Is it true that deafness is associated with white dogs?

All puppies are deaf at birth, with their ear canals normally opening by the time that they are three weeks of age. In the case of some dogs however, coat colour can be linked with a genetic weakness that results in a deformation of the inner ear, so that such dogs remain deaf.

White English bull terrier puppyThe problem is most marked in white boxers, English bull terriers (shown left) and Sealyham terriers, as well as some Dalmatians. It is actually surprisingly difficult to detect deafness with certainty in the case of affected individuals, since clapping your hands for example close to your dog creates sound waves which it will detect by the movement of hairs on the face.

If you find that your puppy seems very slow to learn its name, and generally appears to be unresponsive however, this possibility should be investigated by your vet. One of the most obvious signs of a dog suffering from deafness is that it fails to move its ears in response to a noise, because it does not hear the sound.