While the surging popularity of seeing eye dogs may take center stage, hearing dogs have been gaining notoriety in the last 10 years or so. If you’ve been searching for a companion who can help you get through your day easier, a hearing dog may be right for you. A hearing dog goes through a training course to hone the ability to detect and alert you of everyday sounds in the house and on the street for safety. Hearing dogs are great because they can provide a huge element of assistance to those in the hearing-impaired community, helping individuals affected with hearing loss regain their everyday freedom. Labradors and Golden Retrievers are typically chosen for this tasks because of their adaptability and mild temperaments.
How to Become the Owner of a Hearing Dog
Are you at least 18? Do you have a friend or family member who has agreed to help with the in-home training that’s a necessary part of the application process? Do you agree to commit to canine training and annual follow-ups? If you can answer yes to those questions, you may be a good candidate. In addition, though, your house must be deemed fit for a hearing dog and you must fill out an application stating your intent. At the end of all that, you will be the proud new owner of a partner in life, a dog who can alert you to everyday sounds that make life easier.
What Does Training Entail?
Hearing dogs are subjected to specialized training courses that hone their ability to ultimately assist their hearing-impaired owners with everyday situations. They must go through a rigorous training regimen that takes at least four months and sometimes up to six months to develop just the right temperament to make a good fit as a hearing dog. If the smoke alarm goes off, the dog can tell you through certain body language tactics. Likewise if the telephone rings or someone knocks at your door.
Personalized Care: A Good Match
To ensure a smooth fit between you and your dog, personalized care training is a must in order to further hone the relationship. Your new dog is then able to provide you with the peace of mind needed every day to pick up on sounds necessary to stay safe in your home and in the neighborhood. Using body language to communicate in several other situations, your dog will learn more over time.
This doesn’t mean your dog is necessarily trained right off to alert you of the loud sound of a fire engine approaching, for instance, but you will learn to understand cues based on his body language and other signals that make you aware of something approaching. After a few weeks and months, you will both learn more specific signals that gel with your unique environment. Your dog will become an expert at detecting anything for which you need an alert, providing you with the safety and companionship you crave.