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Hi. I just found this forum when I was looking for some help for my dog. I have a 10 month old German Shepherd puppy. Today, Thanks Giving, I went to the family farm to shoot clay pigeons. We also shot some other guns, all pretty loud. This was my dog's first exposure to gun fire and he was totally relaxed. I put him about 15 or 20 feet, at least from the firing line. He didn't budge or act scared. At times he even slept.

We just got home and my dog is stone deaf. He doesn't respond when called or whistled at. He acts totally normal and happy, playing with the kids and eating. We just finished playing ball for a little while but, I'm worried.

Is this just temporary? Has anyone experienced this with their dog before? Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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No. He was not deaf before. On the contrary, very responsive and alert. This dog has thousands of dollars worth of advanced obedience training. He stops on a dime when he's called. He was imported from Belgium from champion Shutzhund parents. His temperment and personality are completly stable.

Right now, he isn't even responding when the door is opened and people are coming home. It's like he can't hear a thing.
 

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No. Not responding to any sounds. I'm going to leave him alone for the rest of the night and see how he is in the morning.

I was hoping someone out there could tell me what typically happens or can be expected from a hunting dog in the field when they get their first exposure to gun fire.

A little temporary hearing loss seems normal since it would happen to me if put in the same position but, this seems extreme right now. My other dog was the same distance from the firing and he's acting pretty normal. No apperant hearing loss. Again they were a good 25 yards from the bulk of shooting and we only really shot for about two hours.
 

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I had a dog once that went stone deaf overnight she was 10 yrs. old so when I brought her to the vet he said it happens with age. This dog at the same time was loosing her vision. He thought the dog may also be suffering from arthritis so he gave me some pills to give her once a day. Within a week her hearing was back far better than in years AND she could see! A miricle, the vet was stumped and the only explaination was a possible swollen nerve somewhere that the meds reduced. She lived another 3-4 years as a very happy dog. keep us informed.
 

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Call a 24 hour vet clinic and see what they say, I am no dog expert but when it is the eyes or ears you take no chances.

I found online at allexperts.com, your dog could have an ear infection.
Good Luck-keep us posted.
 

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To be blunt but honest that is NOT the way to introduce a dog to gun fire. He/she was to close and 2 hours is way to much, more than a typical gun dog will be around during years of hunting and even then the cattails, for a pheasant hunting lab in N.D. like mine, will dampen the sound.
A hunting dog should never be introduced to gun fire in the field. I started by shooting a cap gun right after throwing a dummy. Then you work up to a blank .22, then a shotgun from 50 yards and move in closer until you're shooting over him/her, not more than a couple of times a day.
FYI, our brains shut down hearing when we're shooting at a something, it takes that brain power and redirects it to your vision that's why you don't get the ringing in your ears while you're hunting but you do while someone else is shooting or target shooting (sighting in your rifle).
I hope it's only temporary but I'd head to the vet ASAP and please don't do it again, there's nothing to be gained.
If you want your dog to be comfortable around gun fire (hunting not target shooting) pick up any book on training hunting dogs and follow it, there's more good info than I can post.
hope it all works out,
Jeremy
 

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jkolson said:
FYI, our brains shut down hearing when we're shooting at a something, it takes that brain power and redirects it to your vision that's why you don't get the ringing in your ears while you're hunting but you do while someone else is shooting or target shooting (sighting in your rifle).
What does that have to do with his dog? you can condition your dog all you want he or she will still never be pulling the trigger. Therefore you moving in closer each time you shoot does not help your dogs brain protect its ears. It simply creates a dog who becomes used to hearing gun shots. Don't let your brain fool you, hearing damage is done whether your brain acknowledges it or not.
 

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What does that have to do with his dog? you can condition your dog all you want he or she will still never be pulling the trigger. Therefore you moving in closer each time you shoot does not help your dogs brain protect its ears. It simply creates a dog who becomes used to hearing gun shots. Don't let your brain fool you, hearing damage is done whether your brain acknowledges it or not.
You're right, I should have explained further that it may seem like gun fire doesn't hurt your hearing (it does). We just get used to it so we don't think about how it effects the dog. It's just part of the deal.
I don't shoot for a couple of hours without hearing protection, and you shouldn't have your dog around while you do.
 

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I saw your post. The same thing happened to our 18 month old German Shorthair Pointer on December 5. We were out shooting and now (over 24 hours later) he is not responding to any sound, whistles or claps. We are very worried and are now researching to find help. We'll take him to the vet on Monday. Please let us know the outcome of your situation with your dog. Has your pup regained any hearing? After researching, some sites said that this hearing loss could be temporary. Please write back soon. We hope that your dog is okay.
 

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I have the same question. My dog has accompanied us to the shooting range 4 times now, but today, she came home totally unresponsive to noise. If you walk up behind her and clap really loud, her ears just barely twitch.

Curious as to the results of the two dogs above that had the same problem.
 

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I also have an 8 month old male German Shepherd. About a week ago we noticed he could not hear us open the back door if his back was turned to us. We have done lots of different tests since that time, dropping treats in the floor behind him, standing behind him and calling his name, etc. he does not respond. He can hear us if we clap our hands loudly or whistle loudly. A month ago his hearing was fine, we cant understand what would happen that would cause him to suddenly lose his hearing. He has not been exposed to gun fire or any other loud noises that we are aware of. We have checked for ear mites and wax buildup and also been in contact with our vet to check for possible ear infection. We also have both of his parents and they are healthy adults with perfect hearing. I would like to know the outcome of the Shepherd's with sudden hearing loss. Is there any chance that their hearing eventually returned?
 

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when I was a kid I bought a 357 mag smith and wesson and me and a couple of my dogs went out and I shot a box of shells

then I tried to call the dogs back into my car they totally ignored me.

both deaf as rocks they recovered in a few days

I then tried to urn on the radio its was already on I was deaf also..

I have tinnitus bad and can't hear high frequencies

wear ear plugs and don't ever bring your dogs along to go shooting is the obvious lesson
 

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I am having almost the exact same situation! I took my Siberian Husky out with me shooting yesterday afternoon. I left him in the bed of the truck and we were about 15-20 feet away shooting a variety of guns. Mostly .22 caliber but also two shotguns, a few rounds from a 30-30, and also a .44. He didn't seem to mind the noise to much and even went to sleep after a little bit even though this was his first experience around guns. When I got home however, I began noticing that his hearing definitely seems off. He doesn't respond to commands, doesn't look at me when called and I hid from him and he was running around looking for me while i clanked bottles and jangled keys. Today there seems to be little if any change. Will this be permanent? Please help.
 

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this happened to my last Springer Spaniel. Don't know what brought it on but we noticed that she was no longer responding to exterior noises, car doors, birds chirping, doorbels etc. She was stone def and even the vet wasn't sure why Around the same time she experienced some vision loss in one eye. 4 or 5 months later her hearing returned but then she lost it again probably the same amount of time after. The vision never fully returned and affected her depth perception. She kept stopping short on visual retrieves. Suprisingly I think she learned to read lips or at least read facial expressions when she was deaf. She was able to interpret OUT...GO FOR A RIDE and many other everyday commands that were never accompanied by any other type of signal.
 
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