What are the impacts of deafness?
Isolation, anxiety and loneliness...
How do hearing dogs help deaf people?
Imagine you are deaf. You can’t hear your alarm clock. You can’t hear your text messages. You miss out on social interactions. That’s what life is like for deaf people, and it can be very isolating. A hearing dog can make a big difference. Watch Anne and Tegan's story to see how hearing dogs change lives.
Hearing dogs alert deaf people to important sounds
A big part of a hearing dog’s job is to alert their deaf partner to sounds they would otherwise miss. Sounds 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 in deaf people’s lives. Watch these short videos to see some of the sounds our hearing dogs alert to.
The smoke alarm
Have you ever stayed at home waiting for a delivery? Or waiting for someone to pop round? Imagine how frustrating it must be when you cannot hear the doorbell or a knock at your door. See below how a hearing dog alerts to a doorbell.
Can you imagine how scary it must be trying to sleep in a dark room, not being able to hear any sounds at all? Or how anxious you would feel knowing you had to be up at 6am to get to work on time – but could not rely on the alarm clock to wake you?
Many deaf people struggle to sleep because of these issues, but a hearing dog can help overcome these fears. They provide a sense of security and comfort – and tell their deaf recipient in the most adorable way that the alarm clock has gone off...
Do you rely on a digital timer when making dinner? Or to count down how long you’ve had your hair dye in for? Many recipients can now use this device too – and for lots of different reasons, like running a bath as they can easily forget about it when they are unable to hear the running water. See a hearing dog alert to this sound below.
Many deaf people use the telephone through special equipment and hearing aids, and they use mobile phones to communicate through text, social media or Skype. Our hearing dogs also alert them to ringing phones, text messages and reminders on these devices, as demonstrated below.
The call is a really useful skill our hearing dogs learn for a child recipient. If a deaf child is upstairs, their loved ones can’t just shout up to tell them dinner is ready – or to tell them something is wrong. But they can call the hearing dog down to alert them – as shown in this video.
This is probably the most important sound our hearing dogs alert to. The smoke alarm alert differs from the rest – because we don’t want a hearing dog to lead their deaf recipient towards a dangerous situation. See what happens when a smoke alarm sounds below.
They help deaf people leave loneliness behind
Our clever hearing dogs don’t just alert their deaf partners to important sounds. Just as importantly, they provide emotional support. Through the constant companionship they provide, they give deaf people confidence to reconnect with their family, friends and community, and embrace the life they want to lead.
We have matched thousands of our adorable hearing dogs with deaf people since we were launched at Crufts in 1982. Here are some numbers:
Hearing dog partnerships created since 1982
Total number of hearing dogs helping deaf people
Total number of child partnerships
Hearing dog puppies currently in training
How you can help
We can only help deaf people thanks to our loyal supporters who give money, time and effort to help us train incredible hearing dogs.