You’ve no doubt heard of seeing eye dogs, right? These dogs are trained to assist blind people live their daily lives with as much freedom as possible. However, a new kind of dog has been emerging over the last 10 years and that is the hearing dog. These dogs can help individuals within the hearing-impaired community get around on a daily basis. Labradors and Golden Retrievers are two specific breeds that have excellent temperaments for this type of assistance. In fact, they go through rigorous training to become available for those suffering from hearing loss. In this article, we’ll take a look at the training and benefits that these dogs can offer.
Hearing dogs must go through a special training course to be able to perform tasks that can properly alert individuals with hearing loss. This training lasts about four to six months in an effort to simply learn the proper temperament for this type of job. As part of their training, the dogs are taught to respond to particular sounds, from doors knocking to telephones ringing. Additional sounds specific to their partner’s needs will be learned once they are placed with their new owner.
How They Help Hearing-Impaired People
Once connecting with their partners, the dogs undergo a few weeks of personalized care to ensure they are a good match for you. After the completion of this intensive training, the hearing dogs are then ready to provide a variety of services to their deaf or hearing-impaired partners. Not only can they detect sounds around the house and alert their owners, they also have the ability to communicate in other types of situations.
As an example, if a fire engine is coming down the street, your dog likely won’t alert you to that specific sound, but you will understand from his body language that something is not right. Once you’re accustomed to your dog and vice versa, you’ll be able to understand additional sounds and situations according to how your dog reacts to them. In the long run, you will be alerted to any sound that’s unique to your situation, because your dog will have had more time to know your needs.
Requirements to Get a Dog
Of the many requirements that must be met before being obtaining a hearing dog partner, the first is you must be at least 18 years old and be able to request an application. A friend or family member must be on hand to help you and your dog with the in-home training. Through the application process, it will be explored whether your living space can accommodate your hearing dog. You must also promise to go through canine training and follow up with yearly training and tracking activities. Once those agreements have been made, you will be paired with a friendly and diligent hearing dog who can provide you with the safety you need as well as companionship.