View Full Version : Dogs-- have a question

January 2, 2000, 08:17 PM
Something I've always wondered about... hunting dogs. Bird dogs in particular. Is there any ear protection for dogs? Does anyone use it?

I would think unprotected exposure to shotgun blasts would go a long way to deafening the poor guy.

What do you do re: dogs and gunshots?

January 2, 2000, 08:56 PM
Don't know of any hearing protection for dogs & never worried about it. They're much further away from the gun blast than you are which does make a big difference. I've never known a dog to lose hearing due to being exposed to normal shooting. 'Course, there's bound to be somebody in Boulder, CO who'll come up with "a study."

Too, their hearing is much more acute (which, I guess could be a good case for their hearing protection) - but it never seems to be any problem. & sadly (so very sadly), they don't live nearly as long as we do so the cumulative effect couldn't last all that long.

I worry more about "trunking," etc. dogs where they'll be exposed to carbon monoxides, etc. from car exhaust.

My main concern for my dogs' hearing loss is their having to listen to rock 'n roll at full blast on the way to & coming back. ;)

January 2, 2000, 09:41 PM
I had a good retriever, lived to age 14, hunted into his 12th, and lost a lot of his hearing. Think about how often that shot charge is going over their head out in front of the muzzle. Of course he always was a close working dog too- stayed in easy range.
He never lost his sense of smell. I never saw his hearing loss as a big problem.

January 3, 2000, 12:33 AM
dogs lose effectiveness of all of their senses with age, just like we do. they just start out with much better capabilities.

folks who have terriers are also familiar with "selective hearing"...

January 3, 2000, 02:07 PM
Had this very discussion with my vet. Yes, shooting over bird dogs injures their hearing. I use my labs and chessie very hard for waterfowl and upland game. I noticed a loss in hearing after three or four seasons. Unfortunately, when you use dogs as hard as I do, they are about worn out by the age of 7 or 8. At least they lead a happy and productive life...