Service dogs for CI users and deaf people

Jules

New Member
Hi everyone! :wave:

I'm curious about service hearing dogs and the amazing labor they do... Any of you has a service hearing dog? how changed your life? But also I want to know what happens when a deaf person (who has a hearing dog) decides to have a CI?

Last week, I wrote an email to a service dog organization asking this:

1. What happens when after you provide an assistance dog for a deaf person that person decides to have a Cochlear implant? Do you take away the assistance dog from that person?

2. Is a unilateral CI user a candidate for an assistance dog?

And they answered: If a hearing dog recipient got a cochlear implant we would not take away their hearing dog. A CI may be switched off at times (e.g. when swimming or showering or sometimes at night to save batteries) rendering the recipient completed deaf. Also, it must be remembered that a CI is not a cure for deafness - a CI may be only moderately effective to a deaf person and so a hearing dog may still be very helpful in alerting and locating certain sounds to a CI user. However, if someone coped very well with a CI, Hearing Dogs and/or the recipient may decide that it would be unnecessary for the CI user to have a successor dog once the first one retires or passes away.

Current CI users may also apply for a hearing dog. Each case would be assessed on an individual basis. It should also be noted that a CI user must let the Hearing Dog work by alerting them to sounds, even if the CI user can hear those sounds (e.g. doorbell) most or some of the time.

FYI: I'm not looking to have an assistance dog I already have a natural-born hearing dog and he's my support in this world full of sounds.

I'm doing a research about this topic to post an article on my blog.

cochlearimplantexperience.blogspot.com

Thanks!
 
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pek1

New Member
Jules,

I have a Hearing Dog and love having a second set of ears with me nearly at all times. If I ever received CI's, she stays with me, as she is my dog to begin with and I trained her.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
It can take 2-4 years to get a hearing dog today. I called a few places and there is a waiting list. I got my hearing dogs from NEADS and when he dies I called NEADs and was told they're not training very many hearing dogs anymore and that I would have to wait 3 years to get another dog. Paws with a Cause make you wait 12-18 months to find out if you can get a hearing dog! Then it take a year or longer to raise money to train the dog , so they have 3-4 years wait before you get a hearing dog. If you really think you want one you should do the paper work and send it in soon. People that had a hearing dog from Paws with a Cause get a new first.
 

FireTiger

New Member
Hum, I was a "puppy raiser" for Southeastern Guide Dogs, and they do 'career change' dogs.

I wonder how different the training portion of a guide dog vs a hearing dog is...

I wonder how one could set up a school- (the schools serve the human and dogs for training, have the kennel and the final placement testing...

I recall each Sight-Guide has about $10,000 of training and start around 3 years old and work... till they can't.

(IIRC they are born in the breeding kennel, they are given first socialization with whoever is registered with the female... at 3-4 months they are sent to the "Puppy raiser" and we do socialization and basic training (hand and vocal) for about 2-years. Then they return to school for evla- and are either put with a trainer for another 3-8 months, then off to the waiting pool for a perfect match.)

They are not 'fixed' unless they are going to work for sure no matter what field... arson dog, drug dog, bomb dog, K9-officer, cadaver dog, search and rescue, hearing-alert, mobility-balance, mobility-wheelchair (puller), mobility-retreiver, Sight-Guide, medical alert (medicine/seizure/ect), medical response (get help), etc...

Otherwise they my be used as breeders to help keep cost down.

----

Anyone contacting the Sight-Guide dog schools?
 

DeafRaptor

Member
Hi everyone! :wave:

I'm curious about service hearing dogs and the amazing labor they do... Any of you has a service hearing dog? how changed your life? But also I want to know what happens when a deaf person (who has a hearing dog) decides to have a CI?

Thanks!

I have a hearing/mobility/etc service dog that I trained myself. She has greatly changed my life (for the better). I don't have a CI and have determined that it would never be for me, so I cannot answer about that.

I no longer have to worry that I might drop things (and therefore lose them), as I have a problem with holding onto some objects, I won't even realize that I dropped them, and I won't even hear that they fell and hit the ground. Leah is trained to listen for items being dropped, quickly leave my side to retrieve the item (like if I am walking away from it), pick it up, return to me, and hand the object to me. I worked with her so she relies on her amazing hearing, rather than hoping she catches sight of it, and is able to generalize with any item I might drop (except for unpackaged foods that I don't want her to retrieve) and any surface it might drop on. Before her, I was losing cards (like credit cards, health insurance cards, etc), coins, pens, keys, documents, etc, which caused a lot of problems and hassle (especially when I couldn't always have duplicates of those items). Now I even will accidentally drop her leash from time to time and she will retrieve it :lol:.

I still use the phone as I can hear and understand some people's voices enough when the volume is turned up since it is less than an inch from my ear (conversation face-to-face is strictly ASL or writing messages as I cannot hear them well enough to converse in English). I use the phone about 50% of the time for work, errands, and social calls (with family and friends in Michigan, California, Texas, Philadelphia and I am in Virginia) but only hear it ringing about 1% of the time, so I no longer have to worry about missed calls that previously severly limited my social life and caused problems with work. Leah is trained to listen for the phone ringing, get up and find my phone, grab the custom handle, and bring it to me. She is able to do this so quickly that I never have missed calls (except when it is a wrong number and the persons hangs up, but I don't care about those).

I no longer have to worry about missing people knocking, no matter if they are visitors, deliveries, maintenance, etc. Leah is trained to listen for knocking, come over to me (if she isn't already), and continue to give me a big, hard nudge at my knee or arm (if the knee is inaccessible) until I respond. When I give the command "show me", she walks (while checking to make sure I am following) to the source of the sound (which would be the door) and nudges the door.

Those are the three main ones, but she has also alerted me to people approaching me from behind; carried messages between me and other people in other rooms when they couldn't come directly to me to get my attention first; moved me out of the way of oncoming vehicle and bicycle traffic when walking; alerted me to sirens from police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances (although we need additional work so she can inform me which direction they are coming from); alerted me to a fire alarm at work (no strobe light or coworkers around me) before she was even trained to do that; etc. We are also working on her alerting me when a family member or other person tries to call for me by name.

Non-hearing related tasks are the retrieving dropped items (when I do notice that I drop an item, I cannot always retrieve it myself); counter-balance when walking; bracing for me on command when I need to go up or down stairs, stand up or sit down in a chair, stand up or sit down on the floor, or even if I need help recovering balance (due to balance/mobility issues); retrieving my purse or other items I might want from the floor, low shelf, etc; assisting with tidying the house; etc.

As you can see, she is definitely a wonder dog and I found her, adopted her from the rescue, and trained her myself.
 

Beach girl

Active Member
I am, quite seriously, impressed beyond words that you have trained her to that degree. That is absolutely fantastic.

Did you use any particular training manual or method, or had you had experience in dog training before you got Leah?
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
I have a hearing/mobility/etc service dog that I trained myself. She has greatly changed my life (for the better). I don't have a CI and have determined that it would never be for me, so I cannot answer about that.

I no longer have to worry that I might drop things (and therefore lose them), as I have a problem with holding onto some objects, I won't even realize that I dropped them, and I won't even hear that they fell and hit the ground. Leah is trained to listen for items being dropped, quickly leave my side to retrieve the item (like if I am walking away from it), pick it up, return to me, and hand the object to me. I worked with her so she relies on her amazing hearing, rather than hoping she catches sight of it, and is able to generalize with any item I might drop (except for unpackaged foods that I don't want her to retrieve) and any surface it might drop on. Before her, I was losing cards (like credit cards, health insurance cards, etc), coins, pens, keys, documents, etc, which caused a lot of problems and hassle (especially when I couldn't always have duplicates of those items). Now I even will accidentally drop her leash from time to time and she will retrieve it :lol:.

I still use the phone as I can hear and understand some people's voices enough when the volume is turned up since it is less than an inch from my ear (conversation face-to-face is strictly ASL or writing messages as I cannot hear them well enough to converse in English). I use the phone about 50% of the time for work, errands, and social calls (with family and friends in Michigan, California, Texas, Philadelphia and I am in Virginia) but only hear it ringing about 1% of the time, so I no longer have to worry about missed calls that previously severly limited my social life and caused problems with work. Leah is trained to listen for the phone ringing, get up and find my phone, grab the custom handle, and bring it to me. She is able to do this so quickly that I never have missed calls (except when it is a wrong number and the persons hangs up, but I don't care about those).

I no longer have to worry about missing people knocking, no matter if they are visitors, deliveries, maintenance, etc. Leah is trained to listen for knocking, come over to me (if she isn't already), and continue to give me a big, hard nudge at my knee or arm (if the knee is inaccessible) until I respond. When I give the command "show me", she walks (while checking to make sure I am following) to the source of the sound (which would be the door) and nudges the door.

Those are the three main ones, but she has also alerted me to people approaching me from behind; carried messages between me and other people in other rooms when they couldn't come directly to me to get my attention first; moved me out of the way of oncoming vehicle and bicycle traffic when walking; alerted me to sirens from police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances (although we need additional work so she can inform me which direction they are coming from); alerted me to a fire alarm at work (no strobe light or coworkers around me) before she was even trained to do that; etc. We are also working on her alerting me when a family member or other person tries to call for me by name.

Non-hearing related tasks are the retrieving dropped items (when I do notice that I drop an item, I cannot always retrieve it myself); counter-balance when walking; bracing for me on command when I need to go up or down stairs, stand up or sit down in a chair, stand up or sit down on the floor, or even if I need help recovering balance (due to balance/mobility issues); retrieving my purse or other items I might want from the floor, low shelf, etc; assisting with tidying the house; etc.

As you can see, she is definitely a wonder dog and I found her, adopted her from the rescue, and trained her myself.

What breed of dog is Leah? She sound really smart!!
 

DeafRaptor

Member
I am, quite seriously, impressed beyond words that you have trained her to that degree. That is absolutely fantastic.

Did you use any particular training manual or method, or had you had experience in dog training before you got Leah?

I had a family dog growing up, but I wouldn't say I necesarily had experience with dog training before Leah. I used a trainer that had some experience with service dogs, but she mainly did everyday pet dog training. She showed me some methods to train various tasks and started me on my way. Basically, the method I used was learning to break down each task into the smallest steps, you encourage the dog with whatever actions and motivators work to do the first step (a lot of trial and error), and as the dog masters each step you progress to the next.

For example, I had Leah start by just putting her nose to an object that I pointed at with a command (later phased out the pointing), then mouth the object, then pick up the object for a split-second, then pick up and hold the object for longer, then pick up and bring the object to me over a little distance, then bring the object over a larger distance, then wait for me to grab it, and then put it in my hand (that was the second half of the task, but needed to teach it first). Then I would drop the object from a short distance and give the command while repeating each of the steps above (I would phase out the command so she was picking it up whenever it dropped), then I dropped it from a high distance, then I would practice with hiding it from her vision so she had to rely on hearing, then I added walking and dropping it at random intervals, then I added walking it and dropping it and continue walking (then started over for different floors so she can generalize and pick up whether it was on tile or carpet or whatever and then started over for different objects so she can generalize and pick up whether it is a key or credit card or whatever) so by the end she was able to: hear an item drop, go and retrieve the item, return to me, and give me the item. She is smart and a fast-learner.

What breed of dog is Leah? She sound really smart!!

Oh, she is smart. I found out after a DNA test that she is mostly Rottweiler and Shetland Sheepdog. She adores people (even children and babies) and loves playing with other dogs when it is play-time (her best dog-friends are my sister's service dog-in-training, Anubis, and my friend Rachel's medical alert service dog, Ru).
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
I was thinking he was a sheepdog! They're so smart!! I bet a DNA test cost a few $$$. I thought of going it with Marty but I really do not need to know his second breed. I know he is a cutiepoo !
I would love to see a photo of your dog!! I trained Marty to sit and stay , I
need to teach not to jump on people and lay down. He was learning to let me know the phone was ringing . Marty is trying to tell me he want my attention!

I am really impressed that trained your dog so good! You really know dogs!!
I bet your pets love you very much , dogs want to pleases people they really love!
 

DeafRaptor

Member
I was very curious about what my "mutt" (I will try to post a pic soon as my avatar) was that I didn't mind the price. I also learned more about Leah than just what breeds she was. I learned more about what characteristics she would likely portray and what health issues to expect. If you or anyone is interested, I paid about $50 (I got a discount from the $70 price as I went through my vet). I got the dog breed DNA test with Wisdom Panel, but you can find more information at http://www.wisdompanel.com/insights/?gclid=CNbCu7_h8KsCFY1S7AodGTnPJg

I found that training a dog is a lot like the Hot or Cold game (where someone has to locate an item that is hidden and everyone else says "hotter" or "colder" as he gets closer or farther from the item until he locates it). The basic rules of the game are easy enough for a dog to understand (substituting "hotter" with "rewards" and "colder" with "trying a different approach"). It doesn't matter the exact path that your dog takes as there is more than one path to every goal; you only need to encourage whatever action your dogs does that gets them closer and closer to your goal. Just keep in mind that when you start to see them get a little frustrated, go back to something easier and/or try a different approach that they might understand better.

Thanks! Yeah, we fell in love with each other at first sight.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
I was very curious about what my "mutt" (I will try to post a pic soon as my avatar) was that I didn't mind the price. I also learned more about Leah than just what breeds she was. I learned more about what characteristics she would likely portray and what health issues to expect. If you or anyone is interested, I paid about $50 (I got a discount from the $70 price as I went through my vet). I got the dog breed DNA test with Wisdom Panel, but you can find more information at http://www.wisdompanel.com/insights/?gclid=CNbCu7_h8KsCFY1S7AodGTnPJg

I found that training a dog is a lot like the Hot or Cold game (where someone has to locate an item that is hidden and everyone else says "hotter" or "colder" as he gets closer or farther from the item until he locates it). The basic rules of the game are easy enough for a dog to understand (substituting "hotter" with "rewards" and "colder" with "trying a different approach"). It doesn't matter the exact path that your dog takes as there is more than one path to every goal; you only need to encourage whatever action your dogs does that gets them closer and closer to your goal. Just keep in mind that when you start to see them get a little frustrated, go back to something easier and/or try a different approach that they might understand better.

Thanks! Yeah, we fell in love with each other at first sight.



She is a adorable! I thought it cost about $400 for DNA for dogs , I know it cost that much for people.
When I went to adopt Marty he peed on my pants leg right away! When a male dog pees on something he is marking his territory , so Marty was marking me ! I was with my daughter and granddaughter and they where not peed on! So it was love at first with Marty and me too! I was so flatter that Marty peed on me!
 
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