It is estimated that up to 10% of dogs have some form of vision and/or hearing impairment. Impaired vision or blindness can occur in dogs affected with conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, or retinal degeneration. Deafness can be seen in certain breeds such as Dalmations, among others.


Many of these "special needs" dogs may wind up in the care of rescue organizations and shelters - available for adoption. Until recently, there was little behavioral data published regarding the effects of poor sight, hearing, or both on the behavior and temperament of affected dogs. For example, it has not been known whether blind and/or deaf dogs would be prone to aggression or excitability - issues that could impact whether they are successfully placed or kept in a new household.


Board certified veterinary behavior specialist - Dr. E'Lise Christensen - discusses the findings of a recent study examining whether dogs with hearing and/or vision problems are more prone to behavior problems.


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