ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hearing Dogs: Lending an Ear

Updated on April 5, 2013

In the kitchen, a woman cooks dinner while her golden retriever sleeps on the floor. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. The woman keeps on cooking, but her golden retriever jumps to his feet. He runs to the woman, places a paw on her leg then runs to the front door. The woman stops what she is doing and follows her dog to the door.

Many people are familiar with dogs who guide the blind. But did you know that there are also dogs that hear for people? Hearing dogs are trained to tell their deaf owners about important sounds. The sound may be the phone ringing or someone calling the owner. As soon as the dog hears one of these sounds, he puts a paw on his owner’s arm or leg to get his attention. The dog then leads his owner to the place where the sound came from. If the owner doesn't come right away, the dog will go back and forth until the owner follows. It’s kind of like what your own dog does when he’s trying to tell you he’s hungry.


Did You Know?

Unlike guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs can come from a wide variety of dog breeds. Terriers and poodles are especially popular. Mixed breed dogs are also commonly used.

School Dogs

So how are hearing dogs trained? First, a special school that trains hearing dogs chooses and places a dog in a foster home. Here the dog learns commands like sit and stay and how to get along with different types of people and animals. They’re taken to parks and even stores so they can become comfortable with different places. After a few months, the dog returns to the school to start his special hearing training.

At the school, the dog learns to recognize different sounds. He hears doorbells, fire alarms, and cooking timers. When he gets excited about one of these sounds, he is given a reward like a pat on the head or a tasty treat. After a while, the dog will only get a reward if he responds to certain important sounds and takes his trainer to it.


Never Homeless

Dogs that do not make it through the training program are adopted out to good homes.

Terrific Team

If the dog does well, he will go on to get even more training—this time, with the person who may become his owner. They train together to make sure they will be a good team. The dog must quickly obey commands, and the person must know how to handle and respond to the dog. If the two don't quite fit one another, both the person and the dog are reassigned to new potential partners. However, If the school thinks the two are a good match, the dog will go off with his new owner to start working as a hearing dog.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)