What Are Trained Hearing Dogs?

March 16, 2019
What are trained hearing dogs and how can they aid deaf people? Find out in this article!

A few decades ago being deaf was a terrible problem. These days it still is of course, but, over the years, deaf people have become more active in their community and can lead a nearly “normal” life. That’s what friends are for, and here we’re referring to the four-legged variety: trained hearing dogs.

What’s a trained hearing dog?

Clicker training for hearing dogs.

A trained hearing dog informs deaf people of the sounds that they can’t hear.

There are many sounds that we take for granted, and that are necessary to lead our day to day lives. In contrast, imagine not hearing the smoke detector, set off by your drunken neighbor’s over-done steak at 3 in the morning.

Or, perhaps someone came to your house to tell you that you’re the 10th person to randomly open the door to them and that, because of that, you’ve won a cruise trip to the Bahamas. However, you missed it because you couldn’t hear the doorbell!

Joking aside though, perhaps you’re crossing the street and, not only can you not hear, but the sun is blinding you and you don’t realize that a car is coming your way.

For all these reasons and more, trained hearing dogs were invented.

Duties of a trained hearing dog

A trained hearing dog can inform a deaf person that:

  • Someone’s at the door (my dog can do that too)
  • A driver is honking
  • Home appliances are malfunctioning
  • The alarm clock says it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee
  • There’s a person walking behind you calling your name
  • The smoke detector or fire alarm went off
  • Your baby’s crying –because it probably needs a nappy change

When the trained hearing dog hears one of these sounds, the animal then informs its owner by touching their foot with a paw, or both paws. When the person realizes the dog is trying to communicate with him, it can then lead him towards the sound.

Trained hearing dogs at an international level

Many trained hearing dogs are used by the deaf community every day in order to assist them with their hearing loss. Some therapists also use these dogs in their work with special needs students, and anyone else who might benefit from the dogs’ calming presence.

Assistance Dogs International is a global organization committed to establishing and promoting standards of excellence in all areas of trained dog acquisition, training, and partnership.

They also facilitate communication and learning among member organizations and, in addition, they educate the public about the benefits of assistance dogs.

Two Spaniels in the grass.

Conclusion

Once again, we’ve seen the importance of dogs in our lives, and how they’re always there for us. We definitely make a good team, always looking after each other!

Remember that most non-profit associations that promote aid for people with disabilities receive donations. If you want to make a contribution, check out their page to find out how.