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Hearing Dogs for the Deaf

Can be a deaf person's best friend (and ears)

By

Updated May 07, 2011

Why Get a Hearing Dog

Hearing dogs for the deaf alert deaf people to sounds, both inside and outside of the home. Some deaf people also choose to get hearing dogs for safety reasons.

Where to Get a Hearing Dog

Where can you get one? There are several hearing dog organizations in the United States, such as Dogs for the Deaf. A web search turned up the following web directories:

In the UK, a well-known organization is Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.

Books About Hearing Dogs

There are books about training hearing dogs, and books for children and teens about hearing dogs. Lend Me an Ear: The Temperament, Selection and Training of the Hearing Ear Dog, is a book by a hearing dog trainer, Martha Hoffman.
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For teenagers, there is Sound Friendships: The Story of Willa and Her Hearing Dog, the story of a 14 year old who loses her hearing and gets a hearing dog.
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For children, there is Luke and His Hearing-Ear Dog, Herald, about a deaf 9-year-old boy and his dog,
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and Cindy the Hearing Ear Dog, about training hearing dogs.
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What Kind of Dog to Get

What kind of a dog would you like to have? Many types of dogs are out there. Many photos of hearing dogs are available on the internet, and About Deafness has a hearing dog photo gallery.

Support for Hearing Dog Owners

Yahoo Groups has the group Assistance-Dogs which includes hearing dogs. A smaller group that focuses solely on hearing dogs, is hearingdogteams, which discusses training and owning hearing dogs.

Hearing Dogs on Television

The television show Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye, which aired October 2002 to May 2005, had the main deaf character, Sue Thomas, with a hearing dog, Levi.

Hearing Dogs are Still Dogs

Of course, having a hearing dog means that you have take care of it just like any other dog. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of walking and scooping up after a dog. I don't want to walk and scoop up after a dog, but I could change my mind someday because of the benefits of having a hearing dog.

An About visitor asked about adopting a dog that failed to pass hearing dog training. That is indeed possible. For example, Dogs for the Deaf adopts out these training "failures" as Career Change Dogs.

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