With the assistance of hearing dogs, people 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.
These sounds include, but are not limited to:
- Alarm clock
- Oven timer
- Door knock and doorbell
- Smoke alarm
- The person's name
When alerting to a sound, the dog touches the person and takes them to the source of the sound, with the exception of the smoke alarm. To alert to a smoke alarm, the dog touches the person and lies down.