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Hearing 101
While deafness does occur in the breed, the vast majority of Dalmatians can hear
  • ~70% of Dalmatians have bilateral hearing. They hear with both ears.
  • ~22% have unilateral hearing. They hear with only one ear.
  • ~8% are totally deaf. This unlucky minority do not hear at all.
  • Note: These statistics are representative of pre-weaned puppies.
    Total Congenital Deafness (should it occur) is detectable before the puppy begins it's eighth week of development (see Ethics #'s 9 & 10).

Careful breeding can produce better than average hearing.
  • Select only bilaterally hearing dogs for breeding.
  • Choose from lines with the fewest deaf relatives.
  • Do not repeat breeding with dogs that produce many deaf pups.
  • Favor breeding dogs with brown eyes.
A reliable method for assessing hearing is available.
  • Puppies can be tested as early as 5 weeks of age.
  • The BAER test method provides a permanent record of a dog's hearing status.
  • If a Dal hears as a pup it will hear as an adult, barring injury, infection or old age.
Dalmatian Club of America members provide the hearing status of dogs for sale or placement.
  • Where BAER testing is not available, breeders rely on home testing methods.
  • Responsible breeders provide sales agreements and documentation with the hearing status of a puppy.
  • The DCA provides breeder referral information to help you find healthy, well-bred puppies.
The DCA has long been committed to improving the overall hearing rate in the Dalmatian.
  • DCA sponsored research continues to lead to a better understanding of deafness.
  • An open Hearing Registry has been established to maintain a database of BAER test results.
  • The purpose of DCA policies regarding deafness are to advance the quality of the breed.

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