Canine Companions®, dog Wes has been in professional training for a few months, and boy is he making progress! After polishing the commands he already learned from his puppy raisers Christa and Steve, Wes moved on to learn commands to become a working service dog – such as retrieving items, pushing buttons to open doors or tugging open drawers.

Yellow Canine Companions service dog on bench.
Wes models the equipment for a Canine Companions hearing dog, complete with orange leash.

Wes’ trainers decided that his skills and strong love of kibble meant another role might make Wes shine even more – hearing dog training! That’s right, Wes is learning how to listen for important sounds in his environment and alert his handler (or trainer, right now) to the source of the sound. This skill can be lifesaving for a person who is deaf or hard of hearing. Hearing dogs are trained to alert to important sounds like a timer beeping, a smoke alarm, knocking on the door, a ringing phone and much more as the graduate adds sounds relevant to their needs.

Watch Wes’ video here!

Hearing Dog Training

Wes is still a couple of months away from the end of his training when he will hopefully go through Team Training and find his new partner. As blaze orange is the universal color for hearing dogs, once matched with his deaf or hard of hearing handler, Wes will wear his orange leash with his blue service dog vest in public.

We wish Wes the best of luck on his journey to become a hearing dog. He’s looking good in his “uniform!”

To learn more about volunteer puppy raising, click here.

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