Canine Companions for Independence hearing dogs are specially bred Labrador and Golden Retrievers who alert partners to key sounds by making physical contact such as nudging the leg or arm. Among the many sounds hearing dogs are trained to recognize and respond to are the sound of a doorbell, alarm clock, someone calling a name or a smoke alarm.
Partnering with a Canine Companions hearing dog can increase feelings of security and self-confidence by heightening awareness of environmental sounds.
After being placed in the home, the graduates “customize” the dog’s alerting pattern to their own particular environment and needs. Examples include: alerting to incoming e-mail messages at work, timers on microwaves, dryers and other appliances, and dropping keys.
To Receive a Hearing Dog:
- Be at least 18 years old and deaf or hard of hearing.
- Request an application.
- Find a friend or family member to be a training assistant.
- Apply. This process involves several steps designed to ensure success.
- Once the application is accepted, attend a two-week Team Training class at Canine Companions Northwest Regional Training Center in Santa Rosa, CA.
- After the training session and a graduation ceremony, attend ongoing training and follow-up support services at a regional training center.
Canine Companions hearing dogs and follow-up services are free of charge.