To those who may not know, a uni is what we call a pup who is deaf in one ear but not both ears. It is unilaterally deaf. A uni can still lead a normal life. It can hear, so it can be trained to do obedience and other performance events and can even be shown in conformation, although some breeders choose not to show them or breed them. It is believed by some that unis have more of a chance of producing more unis or even totally deaf pups.
I have shown and even bred unis, although I do not make a habit of it and would not suggest it to someone who is not completely prepared for the results they could get with such a breeding. If it is to be done at all, it should be done very carefully and with the knowledge of as many dogs behind each dog being bred as possible.
I would not use a uni with a dog who has a poor hearing background, or a uni who came from a litter with poor hearing. But over the 18 years that I have been breeding DalmatiansI have used two unis.
The first time was many years ago. It was my first litter. I had a beautiful male with a Champion sire and many Champions in his line although he himself was not a Champion. Not because he was not of show quality, but because when I first got him I knew very little about the breed and nothing about showing Dalmatians. So Sebastion grew up as a pet with nice conformation, and a very nice pedigree. He also had bilateral hearing, his breeder had BAER tested the litter. But at the time I didn't really know what that really was all about.
I had a friend who was a local breeder. She had a small black spotted bitch who was not really what she wanted in her breeding program. She was a puppy back from a breeding that my friend had done with one of her males. She was very sweet and pretty too. Her pedigree was not as steller as my boy's but I liked her alot. Whenever I would visit I always had to go and say hello to Freti, short for Estifreti.
One day my friend asked if I would like to have Freti. I quickly said yes I would love to have her. So she came to live with us and now we had two Dals. I did not know it at the time, but Freti was a uni. She had never been tested and I did not know how one went about doing that so as an adult, I did not have her tested either.
I eventually bred her to Sebastion and Miss Molly of Smiling Dal was born. Molly is the bitch from whom came all the dogs leading up to my Whoopi, Smiln Dal's The Color Purple. fourth generation of my breeding.
It wasn't until some years later, when I was planning to breed Molly, that I took Freti and Molly to UC Davis for hearing testing and found out that Freti was indeed a uni. Molly was bilateral thank goodness and when she was bred produced a litter with one uni and six bilateral puppies. Each subsequent generation has produced all bilateral litters.
Unis do not always produce more unis or deaf puppies. You can get them from two all bilateral hearing dogs from all bilateral hearing litters. However it is not a good idea, in my opinion, to make a habit of breeding them. And as I said, if it is to be done, it should be done very carefully.
In any case, no unis to be concerned about in this litter. Both parents are bilateral and came from all bilateral hearing litters. I know that the next litter could be totally different. Every time you do a breeding, you pray. For healthy puppies with nice spotting, good structure and movement and above all good hearing. And for 8 litters in a row now, when it comes to hearing, my prayers have been answered.