Dogs are a very versatile and helpful animal that are commonly trained to help disabled individuals. Everyone has heard of the Seeing Eye dog, and the benefits that are reaped by blind people that own them. However, in recent years there has been expansion in the efforts to train dogs that are able to help individuals who are hearing impaired. Their main focus has been on breeds such as Golden Retrievers and the Labrador because of their calm nature and ability to be trained. Let us discuss some of the training methods used, as well as the benefits involved with owning a trained dog for the hearing impaired.
Eligibility For The Dogs
If you are hearing impaired, there are certain requirements you must meet in order to receive a hearing companion. The first requirement is you must be at least 18 years old, and have a family member or friend that is able to help with the in-home training for the dog. You must then fill out an application to ensure the dog will be given a healthy environment to live, as well as enough room to move about. The last step in the process is that you will be required to undertake specialized canine training, and follow up annually for training. If you meet these requirements, you will be able to receive a dog that will not only make your everyday life easier, but will be an enjoyable companion for you.
Specific Training Methods
The average training span for a dog learning hearing assistance methods is between four and six months. In this time they are taught specialized tasks that will allow them to alert their owners of any danger or concerns they should have including door knocking, ringing telephones, and most importantly smoke alarms. These dogs will also be able to adapt to their surroundings and learn to alert you of sounds specific to your needs.
The Help A Trained Dog Can Provide The Hearing Impaired
It is important to both the dog and the recipient that the placement is successful. So when a dog is placed in a home, they will receive a few weeks of specialized care to make sure the dog is a good fit. After that is complete, the service dog will be able to provide multiple services to their owner that is hearing impaired. They will not only be able to alert their owners to any alarms going off in the house, but can communicate in many other situations.
An example of this would be if you are walking outside with your dog and an ambulance starts approaching, the dog would not have the proper training for that specific sound that the ambulance makes. However, the dog will be able to show signs and changes in body language that would allow you to notice that there is something wrong. In time, the dog will adjust and be able to detect most things that require your attention.