Hearing service dog

Discussion in 'Pets & Animals' started by Shoshana, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Shoshana

    Shoshana New Member

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    I am currently training my third Hearing Service Dog, She is a Beagle I named Molly. She will be trained to alert me to different sounds such as; my name, the door, alarms, and help me determine location from which sound is coming. In my free time I also like to help other people in training Service Dog to assist them. I have worked with Hearing dog (obviously lol), Autism Service Dog, and Wheelchair Assistance Dogs. Would like to meet other people with Hearing dogs too! :)
     

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  2. Beach girl

    Beach girl Active Member

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    Oh my goodness, that picture of Molly is just adorable! How did you get started in dog training? Did you work with a professional or are you doing all this on your own?

    I have not trained either of mine as hearing dogs yet (it's coming, for Casey) but have done obedience training for all my dogs, did some agility for Pippin but he doesn't care for it much, and have done quite a bit of agility training with Casey. He ADORES it. I would like to compete but not sure he has the temperament for it.

    Next step for him is Hearing Assistance training. He shows a good aptitude for it.
     
  3. Shoshana

    Shoshana New Member

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    THANK YOU! I started volunteering at a local animal shelter when I was nine, I worked with the dogs on obedience since I knew it will help them get adopted. From there I worked with my dogs to help me with different sounds--My Lab knows over 100 commands, can open/close doors, turn on/off lights, help with the laundry, and a lot more! I have a passion for what I do :)
     
  4. Beach girl

    Beach girl Active Member

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    Oh, that is impressive!! Standing and applauding for you! So very few people bother to teach their dogs more than a handful of commands. Teaching your Lab more than 100 is truly outstanding.

    I WISH my guys would help with the laundry!! I don't think that one is going to be in their repertoire anytime soon. They are both mini poodles. Pippin is smallish, at 12", and Casey is an overgrown mini, at 17". Casey is the one in my pic.
     
  5. Smithtr

    Smithtr G.G.H.T Premium Member

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    wow amazing impressive! awesome treat dog. I love dog!
     
  6. FadedRose

    FadedRose New Member

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    I do have a question about obtaining a hearing dog for myself.
    When I was a teenager my parents tried to get me one but they had to be put on a "list" and were told it'd take up to a year maybe more to get me one. I forget what organization they went through it's been over 12 years since I even looked into getting one. I currently have a pitbull that I've tried to train as my hearing dog but she's too hyper to train in that regards other than to sit, stay and come. She's protective and lets me know if there is someone snooping around my home or if someone is at the front door but as far as alerting me when the tornado sirens go off, or when the phone is ringing...nadda.

    I know labs are often used as hearing dogs but a pitbull? :)
     
  7. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

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    Molly is sooo cute!
     
  8. Beach girl

    Beach girl Active Member

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    There's no reason a pittie couldn't be trained as a hearing service dog. In fact at a recent HLAA conference, there were several service dogs there. One was a white pittie that I just fell in love with, she was so sweet. Very dignified looking and not "cute" at all; just the picture of professionalism. Lovely dog.

    It will take a LOT of work on your part, ideally with a professional trainer for starters. Because some people have a negative opinion about pit bulls, you will have to work extra-hard to make sure she is entirely calm around people and 100% responsive to your commands and needs.

    Generally the hearing assistance dog placement outfits will NOT place a hearing service dog with someone who already has a dog as a pet. It interferes with the bonding necessary. So - basically, it's a question of working with what you have.

    Have you taken any obedience classes at all with your dog? You could look around and see what's offered by your city or county. Or look up professional dog trainers in your area for one-on-one training. A pro could evaluate your dog for trainability. If she knows sit, stay and come, that's a good start.

    Does she walk well on a leash for you? Do you make her wait a few seconds for her breakfast and dinner? (That helps in impulse control: put the food down, say or gesture "Wait" and give it a couple seconds before saying or gesturing "OK." ) A dog with good impulse control is easier to train.

    Also google "Clicker training" and take a class in it if you can. It is amazing how quickly dogs can learn through that method.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  9. Bottesini

    Bottesini Old Deaf Ranter Premium Member

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    One thing to think of, if you travel at all, pitbulls are banned in some locations. So unless you always stay in your home area that may present a problem.

    Ownership where is live is severely restricted and has very difficult conditions to meet if you want a pitbull.
     
  10. Beach girl

    Beach girl Active Member

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    But service dogs are supposed to be allowed everywhere, right? I wonder which law would take priority when the service dog is a pit bull.

    They do need to be very, very thoroughly trained and on best behavior, so there could be no doubt in anyone's mind that the dog was doing the job it was trained to do.
     
  11. Bottesini

    Bottesini Old Deaf Ranter Premium Member

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    I was thinking the breed bans would take precedence. I suppose I could be wrong. (Although that would be a rare occurance.:P )
     
  12. Beach girl

    Beach girl Active Member

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    I'm sure it would be!! :lol:

    I really don't know.
     
  13. Shoshana

    Shoshana New Member

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    I have a friend with a pitty Hearing dog! I have nothing against pits BUT I wouldn't recomend for service work--This breed was bred to fight and protect ITS IN THEIR BLOOD! Even a very stable pit can turn, and that would be a danger to the handler and the public. Service Dogs shouldnt be protective.

    My First two were labs, common breed for Service Dogs, but my 3rd is a beagle which is not common at all!

    As far as organizations--there are a few good ones nationally. HOWEVER there typically is a wait list of 2-6 years! This reason I started training my own! Now I started a Not for Profit in Florida to help other people train their own Service Dog. I love what I do :)
     
  14. Shoshana

    Shoshana New Member

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    Regarding Breed bans and Service Dogs--Service Dogs are not subject to breed bands.
    Miami bans pits but someone could still live and visit there with a pit service dog. BUT harder time gaining access would be expected.

    Having had 2 wonderful TYPICAL breed Service dogs I can tell you I have still had my share of access denial and hassle from people. The areas I have lived are now pretty understanding the law--but I do think having a pitty might cause people to have a diffrent reaction because of their rep.

    A lot of Hearing Dog programs adopt mutts from shelters and thats wonderful!!

    If you are seeking to train your own Id suggest looking in the shelter, If you are interested send me a Private message and I can get you a list of specific characteristics and stuff to look for in the dog! NOT EVERY DOG HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A SERVICE DOG!
     
  15. Shoshana

    Shoshana New Member

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    Here is a picture of my current Service Dog--this was at Coke World in Atlanta GA.
     

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  16. Shoshana

    Shoshana New Member

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    Here is my First Service Dog
     

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  17. Shoshana

    Shoshana New Member

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    Just a funny picture of my girls! Macy (yellow lab--Service Dog) and Molly (beagle--Service Dog in Training)
     

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  18. dogmom

    dogmom Well-Known Member

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    actually - NO, Pits are not generally human-aggressive and it is actually NOT in their blood. It was actually bred OUT of them as they needed to be VERY human-stable in the fighting pits when the handlers would need to pull them out of there, tend to injuries and so on. AGGRESSION toward PEOPLE and aggression toward other DOGS are two very different things.
    Also, fighting and "protection" are two different things. Pit Bulls by definition do not make "good guard dogs" and are likely to be overjoyed with friendliness if a robber were to enter your home and you weren't there.

    That said, Pit Bulls who have been poorly bred and NOT SOCIALIZED, like any dog, will be likely to have behavioral issues, one of which could be aggression toward people. Dogs in general who have not exposed to a wide variety of situations can then eventually behave fearfully to those things that they have NOT experienced; fear and aggression are connected.
     
  19. Shoshana

    Shoshana New Member

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    Correct, but dog aggression should not be present in Service Dogs. No type of aggression. period.

    I am not saying ALL pits, like I said--I have a friend with a pit hearing dog, and a few friends with other types of Service dogs that use pits and they can be great.

    As a breed, pits can be pretty reactive which is something you do NOT want in a service dog. I am not bashing pits in any way, or saying they cant or shouldn't be Service Dogs--I am saying there are a number of things that could present a problem and need to be addressed.
     
  20. dogmom

    dogmom Well-Known Member

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    :wave:oh, I agree- aggression in general is not a trait that you want in a service dog, or in a therapy dog, etc.

    reactivity and aggression can also be different things though reactivity is certainly not desirable in a service dog either.

    high prey motivation is a challenge with Terriers and that certainly presents a problem since service dogs need to be able to ignore very high-level distractions and do their job as seamlessly as possible.
     

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