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About Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is a registered charity that trains dogs to alert severely and profoundly deaf people to sounds they cannot hear such as from alarm clocks, smoke alarms, or the sound of baby's cry for its mother.

Launched in 1982 it has since placed over 1,000 hearing dogs trained to alert deaf people to sounds in their homes and workplaces throughout the UK.


The dogs...
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People select dogs from rescue centres, private homes, breeders and pounds and are always looking to make new links especially with rescues. They try to find dogs between the ages of 6 weeks and 3 years that would be suited to life as a Hearing Dog.

When a dog is selected the donor is kept informed of their progress through the socialisation and training period and reports and photographs are sent.

A huge variety of cross-breeds, mongrels and pure breeds are assessed but small to medium sized dogs are particularly sought. Typically the dogs selected are friendly, happy characters who have a willingness to please and who would enjoy the attention that comes with being a Hearing Dog.

Despite being lovely dogs, some breed types with very high intelligence and work drive are less suitable for this very special job.

Says Carrie Highmore: "We look for small or medium-sized puppies and young dogs under three years of age. Any crossbred or pedigree dog, other than guarding breeds or working strain collies, may be suitable.

Hearing dogs need to have a friendly disposition, good temperament and confident character, and should be reliable in all situations. If you have, or know of, a puppy or young dog fitting the above criteria, please contact our dog supply team on 01844 348 105. For general enquiries about how you can help the charity please call 01844 348 100."


Fosterers, socialisers and sponsors...
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People also need Puppy Fosterers and Puppy Socialisers for dogs that have the potential to become hearing dogs. Fosterers and socialisers need to live and work in particular regions.

Dog adopters give a life-long home to dogs that don't quite make the hearing dog grade, and to retired hearing dogs. Another way to help is to sponsor a hearing dog in training.

And the Hearing Dog recipients...

Felicia Walton says about Benjy: "My hearing dog Benjy is a truly wonderful dog. The time we have spent together has been so happy and rewarding. Benjy goes with me everywhere. He wakes me up, alerts me to the telephone and the door and fetches help if I need it. Most importantly, he warns me if the fire alarm sounds.

These days it's hard to believe that Benjy was once an unwanted little scrap at a rescue centre. How do I find words to express my thanks to all the people who helped in the training of my excellent hearing dog, and tell them about the joy, happiness and sense of security I now feel?"

If you feel you can help or would like to know more, contact details and further information are on the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People website: www.hearing-dogs.co.uk.

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The contents of this page are copyright © 2002-2007 Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, photographs courtesy of Tim Flach
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