At our September meeting the members were given a very interesting talk and illustrations by a volunteer whose passion is for helping the charity “ Hearing Dogs”.
Showing a mother with her 6 pups and by way of a video you could see them growing up ready to be given to the foster carers who now had the task of bringing these puppies to an age where they could go to training school for completing the job they would be asked to do. This takes about 18 months. They work for about 8 years before retirement.
The main breeds are Miniature Poodles, Labradors, Cocker Spaniels and Cocker Poodles. In that 18 months and each dog is trained in different ways to assist the deaf person. They are taught by way of treats so they quickly learn their role. The charity is always the owner of the dog.
The members were shown a video as to how they inform the deaf person either by a nose, a given paw or even a jump on the bed. If the doorbell rings or the alarm goes off for example.
It depends upon the individual person as to the size of dog and their ability to take the dog for a walk. It costs about £45,000 to fully train a dog. And there is a long waiting list. It is about 2 years for one to become available. They have about 100 dogs a year. The dogs are allowed in most cases on to public transport in supermarkets and restaurants even when being trained. A collection was taken for the charity.
B. Leggett : Chairman