How do I become a Hearing Dog‘s owner?

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As I mentioned in my last blog, today, we will talk about a Hearing Dog and address various aspects of owning one; it’s not just about owning a dog but a trained Service Dog.

Individuals with hearing loss or Deafness face challenges communicating in a world built for hearing people. It may feel isolating for some people. It can even exacerbate anxiety, depression, and conditions such as seasonal affective disorder. Understanding and addressing the unique communication needs of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community is essential to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for everyone.

So what can a Hearing Dog do for them? They can do a lot! To begin with, they are trained to assist you with identifying familiar household sounds, they make you feel more confident to approach challenges and give you confidence in yourself. They provide you with extra emotional support through their unconditional love and understanding. If you feel anxious about interpersonal challenges, a Hearing Dog can boost your confidence and be your stalwart companion.

If having a dog in the house is a new experience, or if you have more general concerns about how a Hearing Dog can assist, feel free to reach out to us. YHD is here to support you! Our team is happy to review all available options with you. This may include how service dogs are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act or recommendations for additional assistive technologies. You can always ask us for reassurance and support.

A Hearing Dog will be an extension of yourself and act as your ears. You might ask yourself, “How do I become a Hearing Dog owner”? Or perhaps you doubt yourself because you have never owned a dog. That’s an entirely normal feeling. I have a few tips to help you adjust to your new life as a dog parent:

  • Call us! We are ready to help!
  • Talk to other people who have a Hearing Dog or a service dog.
  • If you know any dog owners, pick their brains for advice on sharing your life with a dog. Make friends with their dog!

What about the people who already own a family dog? I advise asking questions if you think it can be a concern. YHD will know how to address this issue.

I have read that Colorado is the best dog-friendly state in the USA, It boasts the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, dense forests, and some of the best hiking in the country — it is all there for you and your dog to experience together. There are also dog parks, canine-friendly hotels, and dining experiences that you can share with your pup! For example, our friends at Cerberus Brewing Company would love to welcome you! https://www.cerberusbrewingco.com/ .

Lots of responsibility is required when you bring your dog with you. However, you genuinely love dogs and treat them as part of the family, and you are able to meet their needs for companionship, love, food, and shelter. It is a lifelong commitment. The rewards are worth it.

In addition to basic obedience training, a Hearing Dog must undergo special training with you at your residence. They need to learn the sounds that are specific to your household and your life. Your Hearing Dog will direct you to sounds, such as the doorbell, or escort you away from danger if, for example, a fire alarm is activated. As you and your dog get used to each other, you’ll form a close bond.

In order to obtain a service dog, you must meet certain criteria.

  • Be deaf or hard of hearing (doctor-verified).
  • Be a Veteran with similar challenges (medical documentation also applies)
  • Be 18 years old or over.
  • Be independent in mobility,
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to safely and effectively control, manage and care for the dog.
  • Have adequate vision to observe, intervene, and manage the dog’s behaviour (generally equivalent to DMV licence requirement).
  • Be willing to attend a two-week Team Training class only in Colorado Springs, CO.
  • Be willing to participate in the ongoing Your Hearing Dog Inc. training and graduate support programme.

Some people find the first few weeks or months with a service dog overwhelming. Team YHD will support you through any issues you may encounter, from meeting your dog to completing training together and beyond. I hope this blog will help you decide whether a Hearing Dog is right for you and point you toward more information about the service that allows deaf, hard-of-hearing people or veterans with the same challenges to live a serene lifestyle with fewer worries.

Perhaps this is all new to you, and there is much information to take on board. If you have questions, please get in touch with us by email, or you can contact us by phone at +1 (719) 716-7921.

Soon, we hope to share some first-hand experiences of people who are living their best lives with a service dog

In our next post, we have some insights for you about the healing practice of Reiki. We spoke to a Deaf practitioner who offered some advice on how to make sure your local Reiki healer can accommodate your communication needs!

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