Hearing Assistance Dogs
Assisting those who are Deaf or hearing impaired
As their title suggests, hearing assistance dogs assist disabled handlers who are deaf or hard of hearing. These dogs are trained to alert their handlers of sounds in the environment, which greatly increases and improves the quality of these individuals safety and independence.
Hearing assistance dogs can be trained to alert their handlers, usually by pawing or nudging, to very specific sounds that are unique to the person’s lifestyle. Upon alerting the handler to a sound, hearing dogs can then indicate from which source the sound is coming.
Because the majority of a hearing dog’s job involves alerting, rather than demanding physical work, it is quite common for hearing assistance dogs to be smaller breeds. However, there are plenty of hearing assistance dogs that are larger breeds.
Some sounds that hearing dogs are often trained to alert their handlers to include, but are not limited to: A telephone ringing, the doorbell or knocking at the door, an alarm clock, go get the handler, an oven or other type of kitchen timer, a smoke alarm, a baby crying.