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."
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?"