Hearing Dogs

Dogs for Better Lives’ Hearing Dogs are trained to alert to specific household sounds by making physical contact (jumping on you or nosing you) then leading you to the sound. Core household sounds include the smoke alarm, oven timer, name call, baby cry, door knock, phone, and alarm clock. DBL applicants must have a need for a dog to alert them to a minimum of three of these sounds in the home.

Dogs for Better Lives provides two types of Hearing Dogs to assist the needs of our clients. Both Certified Hearing Dogs and Home Hearing Dogs are trained using the same high standards in obedience and sound work, but Certified Hearing Dogs have additional training for public access. Certified Hearing Dogs are not formally trained to alert you to sounds in public, rather they provide environmental awareness to their handler with their body language, and awareness to the public by wearing a DBL vest.

Please read the following:

– Dogs for Better Lives places Hearing Dogs nationally.

– Applicant will not qualify if a dog is currently living in the home.

– Applicant must be 18 or older.

– Applicant must need a Hearing Dog to alert them to a minimum of three sounds in the home.

– DBL does not place dogs based on preference of size, gender, breed, coat type, or color.

– The majority of DBL dogs are Labrador Retrievers weighing 50 pounds or more.


Please Note: The content shown on our promotional videos and website reflects a variety of dogs’ sizes. Unfortunately, it has been challenging to obtain small breed rescue dogs that are appropriate for service work. Please know, we primarily place Labrador Retrievers.  If you are looking for a dog under 50 pounds, we recommend visiting Assistance Dogs International (ADI) to assist you in finding other assistance dog organizations that can meet your needs.  



Vincent & Otto – How Otto helped Vincent regain his confidence and awareness