Looking for a companion who will be by your side throughout the day and help you out? Are you hearing impaired and need extra assistance with detection of everyday sounds? You should consider a hearing dog. A hearing dog works in the same type of way as seeing eye dogs except they help the deaf or hearing impaired. The last 10 years has brought with them more of an emphasis on training hearing dogs to help those in the hearing-impaired community. A few breeds of dogs such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers have been found to be ideal hearing dogs after undergoing the proper training. Let’s take a look at what goes into training them and why it’s beneficial to everyone involved.
What’s the Training Regimen?
Trained to alert his hearing-impaired owner, the hearing dog undergoes a period of training over four to six months where he is taught the correct temperament necessary to provide assistance. As a result, these dogs can respond to several different sounds, from fire alarms to a door knocking, with additional specialized training to come later once paired up with their partners.
How do Hearing Dogs Assist the Deaf?
Hearing dogs, who have to endure three weeks or so of intense training and care to ensure the proper fit, are taught the proper skills to offer many helpful services to their deaf or hearing-impaired partners. They do this through the detection of sounds so they can “tell” their owners about danger, such as with a smoke alarm. Dogs can certainly further communicate other situations over time, whether to alert signs of danger of simply things that need attention like the ringing phone.
Take the example of an ambulance wailing down the street: your hearing dog won’t necessarily alert you to this danger per se but will show you through tensed body language that something is coming down the road. Over time, the dog will detect and respond to lots more sounds as they pertain to certain situations.
How to Obtain a Dog: Requirements
You can’t just request a hearing dog and get one. There are many hoops you must go through first to ensure you’re a good candidate. First, you have to be at least 18 years old in order to go through this process, and you must also fill out an application with all the pertinent information. Make sure a friend or family member is available to assist you with in-home training, then go through an application process where it is determined whether you can provide your dog with a proper living space. It’s also critical that you agree to attend canine training, and then follow up with training and tracking activities yearly. Soon, you will be living on a daily basis with a hearing dog who exists to make your everyday life easier through superior, well-honed hearing assistance.