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As you now know, Baybe was a beautiful blue eyed Catahoula Leopard Hound, the Louisiana State Dog, born and raised in South Florida. She was born deaf, and I adopted her at 8 weeks old. She passed away at the age of 12 1/2. Some people think that because a dog is deaf, it can't bark. Well, they can bark, more like a howl.


Baybe's deafness was a result of merle to merle breeding. A nice Catahoula site is "Cat's Cradle Catahoulas."

One of the ways to test a dog for deafness is called a BAER test. Here's a picture of what it looks like.

You can go here to see how a BAER test is performed:

What is a BAER Test?

This information is from Dr. Strain's website. Dr. Strain's research on the causes of canine deafness, has resulted in some answers. His opinion, which is not based on research, and most of his writings, recommend euthanizing deaf dogs, which, of course, many do not agree with, including me.

Baybe was born on July 22, 2000. Because Catahoulas are hunting and herding dogs, Baybe probably wouldn't have been chosen because she is deaf. You will discover that there are many, many deaf dogs who herd, do agility, flyball, tracking, and even search and rescue.

I saw something run in here!

Deaf dogs just learn in a different way than hearing dogs. Baybe's breeder put her up for adoption, but there are many breeders out there who immediately destroy puppies who are born deaf.

Once I saw Baybe, I couldn't resist her. Although I had no idea how to raise a deaf dog, I took her home and introduced my little 8 week old pup to her doggie brother and sister, Max and Bonnie. As you can see from her picture, Baybe slept a whole lot.

You can see more pictures of Baybe on BAYBE'S PICTURE PAGE. Here's one I love. It's Baybe with her cousin, Cricket, at the Three Dog Bakery in their first modeling job.

I communicated with Baybe through ASL - American Sign Language. She learned 22 signs. I modified some of the signs so I could show her the sign using one hand.

In April, Baybe began her Agility Obedience classes, which lasted 6 weeks, to help her get her ready to begin agility training. She took her classes through Tailwaggers. She completed Agility 1 where she learned how to use all the equipment. Baybe definitely had no fear. She went over the A-Frame, the Doggie Walk, through the tunnel and the chute and loved to do the jumps. Her work on the weave poles needed work.

Catahoulas are very active and are always willing to learn. Some training is done by using a clicker, but since Baybe can't hear, I used hand signals and sometimes a small flashlight.

On October 27, 2001, after passing both basic and advanced obedience classes, Baybe passed her AKC Canine Good Citizen test, and earned the right to put CGC after her name. If you want your dog to take this test, you can read about it at AKC Canine Good Citizen Program.

On October 20, 2001, we held a Florida Deaf Dogs Picnic here in south Florida. Deaf dogs from around Florida came to the dog park and both owners and dogs had a great time. We were even written up in the local newspaper, and you can read it here:  "The Palm Beach Post".  If you want to see our picnic pictures, go here: Picnic Pictures. 

Here's a picture of the doggie cake made especially by the Three Dog Bakery for all the dogs to eat at the picnic.

The next picture is Baybe at home after the picnic. As you can see, she was exhausted after all that fun in the sun. By the way, dogs with a lot of white like Baybe, can use sunscreen when they are out in the sun. I use a sunscreen for babies that doesn't contain PABA.

The picnic was a great opportunity to teach people that deaf dogs make great pets. They just learn a little differently than hearing dogs.

The best place to go for information about deaf dogs is DDEAF - Deaf Dog Education Action Fund. I learned so much about deaf dogs from this website, and even became a member of this great non-profit organization.

You can learn more about Catahoulas and deaf dogs by going to my links page. There are many Catahoula websites you check out before deciding to get a Catahoula. They are wondeful dogs, but they are not for everyone. You'll soon learn that Baybe, like all deaf dogs, may be deaf, but they sure aren't dumb!!

One of the Catahoula sites with good info, including a link to Catahoulas in Agility, is Catahoula Ezine.

Feel free to take my banner. I'd love it if you could link it back to Baybe's World - http://www.angelfire.com/blues/baybefl/

~INDEX~

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