By now you’ve definitely heard of Seeing Eye dogs – these animals help individuals who are blind live their daily lives with more freedom. Over the last decade, however, there has been an increasing focus on hearing dogs who are trained to help the hearing impaired community, resulting in many different breeds of dogs, such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers, making great living companions. They are thoroughly trained and made available for those who suffer from hearing loss, so let’s examine the training and benefits that are offered by these dogs.

Training Regimen of the Dogs

Hearing dogs can perform certain tasks, developed through intensive training, that can help alert the individual with hearing loss. These training programs last anywhere from four to six months to develop and hone their personalities and temperament. After this time, they are put into situations where they are taught to respond to several different sounds such as door knocking, smoke alarms and even the ringing of the telephone. After being placed with their partner, they undergo even more training on additional sounds to fit the specific lives of their new owner.

How They Can Help Deaf Individuals

Once placed with their partner, hearing dogs go through a few weeks of personalized care to further establish a routine that’s unique to the owner’s home and lifestyle. This is an important part of the process. Once finished with all training, you will enjoy all the perks of your hearing dog, who can provide a large spectrum of services to you. In addition to alerting you to sounds that may come up around the household, they can provide communication in other instances as well.

As an example, if you are strolling down the street and a fire engine is approaching, the dog is not specifically trained to alert you to the sound. That being said, their body language will tell you unmistakably that something is amiss. Once partnered with your dog for a long period of time, it will be easier to understand additional sounds and situations based on the way the dog reacts to particular sounds. Eventually, you will find that a majority of the things that you need to be alerted to will be detected by your hearing dog.

What are the Parameters to Obtaining a Dog?

In order to obtain a hearing dog partner, you must be at least 18 years old and request an application. You also need have a friend or family member on hand who is willing to help you with the initial in-home training that must take place. The lengthy application process ensures you are able to provide the dog with an adequate living space best for both of you. The final step is to go to canine training, and then follow up with training and tracking every year after that. In return, you get a helpful hearing dog that can make your daily life much easier while at the same time giving you friendly companionship.