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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

Most people have heard about the benefits that are offered by seeing-eye dogs. They allow people who suffer from blindness to live with a great degree of independence while providing a certain amount of companionship. Over the last few years, there has been an increased amount of people who have sought out hearing-dogs for the same reason. Many Labradors and Golden Retrievers have been trained successfully for this purpose, and are capable of guiding people with hearing loss throughout their daily lives. This article will take a look at the ways that hearing-dogs can help people.

The Requirements Of Getting A Dog

There are certain restrictions in place that are meant to ensure that the hearing dogs are going into a loving and caring environment. In order to have a dog, you must be at least 18 years old, have filed an application, and then have someone who can assist you with the in-house training. The application process is in place to make sure that the living space is right for the pet, and that the individual with hearing loss will make a good owner. Once you attend canine training, the final step is to report for annual training. However once this is all completed, you will have access to an affectionate companion.

Their Role In A Hearing Impaired Life

After you have had a hearing dog placed with you, you will need to have a few weeks of in-home training to ensure that you and the dog are a proper match. Not only will they be able to alert hearing impaired individuals to various sounds around the house, but they will be able to respond in emergency situations as well.

One of the most well-documented situations that they can help an individual respond to is walking on the street and encountering an emergency such as a police car or ambulance. The dog may not be trained to respond to the sirens, but you will be able to tell that something is amiss due to their unique body language response. With your growing partnership, you will be able to pick up on subtle hints that can alert you to all manner of things happening around you.

A Powerful Training Regimen

These hearing dogs are well-trained to adapt to a variety of situations and to complete many tasks that can help people with hearing loss. While the typical training program can take as little as four to six months, special attention is paid to their temperament. They are each trained in sounds such as telephone, door knocks, and smoke alarms. However, your dog can respond to many different sounds and gain more abilities as they continue to grow with you.