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Training Other Ears to Hear

What IHDI Does

What International Hearing Dog Makes Possible

Hearing dogs are a unique type of service animal. International Hearing Dog, Inc is a unique organization.

Hearing service dogs were un'heard' of in the 70s. We knew that dogs have an incredible sense of hearing, but could we really train these other ears to hear for people who were d/Deaf or hard of hearing? The answer is yes. And, IHDI has pioneered the way for service-hearing dogs all across the world. Indeed, IHDI has helped other hearing dog programs get launched in Japan, Norway, and Australia.

IHDI Brochure

Hearing Dog Program

At IHDI, our dogs are the heart of our program. They not only provide the service of alerting that is critical to our client's safety and independence, but they also provide the unconditional acceptance and bond with our clients that often become a motivating catalyst for every area of our clients' lives.

IHDI's primary goal is to ensure a better quality of life for our clients. This is achieved through the placement of a custom-trained hearing dog aide, partner, and companion. IHDI selects dogs from shelters, rescues, collaborating service dog programs, breeders, and even individuals to serve as hearing dogs.

IHDI specializes in training hearing dogs that alert people who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing to sounds around them at no cost to clients. IHDI's service is available to all adults who meet the minimum criteria for a hearing dog, regardless of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation. Each hearing dog's training is tailored to a client's needs and lifestyle. From microwave dings to garbage disposal sounds, the hearing dog's ability to grow in the job is remarkable.

Outreach and Education

Though IHDI's hearing dog program is specific in its work, it requires a depth of active community support. Therefore, IHDI not only engages with our d/Deaf and hard of hearing community members, we ardently educate and promote the role of the hearing dog to a wide range of audiences on local, state, and national levels through a variety of methods.

Career Change Dogs

At IHDI, our dogs are the core of our program, and we recognize that working as a hearing dog is not for every dog. Consequently, we listen when a dog signals to us that they'd prefer a "career change" to that of a best friend, which is also an incredibly important job. Career Change dogs are better suited to romps at the park and entertaining us with their antics are adopted out as loving companion pets.

Meet Hearing Dog Team Janet and Henson

"Henson has been the most incredible fit in my life. I matched [with Henson] at about the same time my audiogram shows that I was now up to 80% hearing loss." As a skilled companion, Henson will alert Janet to sounds within the home such as the telephone, smoke alarm, an individual at the door, and a name called to assist Janet in living a safe and independent life. Janet is retired, and Henson will now get to spend his days accompanying her as she practices yoga, creates pottery, and hikes through the wilderness of Shenandoah National Park. Henson gives Janet peace of mind by alerting her to sounds to explore and participate in her community more fully.