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Question by jeffrey
Submitted on 12/17/2003
Related FAQ: rec.pets.dogs: Service Dogs FAQ
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how do i go about getting a guard dog?
this is for a low-income hearing impaired
person.  i live in seattle, washington.

Answer by Gorda Loca
Submitted on 8/8/2004
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The use of dogs trained to provide protection or defense by people with disabilities is a hotly contested issue. Because dogs trained to assist people with disabilities, aka service or assistance dogs, must never be aggressive towards people or other dogs as an initial reaction, some people believe that such training is contradicted for service dogs. Dogs that assist people who are deaf are typically called "signal dogs" or "hearing alert dogs". If you want a dog to alert you to specific sounds (someone speaking your name, a doorbell or buzzer, an alarm clock, a timer or microwave oven, a smoke alarm, or even the sound of a crying child) and even pick up objects you drop unnoticed because you don't hear them land on the ground or floor, this is the type of dog you want.

If, in fact, you want a dog trained to protect, even defend, you, you should be aware that you may not have access to places where pets aren't allowed with it because dogs with this type of training are, for the most part, not regarded to be service dogs. You would need to look for a trainer that specializes in training this type of dog and satisfy him/her that you posses the emotional stability and familiarity with dogs to properly handle such a dog safely.

To find a signal or hearing alert dog provider, use these phrases as search terms, but be aware that some places rescue dogs from shelters or rescue groups and train them for use only in the handler's home.

To find a guard dog, you should consult your local yellow pages for a trainer who trains them, or use that phrase as a search term.

Please realize that both types of training are very specific, and that you are unlikely to find a trainer who can train a dog that has already been trained as a signal/hearing alert dog to be a protection dog, and vice-versa. Good Luck.


Answer by ServiceAnimalInfo
Submitted on 7/3/2006
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I generally don't recommend guard dogs as service dogs, since guard dogs require an experienced person to handle them safely.

Instead, a hearing alert dog could be trained to alert the hearing impaired person to various sounds around the home (such as door or microwave) and potential intruders, as well as bark when it thinks someone might be entering the home.

This is an excellent website to get you started on training a hearing dog.


Delta Society also offers excellent information on service animals:



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