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Susquehanna Service Dogs Hearing Dogs
With the assistance of hearing dogs, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing do not need to rely solely on visual signals. Hearing dogs assist their partners by alerting to specific sounds in the environment. Dogs can be trained to respond to:
- Alarm clock
- Oven timer
- Door knock and doorbell
- Telephone or cell phone
- Smoke alarm
- Person calling their partner's name
- Other sounds that may be unique to their partner
When alerting their partners, hearing dogs touch them and take them to the source of the sound, with the exception of the smoke alarm. To alert for the smoke alarm, dogs touch their partner and lie down at their feet. The dogs must alert every time.
In addition to alerting for sounds, hearing dogs must exhibit good social behavior (no aggression, no begging, no undesirable play, etc.) and master basic obedience skills (sit, stay, come, down, stand, heel (on the left side), place (on the right side), back, etc.). They must obey these cues on and off the lead. A hearing dog can be taught to respond to voice cues, hand signals and whistles.
All dogs are expected to perform these tasks without stopping for distractions while on and off lead and with the lead dragging.