Deafness in the Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a breed known to have occasional problems with deafness. The exact genetic mode of inheritance of deafness in the ACD is to date unknown. There is currently debate as to whether the mode of inheritance in ACDs is the same as that in Dalmatians (which were used in the development of the breed).

Needless to say, a deaf dog takes GREAT deal of patience and love to train and live with and even with said saintly qualities, an owner could never and should never trust a deaf dog off lead. Most reputable Australian Cattle Dog breeders do their best to test the hearing of all litters.

Hearing can be tested by a technique known as Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response, or just simply BAER testing. Facilities for this test are few and far between across the US. It should be noted, that as in other genetic anomalies, but especially in the case of deafness (as so little is understood about the inheritance), the clear testing of the sire and dam of a litter does not mean that the puppies will be full hearing.

For more information about Deafness in ACDs, visit these sites:

Dr. George Strain's Deafness Site