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Page updated - 02 October 2009

Hearing Dogs for the Deaf

The charity has been training dogs for over 21 years and has just trained its 1000th dog. The dogs are from Rescue Centres or donated by members of the public. Once the dogs have been selected they are placed with ‘volunteer socialisers’ for about 6 months then go to the Training Centre to be trained for the sounds for which a recipient wants. These sounds are mostly Telephone, Doorbell, Knock, Smoke Alarm, Alarm Clock, Fire-bell and Cooker Timer. The dog ‘works’ by touching its owner’s leg and the owner asking ‘what is it?’ The dog will then lead them to the sound but if the smoke alarm goes off, and the owner asks ‘What is it?’, the dog will lay down flat – a sign for danger.

These marvellous dogs make so much difference to a deaf persons’ life helping them for the everyday sounds in the home or workplace. Some of the dogs will also alert their owners to other dangers that they haven’t been trained for. Last year the charity held its first ever ‘Hearing Dog of the Year Award’ and my hearing dog ‘Jinty’ was ‘Heroic Hearing Dog of the Year’ and was presented with her award by Pam Rhodes from Songs of Praise.

For further information please ‘phone 01844 348100 or log-on to the Hearing Dogs Website

Ann Barford & Jinty. – 17 Oct 2004