There are Seeing Eye service dogs for their blind or low-seeing partners, but you might not know that there are also Hearing Ear service dogs to assist the deaf or hard of hearing.
What can Hearing Ear dogs do?
Hearing Ear dogs can alert their partners about various sounds, such as someone calling their owner’s name, alarms, a baby crying, or the doorbell. The Hearing Ear dog can wake up the owner at night during a fire alarm and get him or her to safety. Even if a certain sound has not been part of training, the dog looking in a certain direction can help alert the owner of trouble, such as a traffic accident. The world of sound is vastly varied and a Hearing Ear dog can be vital in the process.
How are Hearing Ear dogs trained?
Hearing Ear dogs can be gotten from breeders or animal shelters. The main thing is that they need to be friendly, energetic, and ready to work. Dedicated professionals train the dogs. Basic obedience training, plus acclimation to everyday public situations, comes first. Public situations can consist of everything from riding an elevator to navigating busy streets. Then, they receive audio response training. They learn to respond to specific sounds and subsequently physically alert their handler. Training takes a few months to a year. Sometimes the trainer will work with the dog in the owner’s home to recognize other sounds, such as the washing machine buzzing or microwave beeping.
Recognizing a Hearing Ear dog
You will see a special brightly-colored leash and collar or a cape or jacket. They can access any public area by law and are protected in housing developments that don’t allow pets. They offer love and protect their partners well in the world of sound.
If you would like to know more about Hearing Ear dogs, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.