Hearing Dog and Training


New Member
Mar 11, 2013
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Hallo everyone!

So after much debating, researching, meeting, and screening, I will be bringing a new puppy into my life in a few weeks. Normally I adopt, foster, and help rehab dogs for adoption, but this time I'm going through a very good breeder who was referred to me. The reason I'm getting a puppy instead of adopting an older puppy or young dog was because of the training I'm planning on getting him when he's old enough. Since this is my first time living completely alone and in a place as large as Philadelphia, my family feels I'd do well to have a hearing dog around the house to help me.

If I'm somewhere quiet and there aren't a lot of distractions, I can usually have an almost normal conversation as long as I can see the other person's face to read their lips, or if they know me well enough to speak slowly and clearly. But there's a lot of sounds I'm missing - beeps, the door knocking, people calling my name, my phone ringing, and the big one is oncoming cars. I'm finding that in Philadelphia it doesn't really matter if the pedestrian light says walk, it's still walk at your own risk. :p The waiting list for most trained adult hearing dogs is pretty long, and since there's a company here that will do service dog training it seemed more practical to get a puppy, go through the three levels of training I wanted anyway, and then after doing the AKC testing pay for the service training that way he'll be trained to what I need from the get-go.

My question is simply wondering if anyone else here has a hearing dog or experience participating in the service training. The dog I raised and loved for the last 14 years wasn't formally trained, but he was still a service dog since he would alert me to phones and people I never picked up on. It wasn't until after I looked at what trained service dogs do that I really realized that all his life, Majik was my helper as much as he was my boy. I know it'll be a while before my puppy will be fully trained and can get legal tags, but being that it's something new for me, I was wondering if anyone else has gone through this process and has any words of wisdom. Did you find the training classes to be helpful to cater to what you need in a helping dog, or did you go through one of the companies that provides dogs already trained? And, if you live alone, do you find that the dog helps take some of the edge off that? Any input is welcomed and appreciated <3

Peace out~
I used to volunteer at animal shelter. I saw a woman who was blind looking at an adult yellow lab. Next day the dog was gone. I guess that the person adopted him.

I got an adult rottweiler. He protects me just fine being an adult.
There are at least one or two members here with Hearing Dogs. Hopefully, they'll pop in and answer some of you questions.
I am new here, but am training my second hearing alert/balance assist service dog. My first was a German Shepherd, and I now have a Doberman.
I tried classes with both dogs, but couldn't hear enough to be able to participate, so I trained mostly on my own. A few times I did hire someone who came to my home for a few private lessons.
Good Luck!
I had a hearing dog , a Standard Poodle. He was trained at NEADS . Finlay was trained to respond to my name , if someone called my name from behind me Finlay would let me know. He also tell me know when the phone or door bell rang etc. What kind of dog are you getting? I would not get a bred that people are afraid as it will only made it harder bringing into store etc. My dog was a black poodle and people where afraid of him and Finlay was a very sweet dog. I had to stay at NEADS for a week to train with my dog then bring him home for a week . Then go back to NEADS to tell how we got along. Satying at NEADS helped my dog and I get to know one another. Once I when home with my dog I had to keep up with his training so he could get use to his new home.
That's so cool you trained him on your own, Wislady! My last dog I mostly trained myself, and looking back I never realized he did so much. the other day I was cleaning the floor and recalled him standing still to let me lean on him to help me get back up because of my joints. I've found a few training places, but some I don't qualify as "deaf enough" which kind of threw me.

I'm getting a Belgian Shepherd puppy. A friend of mine has one that I fell in love with over the years, and the breeder I'm getting the puppy from has had a lot of her dogs go to be assistance and therapy dogs, which is awesome since she knows exactly what to look for in the puppy for me before delivering him. :3 After he's with me I'm going to sit in on a few of the group classes at PetSmart to see if I'll be able to participate in them enough to warrant paying for them since this one has all three levels of training and the Good Citizen's testing since I was told I needed that in order to get him service training, but if my hearing issues don't qualify for the ones near me... Well, I'll have to find a plan B lol
:wave:OddFoxx congrats and good luck with your new Belgian pup!
My dogs have had their CGC as the basic standard for further training ....there's also the newer Star Puppy program which my youngest went through - it's kind of a puppy pre-school version of the CGC.

wislady, I have Rotties...
in our area there is at least one dog trainer I used to know of, who also was a certified terp...there is another trainer I often see at the training seminars I go to, and who I've worked with, who I'm pretty sure has advertised herself as having experience training various service dogs, including hearing dogs. Again, that is what I know from before - do not currently know status of either of these people. I'm just using these as examples of what could possibly in other areas,too.
I'm also a trainer.
I have an Audio dog. Yes there was formal training in association with his being a service animal. If you roam around the board, I have posted pictures of him many times.

This has been MY experience. Please re-read that: MY experience.

The formal training laid the foundation of his response, but I truly believe that was just a small part of what he learned. From the day he came home with me, he has been with me 24hrs a day. He is asleep behind me on his designated pillow right now. Maybe that is not correct, I am not certain he ever really "sleeps" ? He will alert on pretty much everything I need him too. Same with at night, he has his pillow, as he does in the rooms I spend time in, if he alerts, he comes to me and touches me with his head. Yes, I realize he should have a kennel, fact is, he had one at first, but he was never in it.

THIS IS ME, but I feel it is our bond that makes it work. Is he spoiled ? I do not think so, but others may say different. He has a strict diet, eats healthy and is vet checked regularly. He has all vaccinations available.

He is large for a pure bred, and perhaps intimidating, yet people always seem to want to maul him. He is............"okay"...........with that, but asks me first if he can. He is exceptionally well minded, crowds/elevators do not effect him.

He is so much a part of me, I truly read him when he alerts to see what he is telling me. As I said, his baseline training is the foundation, but the time together has made he and I "click" as a team. Well, he is the team, I just kind of ride along on the bus. He knows my moods, he also knows some of the other issues I deal with and is very helpful in those situations.

Baseline: he alerts to sound, he tells me by touch. He is very obedient and well minded, but has protected me also when he felt a threat. When he is on lead, he does not pull or wander, he knows the rules. He could care less about other dogs and really is pretty good friends with my cat. I could go on, but for me, I would be lost without him.
I never had a hearing dog. But the dogs I have had I depended on for letting me know about different sounds. It was mostly me learning what the dog reacts to and then my responding to that. Like with cars, they all alerted to cars and their body language told me it was coming.
TubeTJ, I can really relate to your post.

Very similar about Tessa, the love of my life. I rescued her from death row when she was about 1 1/2 years old and we have been together, 24/7, for 4 1/2 years. She has removed the fear of my late severe hearing loss (can't use hearing aids), she keeps me safe, and she gives me life and fills my heart. She has been completely owner trained by me. I could not hear well enough for any classes so I made sure to give her plenty of socialization and play with other dogs often.

My most successful relationship ever. LOL