Monday, October 12, 2009


All this time I thought Beth was being a stinker

If I put up my hand and not say a word, Beth will drop into a down.

If I sign 'sit' with my hand, she sits.

When we are in the field and I  yell or holler "lie down" she blows me off, but if I say it at the same time I thump my stick into the ground REALLY HARD she will drop.  If I hold my hand up, she will drop.  If I say it alone, she keeps moving.   Yelling and screaming at her has NO effect. 

If I flank her with my stick, or hand, she goes in the right direction.  If I give her a verbal command - she doesn't respond.

I can bend her outruns out every single time if I bob my stick at her or wave my hand or arm.

I couldn't figure out why when I was trying to 'proof' her flanks by sending her with absolutely no body language she was getting it right only half the time.  She can't be that stubborn can she?  

Nope, she isn't...

This morning the vet told us that Beth is suffering from what he believes is a significant hearing loss.  She can hear, but only certain frequencies. 

This gives me added incentive to put her on whistles & find the tones she can hear.  

Yet another thing to work on with Scott.

She isn't a block head, just deaf.

I cant believe I missed this.  All the times I bellowed at her, got angry and upset for 'not listening'...and she still loves me.

Wow, just wow.


Lean said...

Lovely Beth she just adore´s you....wauw great dog.
bye bye,Lean

Emma Rose said...

Wow is right. I am so sorry to read this. However, now that you know, everything will change. When you do find her frequency the connection will be like magic for both of you.

Jules said...

Wow. Thankfully you now know what's going on and can work on different approaches.

Morganne said...

Unfortunately, it seems late onset hearing loss in BC's is becoming more frequent. My BC, Sage, who has been deaf since birth, responds to certain whistle frequencies (not all).

I will be interested in reading about your progress with Beth.

fulltiltbcs said...

Well at least now you know...never a good thing, but now the mystery is solved :)

Monique said...

If you need help with your whistles let me know : )


PoochesForPeace said...

Aww poor Beth. The important thing is that you know now!

Gennasus said...

I can understand how you didn't pick it up sooner. Dogs are so good at reading body language and Beth is obviously pretty alert and sharp, you wouldn't have known she was getting her cues in a different way. Hope the whistle opens up a great new communication channel - you'll have that penning cracked in no time!

The Thundering Herd said...

Dogs are amazingly adaptive and use all of their senses so well, that the loss of one can be hidden quite easily. Not a surprise that it took so long to discover.

sheepkelpie said...

AWWW, Bethie. Well, now you know. I would get her tested and see what her best hearing range is, and adjust whistles accordingly.
Don't feel bad- how could you have known? Especially when so many dogs have selective deafness.

An English Shepherd said...

Our Dare is deaf in one ear as well.

He can't tell what direction the noice is coming from :-(

But he is really clever as well at reading other dogs to see where the noice is coming from :-)

Wizz :-)

Pat A said...

We decided that Cassie's problem is she is hard of hearing and has sight problems. She will bark at Bob like he is a stranger until he gets close enough for her to recognize him or the other dogs bark a welcome.
After we realized that, she has become better about accepting strangers because we talk to her.
Strange we never thought of doing that before but just calling her name stops her barking. She does not come when called though so I need to find a very loud noise to ring when I want Bob or the dogs to come since Both Bob and I are hard of hearing also.

Jessie said...

I'm so sorry. It's good that you know what's going on now!

Benny "THE TANK" said...

"The Tank" is glad to know you found the problem. Wow, Border Collies are not only beautiful, but great atheletes! I'm not much at hearding sheep, but "The Tank" can heard a human like no other.

Benny "The Tank"