We train hearing dogs who transform deaf people’s lives
Hi, we’re Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. If you’ve come to this page you probably want to know a little bit more about what we do – and we’re really excited to tell you.
There are lots of inspirational stories and photos on this site which you can explore at your leisure, but here are the 8 most important things you might like to know.
1. We train clever dogs to help deaf people
That’s what we do in a nutshell – we train dogs to alert deaf people to important and life-saving sounds they would otherwise miss – such as the smoke alarm, alarm clock and even a baby's cry. Being aware of these – thanks to a hearing dog – makes a real difference to deaf people’s lives, and can even save them.
2. Hearing dogs help deaf people reconnect with life
But our clever canines do so much more than alert their partner to sounds.
Deafness can be a very isolating disability. A hearing dog provides lots of love, companionship and emotional support. This is really important as many of the deaf people who come to us for help have felt very lonely and isolated. Our amazing dogs help deaf children and adults to leave this loneliness behind and reconnect with life.
3. Our dogs have even saved lives
As if this wasn’t enough – hearing dogs have saved countless lives in their important role; fire alarms sounding at the dead of night, alerting them to the shouts of a loved one who is in peril, even saving their deaf partners from potential car thieves!
Dogs are known for their loyalty and love – and we see these valuable traits in a hearing dog every day.
4. We’ve helped thousands of deaf people so far, and we aim to help many more
We have matched thousands of our adorable dogs with deaf people since our humble beginnings in 1982. At the moment, we have over 1,100 working hearing dog partnerships across the UK. We are also helping thousands more through our other personalised services, such as our Helpdesk and support groups.
The cost to train and support each hearing dog throughout their lifetime is £40,000 – so we rely heavily on our amazing supporters to help us change lives. It really is all down to people like you, who give up time, effort and money to help us create many life-changing partnerships and provide other important services. But there are still so many deaf people and people with hearing loss whom we can help.
5. We put a lot of time and thought into matching a hearing dog with a deaf person
A hearing dog and their deaf partner need to be carefully matched to ensure the partnership will work well.
So many things need to be taken into consideration – for example, whether a person lives in a big city or tiny hamlet, whether they have cats or other pets that a dog would need to get to know, what their individual needs are, what their social life, work life and family life are like, how active they are, and many other things. We then need to assess which dogs we have in training, what their strengths and weaknesses are, what they like and dislike, what their personalities are like, and which dogs would be the best match for different people.
We take the matching process very seriously to ensure we get it right - and create partnerships that will last.
6. Our staff and volunteers are really passionate
We are so passionate about training these amazing dogs, and it’s a real team effort. From volunteers who look after our hearing dog mums and dads, to volunteer puppy trainers, and the volunteers and staff who deliver our Hearing Link Services, everyone in the Hearing Dogs family has an important part to play.
7. We have a free monthly e-newsletter that we send to 43,800 of our friends
Sign up to our free e-newsletter to receive monthly updates on what our dogs have been up to in their training. You'll also get cute photos and videos of our adorable puppies, inspiring stories about the deaf people our dogs and other services are helping, and lots of useful information about the different ways you can change deaf people's lives. Thousands of people receive our free e-newsletter. It would be great if you signed up, too.
Sign up to our e-newsletter
8. You can help us change even more lives – and it’s really easy
If you would like to get involved, here are three simple ways you can help.