling another vet for a second opinion and asking for a hearing test.

There is a chance, if he's responding to the sound and not vibration, of a door slam and keys/coins jingling (as those noises vary in pitch and aren't particularly high or low) that if this dog was in a really strange environment as a puppy (like a puppy mill type situation, or even just being yelled at or around yelling from birth) that he's somewhat immune or shut down to human voices, clapping, etc.

It's really hard to tell over the internet, and might even be hard to tell in person without a real hearing test. The good news is, deafness seems to affect dogs fairly minimally, and the puppy will still be very capable of learning hand signals and being trained if he is deaf, and can live a totally normal life with really minimal intervention.
It does sound unusual from what you are saying, but we all hope there isn't anything wrong. How about a squeaker toy? This typically gets most young dog's attention
Hi all. I wanted to say thanks, and report back with some new information. I have had the dog only 5 days now, but I am pretty sure the dog is not deaf. He can clearly hear doors slamming, squeek toys, keys jingling, etc. He is especially afraid of the weed wacker.

I am not sure if he was raised improperly (at this point I am pretty sure of it) or just neglected. He just does not respond to voice, at all. Snapping fingers by his ears does absolutely nothing either. He does respond to whistling, which gives me hope. He goes wild for the squeek toy too, which is a good sign.

I am going to change my Vet. This one just seemed like she did not care, what so ever. Which is disappointing because one of my very close friends with pets said it was a great hospital... not in my opinion.

Puppy classes sounds like a good idea, as I have raised dogs before, but never this young. Any idea where to look, or which ones to enroll in? Its a completely new process for me, and I thank everyone for your advice and help.
 

milos_mommy

Active Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2006
Messages
15,349
Likes
0
Points
36
#9
Puppy classes are especially important for a puppy who's been taken away from his/her mother and littermates at an early age, as that can severely affect their ability to socialize with other dogs, as well as learning bite inhibition (luckily good training and socialization with you can usually make up for it :) )

Personally, I would always look for a positive reinforcement trainer, although I know others on here don't think a trainer should label themselves. Be wary of any trainer who supports dominance theory or will push your puppy to socialize past it's comfort zone. I train at petco, and I really like our (fairly new) training program and philosophy, but TBH I'm not entirely sure how well other stores follow the program - I've heard mixed things. You can talk to a trainer there at your store and decide if you're comfortable with it. Otherwise, I would just google local training programs, and call and ask about what methods they use.

It sounds like the puppy isn't deaf, he just either 1) had no human interaction and doesn't know how to respond to it or 2) had some bad experiences with human voices and has learned to ignore them. I bet with time and encouragement he will respond to your voice once he realize you talking to him means he's getting food, attention, playtime, etc.
 

kaczman

New Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2015
Messages
4
Likes
0
Points
0
#10
Puppy classes are especially important for a puppy who's been taken away from his/her mother and littermates at an early age, as that can severely affect their ability to socialize with other dogs, as well as learning bite inhibition (luckily good training and socialization with you can usually make up for it :) )

Personally, I would always look for a positive reinforcement trainer, although I know others on here don't think a trainer should label themselves. Be wary of any trainer who supports dominance theory or will push your puppy to socialize past it's comfort zone. I train at petco, and I really like our (fairly new) training program and philosophy, but TBH I'm not entirely sure how well other stores follow the program - I've heard mixed things. You can talk to a trainer there at your store and decide if you're comfortable with it. Otherwise, I would just google local training programs, and call and ask about what methods they use.

It sounds like the puppy isn't deaf, he just either 1) had no human interaction and doesn't know how to respond to it or 2) had some bad experiences with human voices and has learned to ignore them. I bet with time and encouragement he will respond to your voice once he realize you talking to him means he's getting food, attention, playtime, etc.
Thanks for your response. Where would I said find puppy classes? The dog has proper bite inhibition, and socializes with people and other dogs really, really well. I still cannot get him to respond to voice, positive or negative however. I found the petsmart classes, but none relate to what you recommended. You say you work at petco, I think there is one close around me.
 

milos_mommy

Active Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2006
Messages
15,349
Likes
0
Points
36
#11
You can always ask your vet or a local groomer or someone in the pet industry (even at a small local feed store or whatever) if they can recommend a trainer.

You can try this tool to look for trainers in your area, not all will offer class settings, but some will: https://apdt.com/trainer-search/

You can also look for upcoming dog shows or events in your area and ask people there.

Most areas, although if you're rural you may need to travel a bit, have some kind of training facility or center. How good they are is going to depend on the individual center, but those types of training facilities offer puppy classes.
 
Top