How our Dogs help
Australian Lions Hearing Dogs have transformed the lives of hundreds of Australians. Hearing dogs alert their owners to sounds in the home by touching the owner with a paw-things like knocks on the door, a baby crying or the phone ringing. Most importantly, hearing dogs alert their owners to life-saving sounds like smoke alarms.
Our dogs not only offer safety, security and independence for the deaf and hard of hearing at home, they also give many the confidence to participate more fully in their community.
Hearing dogs are not just working dogs; they offer years of faithful and friendly companionship. They are very special indeed.
What does a Lions Hearing Dog do?
There seems to be no shortage of different types of Assistance Dogs being trained for many different tasks but what exactly does a Lions Hearing Dog do?
A Lions Hearing Dog plays a number of roles in it’s owners life, but first and foremost it hears.
Take a moment to think of all of the sounds you react to in your home. This could be someone at the door, something cooking in the oven, alarm clock in the morning or a telephone call. People who suffer from hearing loss quickly begin to feel isolated as they miss these everyday sounds. Friends and family stop dropping in or calling because you never answer, or your personal safety is at risk because you leave your house open so people can come in to get your attention.
Then there are sounds in your home which may need immediate attention every time, like a child crying for help or a smoke alarm.
This is where a Lions Hearing Dog helps. Dogs are trained to signal their owners to all of the above sounds, and more, by physically alerting and leading to the source of the sound. 24/7 a Lions Hearing Dog is ‘on duty’, ready to alert to anything happening within its home.
Security, confidence and independence. These are what a Lions Hearing Dog provides its deaf or hard of hearing owner.
Security in allowing their owner to feel safe that they are aware of what is happening in and around their home.
Confidence that they won’t miss a visitor at the door, waking up for that early flight or knowing when their baby is crying.
Independence in that you don’t have to rely on your partner, children or parents to alert you to what is happening in your own home and stressing when you are home alone.
A Lions Hearing Dogs work doesn’t just stop at the front door. They have the same public access rights as guide dogs for the blind that allows them to accompany their owners almost anywhere. This may be to work, shopping, eating out, into hospital and even on holidays.
What does a Lions Hearing Dog do for its owner when it’s out of the house? A Lions Hearing Dog will still alert its owner to sounds when out in public such as emergency alarms and a mobile phone. They also provide awareness of what is around their owner. A horn sounding, someone coming up from behind or a car coming close by are all interpreted to the owner by the dog’s body language.
There are many other benefits to having a Lions Hearing Dog that aren’t always visible. There is the friendship and companionship that having a dog around provides. A health benefit from having to get up and exercise the dog everyday. The social benefits from getting their owners back into the community and having people talk to them about their Lions Hearing Dog, and of course the community benefits from the education provided regarding living with deafness or hearing loss.