Things you need to know about double merle dogs
©Debbie Bauer 2012
Thank you for considering adopting a double merle dog! Here are some things that you may want to consider before adopting. This way you can make an educated decision as to whether the dog you are considering is a good match for your home.
Many double merle dogs may be deaf or hearing impaired to some degree. Hair cells in the inner ear need to have pigment in order for the dog to hear. Without pigment, the nerve endings do not develop properly and the dog will be deaf or partially deaf. Looking at the color on the dog’s ear is not an indicator. The inner ear cannot be seen by the naked eye. It is way down inside the ear canal. A dog can have a white outer ear but still be able to hear if the inner ear has pigment. It can also have a colored ear and be deaf.
Some people are afraid of adopting a deaf dog. They assume that the dog will startle easily and will be prone to biting. Deaf dogs adapt very well to their hearing loss. They learn routines and expectations in the home where they live. Yes, they can be startled by an unexpected touch. Hearing dogs startle from unexpected touches too, it is just harder to sneak up on a hearing dog without it knowing you are coming.
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