If you don’t know anything about hearing dogs, you’re in luck because we’re here to tell you all about them. You’ve heard of seeing eye dogs, for sure. Their job is to assist the blind. Hearing dogs are similar except they assist the deaf. They have been emerging as a popular choice within the hearing-impaired community in the last decade. These individuals can take back their freedom with a specially trained dog that can detect sound and alert them to certain situations. Labradors and Golden Retrievers make the best fits for these types of dogs. In this article, we examine the process involved for obtaining a hearing dog and the training they must go through.
What Does Training Involve?
Hearing dogs are patient, gentle and attentive. This is why they make ideal companions. To become a hearing dog, though, they must endure a four- to six-month training program to hone their temperament to make a good fit. Trainers show them how to perform tasks to alert individuals with hearing damage. They can then respond to various sounds, like telephones, door knocking and smoke alarms, and then can pick up further sounds once matched with their partner.
How do These Dogs Assist Hearing-Impaired People?
After the initial training regimen, more training is imposed once owner and dog are matched. They go through personalized care to make sure both owner and dog get along well and gel together. This is also the time when the dog can learn specific prompts and sounds within the owner’s environment that he’ll have to be attuned to. Amazingly, they’re also able to communicate in several other situations.
While training doesn’t generally cover specific circumstances such as a fire engine coming down the street, the dogs are taught to use body language to alert their owners of an impending emergency or situation they should be aware of. Upon being matched with your dog for a few weeks, you’ll start to understand more sounds and situations based on the reaction to your dog, who will soon be able to detect many different situations for you. As time marches on, you will realize that your hearing dog will pick up on even more sounds pursuant to your everyday life, thus strengthening your bond.
Requirements for Getting Your Own Dog
There’s more to the whole process than simply filling out an application. You have to be least 18 years old to be able to handle the responsibility that comes with having a hearing dog. Someone must be willing to assist you with in-home training, too, such as a friend or family member. Your living space must be checked over to ensure it will be a good fit for your hearing dog. Attendance at canine training is mandatory, then you have to follow up on that initial training with annual training and tracking courses. Once you’ve got all that covered, you will have peace of mind that your everyday companion will now be able to give you friendship as well as assistance alerting you to sounds like smoke alarms and doorbells.