Before you begin the application process, it is important that you read this information and give it some serious thought. The following information is given to you so that you realize everything that is involved in applying for and having a Hearing Dog, Autism Assistance Dog, or Program Assistance Dog.
- We typically require a fenced area attached to the home.
- Due to the difficulties of having a dog work around distractions, we place our professionally trained dogs in homes where they will be the only dog. An exception to this may be a retired Hearing Dog, Autism Assistance Dog or Program Assistance Dog.
- Typically, Hearing Dogs are placed with children over the age of 18. This is determined on a case by case basis. We base this decision on the child’s ability to take on the tasks required to care for and consistently work with the dog (see below).
- You will be required to attend obedience training classes or hire a private obedience trainer as prescribed by your Dogs for the Deaf Trainer.
- We select dogs from area shelters based on temperament and age, not size, sex, or appearance.
Please carefully consider the following points:
Our professionally trained dogs require:
- Minimum of one full year as a training year for both of you
- Total commitment and willingness to working with your dog daily
- Willingness to put practice sessions ahead of other pressing demands
- Willingness to stop whatever you are doing to work with your dog when it is confused or does not work properly. Plus the willingness to do this again and again throughout your first training year, and beyond
- Willingness to be frustrated but always deal patiently and positively with your dog
- Time to play with and reward your dog for a job well done each and every time they work for you
- Exercise for your active dog. Our dogs are young and energetic. They need lots of physical exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis.
- Commitment to the full time job of working with your dog
- Taking sole responsibility for the care and exercise of the dog so that the dog will bond with you
- Family members to refrain from giving the dog attention until the dog has completely bonded with the client
About our Hearing Dogs
Our Hearing Dogs alert their client to sounds by making physical contact (jumping on you, pawing you, or nosing you) then leading you to the sound.
Hearing Dogs who work only in the home environment are referred to as Home Hearing Dogs. Hearing Dogs who work in the home and accompany their person into public places are referred to as Hearing Dogs certified for public access. The only difference is the level of confidence that dog has in new environments, new situations, and meeting new people. Few dogs have the confidence necessary to be happy, relaxed, and comfortable in any and all situations they will encounter in public places such as malls, stores, airports, etc. Hearing Dogs that work only in the home have exactly the same sound training as a Hearing Dog that goes into public.
The wait time for a Hearing Dog certified for public access will be longer than the wait for a Home Hearing Dog.
A Hearing Dog certified for public access:
- Is allowed to accompany the client into public places where pets are not allowed.
- Will naturally provide greater environmental awareness by reactions to the world around it.
- Will require more work to keep up its training than a Home Hearing Dog.
- Requires training trips into public places 3 times a week.
- Is NOT trained to alert you to sirens, approaching cars, horns, etc.