Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hearing Ear Dog

I've heard that good things come in small packages. I think that Judy Springborn would probably agree, at least in the case of her hearing ear dog.

Apple Pie, a chihuahua mix, was living in an animal shelter, slated to be euthanized when someone noticed she had the great qualities like good social skills and confidence.

The little dog was teamed up with a "hearing ear dog" trainer and a few months later Ms. Springborn was matched up with her.

Photo from L.A. Times
The purpose of a hearing ear dog is to alert their owner when the doorbell or the phone rings, when an alarm is going off, when a timer rings; really the list is endless. The dogs are beneficial because as the owner tunes into their dog, they are becoming aware of their surroundings. They see when something draws the dog's attention and they can follow the dog's gaze to locate the source.

Dogs for the Deaf is one group that trains hearing dogs. There's a application form available on their webpage as well as a list of things to consider before getting a hearing dog. I appreciate how "real" they are with their points to consider. They remind you that the dogs will leave hair everywhere, poop in your yard and can be destructive if you don't give them attention. You will also have to continue to train the dog for at least a year.

If you want to know what it's like to have a hearing ear dog, here's a blog post written by an owner of one.


If you'd rather watch a movie about it, check out Sunny's Ears.

The bottom line is that a hearing ear dog provides the owner with greater independence and self confidence to go out and live a "normal" life.


  1. Oh, that's really cool. My girlfriend is hearing impaired, and her brother is deaf. I'm going to send her here. :)

    (I got here through the Blogathon)

  2. Not only awesome, but the fact that the dog's name is Apple Pie makes it even better!

  3. The purpose of a hearing ear dog is to alert their owner when the doorbell or the phone rings gladys


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