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Do Deaf Dogs Bark? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQs

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

White poodle barking

Vet approved

Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Having a deaf dog can pose a variety of challenges, but it can also be a highly rewarding experience as a dog owner. There are a lot of things to consider with a deaf dog, like specialized training and additional safety measures. One thing you may not have considered is whether or not your deaf dog will bark. After all, if they can’t hear themselves, why would a deaf dog bark? The fact that deaf dogs do, in fact, bark might surprise you!

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Do Deaf Dogs Bark?

Yes, deaf dogs absolutely can and will bark. In fact, it’s not uncommon for deaf dogs to bark louder than other dogs. Since they are unable to hear themselves barking, deaf dogs may have difficulty regulating the level and tone of their bark, leading to excess noise.

Because they likely won’t appropriately regulate the amount of noise they make, deaf dogs can be a poor fit for apartments, condos, and other living situations with wall-sharing neighbors. This is especially true if the dog is a breed that is already prone to barking, like Beagles, Dachshunds, German Shepherds, and many Terrier breeds.

barking dog
Photo Credit: alexei_tm, Shutterstock

Why Do Deaf Dogs Bark?

Since your dog can’t hear what’s happening around them, it’s possible that their barking may not occur at the same time that a hearing dog would bark. For example, if a hearing dog tends to bark at sounds like fireworks or someone knocking on the front door, a deaf dog may not respond since these situations require auditory stimuli.

However, a deaf dog is able to rely on its other senses to let it know what’s happening in the world around it. If your hearing dog starts barking at the front door, your deaf dog may pick up on the body language and barking cues from the other dog, leading to the deaf dog barking.

Deaf dogs are also likely to bark at visual stimuli that hearing dogs bark at. You can still expect a deaf dog to bark at people passing by your house or another animal crossing your path. Just keep in mind that your deaf dog may also bark at unusual times when a hearing dog wouldn’t bark. This is simply because deaf dogs process the world around them in a completely different way than hearing dogs.

A deaf may also bark at olfactory stimuli. Unlike humans, dogs primarily interpret their environment through smell. Your deaf dog may associate certain scents as either pleasant or unpleasant and may bark whenever they pick up the scent.

Can Deaf Dogs Produce Other Sounds?

In addition to barking, deaf dogs can also make the following sounds:

  • Whines/whimpers/moans
  • Yelps
  • Yaps
  • Growls
  • Grunts

Types of Deafness in Dogs

There are several types of deafness evaluations in dogs, and they are categorized as follows:

Deafness Types
  • Unilateral or Bilateral: unilateral deafness only affects one ear. Bilateral deafness affects both ears.
  • Partial or Total: partial deafness is an incomplete loss of hearing ability, whereas total deafness is a complete loss of hearing ability.
  • Peripheral or Central: deafness can be caused by issues involving the peripheral auditory system (the dog’s external ear, middle ear, or cochlea) or by issues involving the central nervous system (the dog’s auditory nerves and brain structures)
  • Inherited, Congenital or Acquired: some dogs may inherit deafness from their parents genetically, while others may be born with the deficit. Other dogs may be normal at birth but acquire deafness later in life. The Merle and Piebald coat colors are associated with a higher risk of deafness.

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In Conclusion

The belief that deaf dogs don’t bark is a common misconception about deaf dogs, but there is no reason for a deaf dog not to bark. Even deaf dogs can feel the vibrations of sounds they make, and they are in full control of their body, so a deaf dog knows when it’s barking.

Deaf dogs may bark louder and at less appropriate times than hearing dogs, so specialized training to help your deaf pup learn how to respond to certain stimuli may be necessary. Otherwise, you may end up with a deaf dog that barks loudly and incessantly, creating frustration and chaos in your home.


Featured Photo Credit: Luis Alberto Cardenas Otaya, Pexels

Brooke Billingsley

Authored by

Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping...Read more

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