The Benefit Of Hearing Assistance Dogs

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Hearing Assistance Dogs

Dogs are one of the best animal companions a person could have for a myriad of reasons, one of the biggest being the assistance they can provide to individuals with special needs. While the most popular service dogs are guide dogs, hearing dogs are an option worth considering for those individuals who are profoundly hard of hearing or Deaf.

Companionship

Dogs, service or otherwise, can help with the isolation and depression many people who live with hearing loss may experience. Having the companionship of a hearing dog not only assists in reacting to the surrounding environment but also helps decrease feelings of loneliness and depression.

Services

Thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act, hearing dogs can go anywhere their owners go, to include public or private establishments. Hearing dogs will alert their owners to important sounds within the home such as the doorbell, telephone, smoke alarm, and other devices. Outside the house, the service dog won’t necessarily alert its owner to sounds, but the owner can use the dog’s reactions to the environment to better read the world around them.

Size

There is no required size or look for a hearing dog. They can be most any breed that is friendly and outgoing. Some breeds are naturally dispositioned for hearing services over others, however. Guardian or protective dogs may not be well suited for this occupation.

Small to medium size dogs are the most popular choice for hearing dogs just because owners request that size the most. Additionally, some existing dogs can be trained to be hearing dogs for their owners provided their disposition is appropriate for the job. Organizations that train hearing dogs obtain suitable candidates from local rescues and shelters. Those dogs that greet visitors in a friendly way are the ones that will most likely be screened for hearing dog services.

Potential Owners

Individuals who benefit most from hearing dogs are those who are deaf or profoundly hard of hearing. Those with mild to moderate hearing loss do not qualify for the assistance of a hearing dog. Hearing dogs benefit those most who live on their own or are at home much of the time alone. People who feel more isolated because of their hearing loss may find that a hearing dog helps lift their spirits.

Dogs are paired with candidates based on their temperament and energy levels. Individuals who are not very active and spend a lot of time at home would not be paired with a younger, high energy dog while someone who is very busy and spends much of their time outside of the house would not be paired with an older dog with lower energy levels.

Interested?

If you or someone you love is interested in the services of a hearing dog, many organizations can help. A quick search online may produce results in your local area. If you have a difficult time finding one, reach out to your hearing health professional for help. They’ll be able to connect you with an appropriate organization.

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