Our Method of Training

There are many ways to train a Hearing Dog. The main factors are the dogs talent and an owner who can make sound alerting fun. Many methods can work well, as long as the dog does not get bored or stressed. We feel that our method makes training fast, easy and very rewarding for both humans and dogs.

We teach the dog to understand concepts, not simply to do rote behaviors. This allows the dog to learn Soundwork as a purposeful, self-motivated activity that becomes an integral part of its life and its relationship with the trainer. Our approach uses many games and activities that make the process easy for dog and trainer. Each activity and class integrates with all the others to produce a dog that alerts to all the sounds its person needs to know about, as well as many other situations that cannot be predicted. When a dog understands concepts, it generalizes and becomes creative in its alerting. Amazing things can happen when the team develops great communication through training.

What Are Soundwork Classes?

Soundwork classes have a specific goal – to instruct you on my methods for training soundwork, resulting in a happy and self-motivated dog, using no force. We cannot guarantee how far you will progress towards a trained hearing dog, but we can guarantee that we are providing you with top quality information and techniques that have been used successfully by hundreds of clients, interns, and both adult and child volunteers at the Hearing Dog Program. Our online class design has been tested on several hundred participants, who helped refine it for clear communication and easy learning.

We teach the dog to understand concepts, not simply to do rote behaviors. This allows the dog to learn Soundwork as a purposeful, self-motivated activity that becomes an integral part of its life and its relationship with the trainer. Our approach uses many games and activities that make the process easy for dog and trainer. Each activity and class integrates with all the others to produce a dog that alerts to all the sounds its person needs to know about, as well as many other situations that cannot be predicted. When a dog understands concepts, it generalizes and becomes creative in its alerting. Amazing things can happen when a team develops great communication through training.

Who Can Train a Hearing Dog?

However, to succeed in training your own Hearing Dog, you must have a dog with the right temperament, AND a strong commitment to following through on the training.

Professional or amateur trainers who have done agility, tricks, scent detection, nosework, or protection sports will find that soundwork builds on an essential skill they already have: the ability to motivate a dog to be over-the-top excited and eager to do an activity with a person. With Hearing Dog training, the dogs motivation, relationship with its owner, and above all its innate talent, count far more than its ability to learn rote behaviors.