Hearing Dogs – Points To Consider

HEARING DOG – Points to Consider
Before you begin the application process, it is important you read this information. The following information is to help you understand everything involved in applying for and having a Hearing Dog.


  • Dogs for Better Lives prefers a fenced area attached to the home
  • A common area or dog park is not acceptable
  • There can be NO other dog in the home
  • Applicant must be over the age of 18 to receive a Hearing Dog and no younger than 17 to apply
  • You will be required to attend obedience classes or hire an obedience trainer
  • Dogs are selected from shelters based on temperament and age, not size, sex, or appearance
  • Hearing Assistance Dogs our placed with clients based on the best possible match, and not in accordance with clients preference

Professionally trained Hearing Assistance Dogs require the following from you:

  • Total commitment and willingness to work with your dog daily
  • The ability to place practice sessions ahead of other pressing demands
  • Stopping whatever you are doing to work with your dog when he/she is confused or does not work properly
  • Being patient and positive with your dog
  • Play time and rewards for a job well done each and every time they work for you
  • Exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis
  • Taking sole responsibility for the care of the dog so that the dog will bond with you
  • Family members to refrain from giving the dog attention until the dog has completely bonded with you

About our Hearing Dogs

Hearing Assistance Dogs receive extensive sound work and obedience training, they are trained to alert to sounds by making physical contact then leading you to the sound. Some our Hearing Assistance Dogs certified for public access. Our standards and criteria for determining whether a dog is suitable for to public access is in accordance with Assistance Dogs International. Only dogs that can ignore other dogs, handle being exposed to busy, noisy and crowded environments and are comfortable with all types of people are appropriate to be in public.

When we match a Dog with a client, we look at a variety of factors:  the needs of the client both for work at home and in public, lifestyle and energy level and the confidence the dog has in new environments and situations.

For clients that have sound work needs at their workplace or travel frequently and need to be alerted to sounds in a hotel, a Certified Hearing Dog would be most appropriate.

For clients who need a trained dog to alert to sounds in their home but do not require a dog to accompany them in public, a Home Hearing Dog with sound work and obedience training would be most appropriate. These dogs do not have public access certification but are professionally trained with sound work and obedience skills.

Home Environment

There can be no other dogs in the household with a Hearing Dog, with the possible exception of a retired Hearing Assistance Dog form Dogs for Better Lives. If you have other pets and are not willing to re-home them, your application may be denied due to the difficulties of having a professionally trained dog work around those types of distractions.

We typically require a fenced area attached to the home. It is crucial to have full cooperation and support of all household members for a successful working team to develop.

Financial Commitment

Upon acceptance you  will be required to pay a $500.00 refundable Good Faith Deposit. Once the team has been together for one year, the deposit is refunded.

The cost of feeding and caring for one of our professionally trained dogs could be over $750.00 per year. This includes but is not limited to food, toys, vet care, etc. This does not include any unforeseen illness or injury. The client is financially responsible for the dog’s care once the dog is placed with the person.

Personal Skills

The client must be willing and able to physically, mentally, and emotionally care for the dog without assistance. Please call for more information and clarification.

A Hearing Assistance Dog is a trained working animal, not a pet. The entire training program is based on rewarding or playing with the dog every time they work. Consistent practice, patience, and praise are necessary for the dog to succeed.

Please remember that our dogs are not trained to be guard dogs. They are friendly, stable dogs that help people with different challenges and provide companionship only.

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