So Barney while first and foremost is my boy, he is also our guard dog. And an extremely good one.
Soemtimes him and Pippi work in collaboration. Pippi always barks at the "right" thing, but sometimes she barks at the "wrong" thing (for example, a turkey in the back yard). Barney only ever barks at the "right stuff, i.e. someone sneaking round the property, or appraoching the house kind of stuff.
Usually if Pippi starts barking, I check Barney's reaction. For example, if Pippi is going off, and so is Barney, it is something I know I need to check out. If Pippi is going off, Barney will look around and listen but if he doesn't go off then I generally know it's nothing to be worried about.
Lately though I am wondering if his hearing is lacking a bit. For example, th eother night he was sleeping on the chair. Flat on his back all comfy. I said his name and he didnt respond. So I said it again a bit louder and he still didnt respond. I semi-yelled it and nothing. It wasnt until I touched him that he kinda bolted up and was like "wtf".
This has happened a few times lately and I am not sure if he is going a bit deaf, or if he is just sleeping soundly, or not reacting because it is not an unusual noise if that makes sense.
He is 7 in April so I feel he is a bit young yet to be losing his hearing but I am sure as with people, ages can vary. He does sometimes have issues with sore ears but nothing major, they just need to be cleaned regularly.
Our old girl Chevy developed some "deafness" at around 8 but it was mostly selective and only in place when you were at the river and she had found something very interesting.
The reason I am wondering with Barney though is, as a general rule, if he even vaguely thinks he has heard his name, he is in ya face and these couple of times he hasnt even heard it it seems which is very strange.
What do you guys reckon?
Also, hypothetically, if he was going deaf, how is this going to affect his guarding? Clearly if he cant hear anything he owuld be useless at that but can it still work in collboration with Pippi barking or not?