Extraordinary Dogs: Service Dogs for Hearing Impaired

Service dogs such as those trained to aid the deaf, love their job, the only difference between them and your pet is they are trained for specific daily tasks to aid their masters. We usually think of a service dog as a large breed, such as Labs, German Shepherds or Retrievers, but this is not always true.

Small Dogs Make Good Service Dogs

In some cases, the owner of a service dog, such as a hearing impaired or deaf person, may need a smaller dog due to living in an apartment or a small area. Smaller service dogs should be treated with the same respect as larger breeds; these dogs have the same abilities when serving their masters.

Most people using service dogs, as those used by the deaf, have a super sense of pride when it comes to their dog. Most people with service dogs love to talk about them.

The task of a service dog is to be aware of everything within their master’s surroundings at all times. Individuals might mistake this as sadness in the dog, when these dogs are focusing on the job at hand.

Service Dogs in Public

When you see a service dog while out in the public, do not attempt to pet or distract them in any way. The dog will usually have a vest, with badges indicating you should not pet or interact with them unless you’ve asked permission from their master. You should never be upset when the owner declines your request. Some handlers are not comfortable with strangers approaching their dog; therefore, you need to respect their space.

A Heartwarming Service Dog Success Story

Blayne E. Douglas, a former opera star, lost his hearing and became a recluse for nearly 10 years. It wasn’t until he acquired a Miniature Chocolate Poodle, purely by accident did his life change. Maximus Decimus Meridius was found in the back of a car on a sweltering day with a litter mate dead at his side, while the owner was peddling the rest of the litter door to door. Upon seeing the pup, Blayne immediately broke the window and rescued the pup, giving him CPR. When the police arrived on the scene, they allowed Blayne to take the pup home.

While walking a couple of months later Maximus spotted a rattlesnake and warned his master immediately, Blayne had not noticed the snake. At that time, Blayne decided Maximus was so smart he needed appropriate training to become a service dog.

Now, years later Maximus is a large part of his master’s life they are inseparable, Maximus loves his job, which is alerting Blayne to alarms and any other distant sounds. According to Blayne, “Maximus has ten times more bravery than his master.” 

Dr. Susan Wright, DMV is an author and expert on invisible fence alternatives. Susan provides quality care for domestic pets as a practicing veterinarian of more than 10 years. Susan is an authority on family pet care and enjoys writing articles that help people provide the best care for their own pets.