Lend Me an Ear

Compared to dogs, all humans are hearing-challenged!

But it takes more than sharp ears to be a hearing Dog. Mixed companion-breed dogs from shelters and rescues have proven themselves to be more talented for this career than any existing dog breed. When a curious, people-loving busybody of a mutt with a natural interest in sounds is trained and paired with the right human partner, wonderful things happen.

Martha Explains:

  • The complex temperament of the perfect Hearing Dog
  • Testing methods to select shelter dogs for Hearing Dog potential
  • Dog-friendly training methods for teaching a dog to alert to sounds

Martha Hoffman is the Training Director for the Hearing Dog Program. She has trained several hundred Hearing Dogs and tested over 20,000 shelter dogs over the last 25 years. She lives in California with her retired HD Gotcha ot Vitosha, her new HD-to-be Garou of Left Coast, French Bulldogs Toad Alley Bronco Billy and Rio De Brio, and always has several Hearing Dogs in training at her home or with local foster-trainers.

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Book Reviews & Testimonials

REVIEW: A Trainers Gold Mine!

This book needs to be appreciated as being far more than guidance for a specialized field. The author’s insight regarding the balance of reactivity, intelligence and temperament make this a must read for any serious student of animal behavior. Liberal use of photos illustrate the often difficult job of interpreting canine behavior and further discussion of the system used by the author to evaluate suitability and the successful progression of training are so informative.

I bought this bought in anticipation of my husbands hearing loss and only started reading it after it sat on my shelf for months. It has great relevance to every animal I handle, horse and dog, and I only wish I had read it when I first bought it.

This represents a tremendous synthesis of all the best information in the field and more! Highly recommended.

TESTIMONIAL: The Perfect Find

As someone who is interested in training dogs for the deaf and handicapped, this book was the perfect find. It spells out exactly what to look for and how to train hearing ear dogs. Thank you so much for this book!

REVIEW: from Partners Forum, Magazine of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

Lend Me An Ear by Martha Hoffman breaks new ground and would be an outstanding addition to the library of anyone with an interest in the assistance dog field. This trainer who is affiliated with the San Francisco SPCA Hearing Dog Program has evaluated hundreds of shelter dogs over the years. She believes hearing dogs are born, not made. She discusses what what evaluation tests she administers in what order and how to interpret the behavior each candidate displays. If you love books which can expand your knowledge about dogs in general and assistance dogs and teamwork in particular, this one from Doral Publishing is a valuable and exciting find.

TESTIMONIAL: Richard Avanzino, President of Maddies Fund, The Pet Rescue Foundation

[Martha’s] dedication, expertise and love for animals have been instrumental to the success and achievements of the San Francisco SPCA Hearing Dog Program. And now that you have so generously shared your selection and training methods, we look forward to seeing similar programs spring up all across the country. Thank you for giving so many shelter dogs the second chance they deserve.

REVIEW: James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief at MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

Just as there are ‘Seeing Eye’ dogs that help the visually impaired, so that are ‘Hearing Ear’ dogs that aid the visually impaired. In Lend Me an Ear: Temperament, Selection and Training of the Hearing Ear Dog, author Martha Hoffman draws from her more than twenty-five years of experience as the training director for the Hearing Dog Program to write a 220 page compendium on how to select and train an effective hearing ear dog. Offering thoroughly ‘reader friendly’ explanations of the complex temperament of the perfect Hearing Dog; texting methods to select shelter dogs for their Hearing Dog potential; as well as dog-friendly training methods for teaching a dog to be alert to sounds in behalf of their human companion, Lend Me an Ear: Temperament, Selection and Training of the Hearing Ear Dog can well be considered the ‘bible’ on the subject of this specialized animal companion. With the highest of recommendations, Lend Me an Ear: Temperament, Selection and Training of the Hearing Ear Dog should be part of every professional and community Pets/Wildlife instructional reference collection.