We've had our Lola for over 4 months now....just finished obedience school which was not as helpful as we thought it would be.
To make a long story short, my husband realized over a month ago that Lola does not seem to respond to verbal commands, squeak toys, or clapping. When we call her by name, she doesn't come running, the vacuum could be on and you can go right up to her with the beater bar with NO reaction. If the doorbell rings, no response....the kids come home? She just lies there.
It also explains why she doesn't mind the blow-dryer when I bathe her. In addition, the outdoor potty training has also been a challenge and now I know why! She never heard us saying "Make pee!", but the second she sees her pad, BOOM! Her business is done. She is visual and uses her nose to smell her surroundings.....very sensory.
She's a very sound sleeper and unless she "sees" one of us, or smells us walk by, she will not respond. It's great when there are thunderstorms or when we're watching TV late at night.
Our breeder has been contacted and we are going to have the BAER testing done next week to confirm our suspicion. Bottom line, she does NOT respond to anything we say. We rely on hand-signals.
This is a HUGE learning curve. We really did not expect this and truth be known, we were devastated upon finding out. We realize deafness is not a detrimental disability, but if you all knew our history, you'd understand why we wanted a "normal" puppy. That being said, we are keeping her regardless as she's become a huge part of our family and the kids have bonded to her very much- especially our son.
I wanted to share as while I haven't been around here much it's because we are dealing with this issue. This is going to be a lot of work and for now, we're taking one day at a time.
Our breeder together with Nathan of Talemaker Havanese have been incredible supports and have provided us helpful links to dealing with this issue. We cannot thank them enough.