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> Hearing Dogs For Deaf People, Seeking suitable dogs
HearingDogs
post 22nd Sep 2004, 2:36 pm
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Hi all

I am employed by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People as Dog Supply Co-ordinator and along with two regional assessors it is my job to find dogs between the ages of 6 weeks and 3 years that would be suited to life as a Hearing Dog.

We assess a huge variety of cross-breeds, mongrels and pure breeds and particularly look for small to medium sized dogs. The dogs we select are typically friendly, happy characters who have a willingness to please and who would enjoy the attention that comes with being a Hearing Dog. Unfortunately some breed types prove to be unsuitable for the job due to their high intelligence and work drive despite of being lovely dogs.

We currently select dogs from various rescue centres across the country, private homes, breeders and pounds but are always looking to make new links especially with rescues. When a dog is selected we keep the donor informed of their progress through the socialisation and training period, sending reports and photographs and the dogs welfare is always paramount to us.

If you feel you can help or would like to find out more please feel free to pm me. I can also be contacted by e-mail or on the telephone number below. Also below is our website address which gives you a history of the charity and an idea of what we do.

Best wishes

Nicola Hurwood
Dog Supply Co-ordinator
01844 348105
nicola.hurwood@hearingdogs.org.uk

SOS: WE DESPERATELY NEED FOSTER CARER'S AND SOCIALISER IF YOU ARE WITHIN AN HOUR'S DRIVE OF EXETER, SOUTHAMPTON, SELBY OR SAUNDERTON THEN PLEASE DO GET IN CONTACT FOR MORE DETAILS. THANKS.

http://www.hearing-dogs.org.uk

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Bevd
post 22nd Sep 2004, 2:46 pm
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Hi smile.gif I'm glad that you've found your way to us smile.gif

I'll pin this post at the top of the forum for a little while to make sure that plenty of people see it smile.gif
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jackinix
post 23rd Sep 2004, 6:41 am
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I know how much difference these dogs make to people.
My elderly nieigbour rehomed thanks to dp a little dog who while not a trained hearing dog was soon answering the door, telling mabel when the kettle was boiling and lots of other things she learnt to do.so a trained dog must wonderful.
jacki
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Fen k9s
post 23rd Sep 2004, 9:51 am
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Can you explain what qualities you look for and how we can assess which dog may be suitable for your training.

Dave
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jagger
post 23rd Sep 2004, 7:27 pm
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QUOTE (Fen k9s @ 23 Sep 2004, 10:51 am)
Can you explain what qualities you look for and how we can assess which dog may be suitable for your training.

Dave

Dave, If you have a look at the following link it explains the dog types they take and how they go about training the dogs.

http://www.hearing-dogs.co.uk/how-we-train-dogs.html

The basic web site http://www.hearing-dogs.co.uk leads to lots of other pages of information.

Also their headquarters is next to the PATS dogs hq, which is within about 20 miles from me so if you want me I could go up there to collect some information for you.

Their information/address/telephone/email follows

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People currently has two training centres - The Grange in Buckinghamshire and The Beatrice Wright Training Centre in North Yorkshire.

The Grange
Wycombe Road
Saunderton
Princes Risborough
Buckinghamshire
HP27 9NS

T 01844 348 100 (voice & minicom)
F 01844 348 101
E info@hearing-dogs.co.uk

Ted and Jagger
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ajs
post 23rd Sep 2004, 10:33 pm
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We rehomed Lucy, a very special little pup to HDFDP. Their assessor came to our house to asess her. She carried out a few simple tests to see how Lucy responded.

She played with her and threw toys and balls to see if she had a strong chase instinct. They cannot have a dog that will chase suddenly and potentially pull their owner over.

She mauled her gently, rubbing her fur and tipped her on her back. As the dogs may get a lot of attention when they are out and about, possibly from children as well as adults, and not always the correct type, the dog has to be calm and non aggressive.

She gave her a pigs ear treat and then took it away...not sure why..but Lucy wasn't bothered anyway.

She placed a noisy thing (think it may have been a mobile phone) under a table or the settee...half an hour or so later she let it play a tune...Lucy went to investigate.....the dog has to be able to hear and be responsive to sounds!

There were a few other things possibly that I cannot qiute remember but they are just indicators - the dog gets all its training at the centre. The centre runs training courses for peple who would like to become an assessor to teach them what to look out for and you can contact them to be put on their list. I have - the last course was when I was on holiday unfortunately so I couldn't go. They run them when there are enough people interested. It's only a day I think. (would have to check as it may be a 2 day course.)

Our little Lucy graduated at the end of August and has now started her new life with her deaf recipient. wub.gif wub.gif We are very proud of her.


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Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue
www.hwanimalrescue.org
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HearingDogs
post 24th Sep 2004, 10:36 am
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Hi

Many thanks for to Ted and Jagger and ajs for replying smile.gif .

The most important thing we are looking for in dogs is that they are friendly, willing to please and enjoy being around people.

Ajs summed it up really well for me describing Janets assessment of Lucy! The main areas we check on assessment are handling, reactivity, trainablility, possession and sound awareness. We are not expecting dogs to behave impecably (although its nice when they do) but we are trying determine how easy or or otherwise they would be for a reciepent.

If you think there is a potential dog in your kennels things to check are:

How they get on with other dogs. We need dogs that are friendly and aren't going to go looking for trouble.

Can you take things such as chews, toys and their dinner away from them. Although it can seem mean we need to ensure that anyone can take anything off our dogs. If a dog shows possession i.e. growls it will fail assessment or training unfortunatlly. If a dog is being evasive with chews or toys then we would work on it.

How easy are they to handle. Although this is an area we can do alot of work on it is really just to get an idea of how bidable a dog is. If they throw a major strop then they may not be suitable.

Chase instinct/Hunt drive. If a dog were very chasey or showed a strong hunt drive then they would probably be unsuitable.

We are not only looking for potential problem areas but also trying to make a descion on if there is an issue how easy would it be for a recipient to manage that dog. The other consideration is how the dog would cope coming into training and in the long run as a Hearing Dog. While the dogs have alot of fun through training and their working lives they do have to be adaptable. The last thing we would want to do would be to put any dog through unessacry change or stress and it is the dogs welfare that has to come first. So it is sometimes the case that we see a lovely dog who doesn't do anything wrong on assessment but we just feel it wouldn't cope with the system.

As assessors we are more than happy to come out and see any dog that you think is suitable and talk through the assessment with you as we do it, explaining why a dog was or wasn't suitable. I am also happy to come out to rescue kennels and give workshops on what we are looking for and as ajs said we also run assessor courses at the Grange in High Wycombe.

If anyone is interested in visiting the centre to see what we do and the dogs working please let me know and I shall arrange a visit.

Best wishes

Mandie
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Fen k9s
post 24th Sep 2004, 1:48 pm
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Thank you all for the replies to my questions, I think we may have a suitable dog here and will email more details, it would be great to get an Irish poundie into this kind of work.

A couple more questions........ is HDFDP prepared to meet our normal adoption fee and will the dog be returned to us should she prove unsuitable.?

Dave
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HearingDogs
post 24th Sep 2004, 2:52 pm
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Hi Dave

As a charity we can offer a donation of up to 45 for a dog coming from rescue although we can't pay for private dogs. We are also more than happy to do PR with rescues and the dogs that have come from there.

We will always contact the donor of any dog if for any reason they later have to be withdrawn from the scheme and explain fully why. If you would like the dog returned we can do that or we have a rehoming officer based at the Grange and a waiting list of people wanting to rehome our dogs. We match each dog to the right lifestyle and home environment...... it has to be said we're very fussy who gets to rehome our dogs!

Hope that helps smile.gif

Mandie
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pablo
post 26th Sep 2004, 1:19 pm
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would like my dog that needs rehoming assesed what do i need to do
kay
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HearingDogs
post 27th Sep 2004, 11:22 am
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Hi Kay

If you could send me an e-mail telling me a little about your dog such as breed type, character, likes and dislikes, let me know where in the country you are and a daytime contact number I can give you a call to discuss things further. Alternatively if you would like to give me a call you can reach me on 01844 348105.

Look forward to speaking with you.

Mandie
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Fern
post 30th Sep 2004, 11:21 pm
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What a fantastic website! i was going to bed over two hours ago as i'm not well but this is far too interesting! As we have already had the London Marathon & the Great North Run this year - maybe it is time to get those running shoes on & get fit for next year......this has definately spurred me on, watch this space!!! smile.gif

I am aware of what good, dog's do in todays socity i am just so touched by all the rescue dogs that have been given a second chance in life - to give other people a second chance in life too! I have had tears tonight, and lots of goose pimples as i read the courageous stories of these ultimate heroes!

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kaftav
post 5th Oct 2004, 11:51 pm
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I notice that you don't mention actual breeds but thought you might be interested to know that my young niece has had a hearing dog for 3 years now and is in her final year at Uni in Ireland. Lily is a black Lab but very gentle, unlike my 2 hellions over here.
Lily answers the door and gets Tams up in the mornings as well as letting her know when she drops her books all over the place. She does exercise her a lot as Labs tend to get fat easily and no treats are allowed from people other than Tams.
You do good work and if you are interested in Labs at all I can let you have the address of our rescue.
Cathy. smile.gif
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HearingDogs
post 8th Oct 2004, 8:30 am
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Hiya

I'm really glad you enjoyed the website Fern, it is such a thrill when you see a dog you have selected from rescue meet their recipient for the first time and watch that bond developing. If you fancy running for us Hannah Philips is the person to speak to and she can give you all the info.

We don't mention on the website what breeds we take for a couple of reasons; firstly it does vary depending on our waiting list. For instance we can only take a certain number of larger breeds such as Labs & retrievers at any one time so whether we can except them into the scheme changes from week to week. The other reason is we don't want to upset or alienate anyone by making sweeping statements about different breeds or crosses and their ability to make Hearing Dogs. There are always exceptions, we will train a persons own dog provided they pass all the relevant temperament tests and in these cases breed type can sometimes be over looked and sometimes a dog will really stand out even when the breed type isn't ideal.

I am really glad to hear that Lily is doing well it sounds as though she has landed on her paws!

Bye for now

Mandie
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Bev in Bridlington
post 10th Oct 2004, 9:37 pm
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When I enquired about donating a puppy I had in on foster a couple of years back she was declined because she was GSD cross, so is that not still the case then? Incidentally she went on to become an assistance dog to a young man with throat cancer who had had his voice box removed. Sadly he died earlier this year leaving a young wife and five children sad.gif They asked especially to be able to keep the dog as she is so much a part of the family. She even attended his funeral.
I am currently with Whitby Dog Rescue and we are happy to put forward any dogs we might have come in that we think might be suitable smile.gif
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