Because the Dogos are true white dogs, each one has a 50% chance of having some level of deafness. There is no strain/bloodline
of dogos exempt from deafness. Deafness is often caused by a lack of pigment in the inner ear. If at 3 weeks of
age, the pup has no pigment on the inner hair in their ears, this hair falls out and the pup is forever deaf (this is the
same w/white boxers and the reasons most boxer breeders put their white pups down). If you are interested in a pet,
do not rule out uni-laterally deaf dogos (deaf in one ear). You will never know the difference, and neither will they.
Deafness can be detected as young as 5 weeks of age through a BAER (brain stem auditory evoked response) test. The test
is $30-$100/puppy & should be covered by the breeder before the pups are placed. An older dog will not become deaf
(unless injured or has severe ear infections).
Here in Arizona, there is only one veterinary neurologist who conducts BAER testing. Puppies who have Excellent hearing
in each ear are the ONLY ones who receive a certificate certifing NORMAL hearing in each ear.
BAER testing was developed for humans, and only tests for hearing w/in normal human ranges. It is quite possible that
a "uni-lat" dog is not completely deaf in its bad ear, but rather, can only pick up low or high tones, and cannot hear the
human voice in normal range in that particular ear.
Notice in the pictures below, that the DEAF reading still appears that the dog can hear in that ear -- and he most likely
can -- however, just not w/in the normal hearing range of a human. A near flat line would indicate complete deafness, however,
to achieve such results as a flat line, the dog would have to be sedated, for any movement (even the vibrations of the owner
rubbing the pups chest during the test) will register movement of the BAER test.
As of 2004, if the pups are microchipped before BAER testing, their breeder can submit the veterinary signed results
to OFA for official recordings in their database (cost is $30/litter and applications can be downloaded from OFAs website).
For more information on deafness and raising a deaf dog, please visit Deaf Dog Education Action Fund at http://www.deafdogs.org/