hearing dog training in bournemouth

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

Changing Lives...

Almost 10 million people in the UK are deaf or have a hearing loss. That’s one in six of the population. As our population ages, this number is set to grow, and by 2031 there will be more than 14.5 million people with hearing loss in the UK.

Our Mission...

To offer a life-changing level of independence, confidence and companionship to deaf people by providing dogs trained to alert recipients to important everyday sounds and danger signals.

Deafness is more than hearing loss – hearing dogs also help to relieve the stress, isolation and loneliness that deafness can often bring.

The training of hearing dogs takes around 18 months. Each dog is trained to the specific needs of the deaf individual, which ensures the recipient gets the very best out of the partnership.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People also work with other assistance dog charities to provide dogs – known as dual-purpose dogs – to people with hearing loss and additional disabilities. We also now provide hearing dogs to deaf children, giving independence to the child and peace of mind to the family.

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Where we began…

The Hearing Dogs story began in 1979 when veterinary surgeon Bruce Fogle attended a symposium at Washington State University at which the American hearing dog schemes were introduced. Inspired by this, Bruce contacted Lady Wright of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (now Action on Hearing Loss) and she told him that deafness was the least understood and the most neglected disability.

Keen to find out more, Bruce Fogle and Lady Wright independently visited training centres in the United States during 1981, and a pilot scheme was devised for the UK supported by several businesses, charities and organisations.

The scheme was launched to that national press at the 1982 Crufts dog show.

On the 1 June 1982 the UK Hearing Dogs programme began operating full time, and in 1983, from the Charity’s headquarters in the South East of England, the first hearing dog, Lady, was placed with recipient Eileen Sullivan.

Demands for the Charity’s services immediately began to grow, and the waiting list increased dramatically each year, and in 2012, the Charity celebrated their 30th anniversary. Since the Charity began, we have created over 1,600 life-changing partnerships and, with your support, we aim to continue transforming lives for another 30 years and beyond.

To find out more about our history, click here.

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The journey from puppy to hearing dog…

The Charity has its own Kennel Club Accredited breeding scheme as well as obtaining puppies from reputable breeders, receiving donations from members of the public and sourcing a small number from rescue centres when suitable recruits are identified.

Typically re train English Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Miniature Poodles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Puppy training is the first stage of a hearing dog puppy’s journey to becoming fully trained hearing dog and helping change a deaf person’s life. Our goal is to create friendly, well-mannered puppies that are happy and confident in all environments.

We have two centres of excellence where we train hearing dogs for up to 18 weeks to respond to a number of different household sounds as well as danger signals. During the latter stages of training, a hearing dog is matched to a suitable potential recipient – ensuring the characteristics of the dog complement the lifestyle and needs of the potential recipient.

To read more about what we do, click here.

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Hearing Dog Fundraising…

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People does not receive any government funding and so we rely solely on the support and generosity of individuals, groups, businesses and other organisations to enable us to continue our life-changing work.

There are so many different ways in which supporters can get involved and help to raise the funds we need, from coffee mornings to skydives, raffles to running, puppy sponsorship to gifts in wills. Every penny our supporters donate makes such a difference to the lives of deaf people today and for many years to come.


To find out more about fundraising, click here.

Puppy Sponsorship…

You can sponsor a puppy from just £3 a month. As well as receiving a welcome pack, you are sent regular updates so that you can follow your puppy’s progress through socialisation and training up to being placed with a deaf recipient. Puppy sponsorship also makes an ideal gift for family members or friends.


Our volunteers are the lifeline of the Charity. Their dedication, enthusiasm, motivation, knowledge, skills and experience are invaluable. Without the tireless support of our volunteers across a wide range of roles, we would not be able to provide so many life-changing hearing dogs to deaf people.

Our website is updated regularly with the positions available, so please get in touch with our volunteering department if you are interested in volunteering for the Charity and helping to transform the lives of deaf people.

To find out more about Puppy Sponsorship, click here.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People – Experienced dog training charity that specialises in training dogs for deaf adults and children.

To apply for a hearing dog, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Visit our website at: www.hearingdogs.org.uk

Your support is vital to help us create more of these life-changing partnerships.


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