Question about my now deaf dog...

roosterrouster

New member
Brit Lab that is now 12.5 years old. She is 99% deaf (can still hear my high pitched whistle but only when close by...). This past weekend she got lost when walking back from a duck slough to the truck. I ended up finding her scared 1.5 hours later. She still has the desire and the physical skills to hunt pheasants this season yet I know her time is limited on this earth. My question is this: I am thinking that a GPS collar would work well for her. Any advise on my situation? Is this a good/correct option? What is a good collar to get? Thanks all...
 

Labs

Active member
I feel for you, bro. My 14 year old lab Betty is hard of hearing. Last year during her final season before retirement, a couple times she went off on her own away from the other dogs in heavy cover and it took some time to find her. On one she sight followed a missed bird and swam across the Cannonball River after it, that took some doing to find her and get her back. She can still sort of hear the whistle, but calling her was wasted breath. Going to be tough leaving her home when we begin hunting in a couple weeks, but there's no alternative. I've never messed with a GPS collar as this is the first dog I've owned that has been a viable hunter past 10 or 11 years old...
 
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Brimar1991

Member
I have a 14 year brittany who's hearing has diminished over the past couple years. I always run my dogs with a Garmin GPS to ensure I know their location at any time. When I hunt heavy cattails with 2 dogs, it is very helpful to understand if they are still close. A quick glance at the Garmin unit will tell me yardage and direction. I use a Garmin in case they jump a deer in heavy cover and they start chase. About 20 years ago, one of my males took off in a unharvested cornfield and it took a long time to find him. I was panicked along with my wife. It was stressful enough not being able to locate him. But, trying to calm my wife down at the same time that we will find him add additional stress. Sure enough, he came back to us after he chased down a wounded pheasant that someone must have shot prior to us hunting that field.

I use one of the original Garmin Astro units. The new Garmin is the Astro 430 with a price point around $650. They are expensive. But, it is good insurance and gives me piece of mind. I still use the same Garmin after all these years.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
I've been in your shoes. It's extremely difficult to hunt a deaf or nearly deaf dog unless you are in thin cover where you can keep constant eye contact on the dog. When one of my previous dogs became deaf I lost him numerous times in the field before finally retiring him from hunting. He still had the desire and ability to hunt but it wasn't worth the risk of losing him. That was long before I had a GPS collar for my dog. Having a GPS collar on your dog would certainly give you the ability to continue to hunt her. And you can use it on any new dog you acquire. I would not run any dog in the field anymore without a GPS collar. While they are a bit pricey it is great insurance so you don't have to worry about losing your dog. Good luck to you and your dog. BTW, I run a Garmin Alpha on my dog.
 

Skeet Mc

Member
Like the others have said GPS works well. I run the Garmin Pro 550 Plus. It also has a vibration mode. Maybe you could train the ole girl to take commands based off feel of vibration. 1=Whoa, 2=change direction, 3=recall. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

roosterrouster

New member
Wow. Great info. She has been trained on a vibration collar already so having that and a GPS sounds awesome to me. I'll get busy! Thanks for all the quick replies...
 

KS GSP

Active member
I have the Pro 550+ and the Alpha and I prefer the 550+. I just don't want to be messing with a touch screen in the field and the 550+ gives you the ability to instantly see where your dog is while still having the simple remote for tone or vibrate/stim.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
While I currently have the Garmin Alpha I'd recommend the Pro 550+ unless you can use all the stuff on the Alpha. The 550+ is much more simple and easier to use.
 
our 13.5 yr old labs hearing went over the past 8 months. crazy how fast it went. She has been following at my foot heals the pas 2 hunting seasons. I took her out duck hunting this past weekend. Surprisingly she went out and got 2 of the ducks. My other 2.5 yr old lab got the others. Crazy how they still have the drive, but sometimes those back legs dont have the motor. Im taking her to Devils lake this weekend to duck hunt. I thought last year was the final tour, but she's still loving it so I gotta take her. I wont be taking her to south dakota, just too much of a liabilty. She will get a couple pheasant hunts in on my brothers property here in SE MN. I hope my kids have the same respect for me when I'm 90 and take me hunting too
 

akp

Active member
My 13.5 year old gsp has pretty much lost all of his over the last year. I lost him for 4 days a couple of weeks ago. Got a call from some deer hunters that found him. I had pretty much decided that he had crawled up and died somewhere. He still has some spunk. I run a Garmin Astro. That's about the only way I'll be able to hunt him this year. At least I'll be able to see the direction he is going if he gets turned around. I have been running the Astro since 2016. Don't know how I ever went without. Amazing tool.
 
Until I purchased my Ecollars I was sure my GSPs had hearing problems. Seems that they could not hear my commands but with the collars they responded quiet well. ha ha But all joking aside the astro has changed my hunting for the better. In tall grass several times I had dogs pointing but could could not find them. after walking a grid pattern numerous times we would find the dog holding tight . some times taking up to 45 minutes.
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
One of my Brittanys began loosing her hearing around 10 or so. She actually hunted well at 11, but only in very controlled situations where I knew we could not get lost from each other. That and the Garmin Astro. To make the situation more tenuous was she had a small case of separation anxiety. She would panic and I had to make sure when panic hit she knew where I was.

At 12 she was very deaf. I took her to a preserve and we hunted pheasants on a check cord. She had a very good day :) Still pointed birds from a distance ... She lived 'til 15. She was not happy being left behind at 13&14 ...
 

roosterrouster

New member
Update: Just ordered the Garmin 550+. $619 from The Collar Clinic in Michigan. Excited to use it and excited to know where my buddy is at all times in the field. Thanks again for all the help...Don
 

JMc

Super Moderator
My now deceased boy Taz went deaf several years before his end. Vibrating collar and hand signals got him through several years of great hunting. He worked slower and we just let him go. On point, flush bird, shoot bird, start over. Good luck.
 

KS GSP

Active member
Thanks for the info. My 15 year old German Shorthair hearing is getting bad. He still loves to hunt so this is a good option. Thanks, Good luck to everyone
15 years old and he can still hunt? How often and how well does he do?
 

JMc

Super Moderator
Taz was 15...two points, two retrieves on the last day of the season. He passed 6 months later. Worked slow and methodical while his two young brothers bounced all around him. Never give up on a GSP, tough and stubborn as a nail.
 

SweetWill27

New member
I live in Utah so the pheasant hunt here is pretty much non existent. 1 pheasant farm per year, 1 trip to either South Dakota or North Dakota and then the rest of the time he is in the back yard lounging around or going on walks or up in the mountains for the occasional grouse. The last few hunts in South Dakota he hunts every other day. He obviously is slowing down but still enjoys it. I also have a 2 year old lab that has lots of energy. He does not like her all that much. LOL. My daughter who is 16 reminded me that Zeke which she got for her birthday when she was 2 is only 14 not 15.
 
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