Give Deaf Dalmatians a Chance


Did you know that, in the UK, deaf Dalmatian puppies can legally be euthanised i.e. humanely killed simply due to their deafness? Sadly, this is true and happening all the time.

dalmatian puppiesThe killing of deaf Dalmatian puppies is not uncommon and, as I say, this culling of otherwise perfectly healthy dogs is totally legal.

Some arguments suggest that a deaf dog may be in some way dangerous and require lifelong special care. This is simply not true. These rumours are presumably just an excuse to hide the real reason for the cull… to hide the prevalent deaf issue and therefore preserve the reputation of the breed and the breeders.

Why Dalmatians?

Dalmatians are homozygous recessive for the extreme piebald gene and deafness is associated with this gene. Deafness in Dalmatians is common. Between 15% - 30% have some form of hearing loss and around 5% of Dalmatians are deaf in both ears.

As an owner of a deaf dog (a little white terrier), I am passionate about deaf dogs. When I was emailed the ‘Give Deaf Dalmatians a Chance at Life’ petition I had to help. The aim is simple - to encourage the British Dalmatian Club to create a positive and supportive policy on deaf Dalmatians.

Every day Dalmatian puppies over 5 weeks old have their hearing tested and, if found to be deaf, the breeders have the option to put the puppy to sleep.

The petition states: “We believe that someone needs to take responsibility for the welfare of these puppies, who didn't ask to be born and are not aware of what they can or cannot hear.”

They go on to say: “The British Dalmatian Club are already streets ahead of their American counterparts (who actively encourage euthanasia of deaf pups). We would urge them to go one step further, taking into account recent genetic research findings and the knowledge and experience of a large number of deaf dog owners.”

Urge the British Dalmatian Club to consider the following:

  • The creation of an informative and supportive policy on Deaf Dalmatians that will increase breeder awareness, signpost to support networks and ultimately discourage members from using euthanasia as the only/preferred way of taking responsibility for deaf puppies.

  • Reconsider their position on Dalmatians with 'patches' (see note 1) in order to further reduce the number of deaf puppies being born and put to sleep.

Sign this petition if you feel that killing an otherwise healthy deaf puppy is wrong

“I have signed the above petition because I believe that the British Dalmatian Club could be doing more to support deaf Dalmatian pups and those that breed them. I hope that you will consider providing more information to members, breeders and prospective owners through the development of a policy on deaf Dalmatians.”

Each time the petition is signed it sends an email to the British Dalmatian Club expressing support for deaf puppies.

Sign here:

Note 1) When the piebald gene is passed on but incomplete the puppy develops a patch and is less likely to be deaf yet this is considered a fault according to the breed standard, which requires perfect spotting and selects against pups born with patches. A recent amendment goes only some way to addressing this, stating that “Some patching on ears or head is not to be penalized.”

Karen Wyatt
18 May 2015  |  7:35

Support is the way forward not euthanasia

Helen Houlden
18 May 2015  |  9:48

stop breeding from parents who produce the deaf puppies ???

Judy Pawlusiow
18 May 2015  |  10:55

Please reconsider and support no euthanasia of deaf dalmatian pups or any pups. Training and socialization will help make these animals ready for society. We don't euthanize deaf humans just because they are deaf.

Amy Campbell
18 May 2015  |  13:04

Dont punish the dogs because of the stupidity n greed of a human

Angela D'alesio
18 May 2015  |  13:06

my deaf Dalmatian is the smartest dog I ever had

Aleah Bradley
11 April 2021  |  9:55

My Dalmatian is deaf , shes friendly to kids other dogs company. Shes been easy to train and wonderful addition to our family , this makes me so sad .

Sandra O'regan
18 May 2015  |  13:36

I have had my girl jade for 11 years now yes she is deaf but nothing stops her doing what every other dog dose stop this now there is no need

Anne Thomson
18 May 2015  |  14:17

Allow these dogs to give the love to families who are waiting to give them love

Pete Reynolds
18 May 2015  |  14:27

Stop this madness

Maureen Tucker
18 May 2015  |  16:21

Stop - cruel

Amy Logan
18 May 2015  |  16:43

totally agree. Putting down deaf puppies is wrong.

Liz -- Australia
19 May 2015  |  2:18

This happens WORLD WIDE, with the RULES in the Dalmation Clubs rule book. The only way to stop this is NOT to buy a Dal pup, & so the breeders don't have sales, so have to work out that people won't support their clubs rules.

Jude Hanks
27 May 2015  |  20:17

These dogs have a right to live. Training them would be very rewarding.

Karen Page
01 June 2015  |  19:34

I cannot believe this happens, why oh why does deafness make a dog less capable. Disgusting! Very upset.

Elizabeth Hales
01 June 2015  |  20:44

I am very sad that I live in a world where healthy pups are considered worthless just because they are deaf and I'm disgusted that the Dalmatian Club has rules that make deaf puppies more likely to be born, then discarded.

Sarah-Jayne Seagrave
02 June 2015  |  3:07

I use sign language with my deaf dog who is very clever and loving.I wouldn't change him for the world.

S Binns
08 November 2020  |  12:18

I have had 3 deaf dalmatians and found them extremely easy to train to hand signals . The only difference between a deaf and hearing dog is that you cant let them off the lead. I used a horses lunge rein for on the park and beach. Sadly my Della passed away in January this year. I miss her terribly

12 March 2022  |  20:44

Every dog deserves a chance deaf or not. Its horrifying that this is allowed to happen. So upsetting.

Martin Trevino
04 June 2022  |  16:15

The Dalmatian breed is becoming very popular and i'm obsessed with everything spotted. I fell in love with how smart the breed is. I am still wondering if Dalmatians are easily trained ? What about their eating habits? Need additional info before making it final.