Hearing Dogs spend up to six months in training learning how to alert to sounds in their environment. Hearing Dogs respond to seven sounds: fire and smoke alarms, the telephone, oven timer, alarm clock, doorbell/door knock, and name call (and sometimes the baby cry). Hearing Dogs alert you to sounds by making physical contact (jumping on you, pawing you, or nosing you) then leading you to the sound.
Physical alerts can be painful and/or cause bruising at times. Once placed with their deaf partner, the dogs easily learn to respond to additional sounds such as the microwave, tea kettle, and washer/dryer. Hearing Dogs can be taught to alert people to any repetitive sound that can be set up and practiced regularly. Hearing Dogs provide a person in public an increased awareness of his or her environment. A Hearing Dog isn’t specifically trained to alert to sounds, such as a siren or honking horn, in public.
ALERT TO SPECIFIC SOUNDS AT HOME
- Doorbell ringing
- Knock on front door
- Rapping on patio door or window
- Smoke alarm sounding
- Wind up minute timer, oven or microwave timer going off
- Baby crying
- Family member or other calling the name of the dog’s partner
- Child calling “mommy” [or other name, if applicable, such as daddy, grandpa, aunt]
- Phone ringing
- Alarm clock buzzing
- Computer equipment beeps
- Horn honking in garage or driveway
- Arrival of school bus
ALERT TO SPECIFIC SOUNDS AWAY FROM HOME
- Siren of police car, fire truck or ambulance and indicate direction
- Smoke alarm in workplace
- Distinguish phone ringing on partner’s desk at work from all other phones in workplace
- Name of partner if coworker, friend, family member calls out that name
- Cell phone or beeper
- Smoke alarm in hotel or work
- Fire drill at school or work
- Vehicle honking to attract attention
OTHER HEARING DOG TASKS
- Retrieve unheard dropped objects like keys , coins, or other objects
- To enhance security when the team arrives home after dark, the dog enters the home first to turn on a light, nudging the metal base of a lamp with a touch lamp device
- Carry a note from the partner to another household member, searching the house to find that individual
- Carry messages between spouses, utilizing objects which signify dinner is ready or that the person needs help right away, and so forth.
- Have the dog find and return with the hearing impaired person.
- Warn of a vehicle approaching from behind, or making a sudden turn. A task that applies the intelligent disobedience principle to hearing dog work