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Hearing assistance dogs for people with multiple disabilities

Hearing loss is not the only disability present in some of our beneficiaries. Often, one or more handicaps, with various impacts on the person’s life, are linked to hearing loss, or come on top of it. Beyond its help with sounds, the polyhandicap hearing assistance dog can help with some of its recipient’s problems.

Since 2017, we have been offering dogs adapted to these specific cases to best meet the needs of people with multiple disabilities.

When is a multi-handicap service dog indicated?

There are many cases in which a hearing assistance dog can provide additional help to a person with another disability or problem.

However, it is important to note that this help does not come at the expense of his role as a hearing dog, which is our specialty!

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Loss of sight

This is known as an assistance dog for the deaf-blind.Our dogs are not suitable for severe visual loss, as they do not provide guidance in the primary sense of the term.

In this case, in addition to the dog’s usual tasks of helping with everyday sounds and ensuring the safety of its owner, it will also manage obstacles, for example.

une personne marchant sur un pont

Psychomotor disorders

Our dogs are not suitable for people with severe motor disabilities, but they can still help people to manage their balance, for example.

In this specific case, we work with the dog to ensure that it takes this specificity into account in its approach.

une femme se tenant la tête

Hypervigilance, attention disorders and anxiety

Unfortunately, hearing loss often leads to more or less undesirable behaviors, making the person feel less relaxed.

In such cases, we focus on the mediation and relaxation aspects of the dog, in order to reduce the person’s anxiety and soothe them as much as possible.

une femme utilisant son téléphone

Diabetes

Although our dogs are not suitable for detecting diabetic episodes, they can still help a person suffering from this disease.

In this case, we work specifically on the sounds of diabetic management equipment that the person may need.

How is the dog prepared to meet these specific needs?

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On average, this is the time spent on training for the second handicap.

To best meet the needs of our recipients with multiple disabilities, the dog’s training is adapted so that it can assimilate both its role in managing the person’s hearing loss and its role in managing the associated problems.

An assistance dog will never be able to respond 100% to two different problems: that would be asking too much of the dog, and there would be a real risk that the quality of the assistance would not be optimal…

In all cases, hearing loss is our dogs’ priority, and any specific assistance they may be required to provide is complementary: our assistance dogs are first and foremost hearing  dogs!

The acquisition of puppies has a cost, which is entirely supported by the Association les Chiens du Silence: the dogs are given for free.

It’s thanks to the generosity of the public that we can continue this mission, which is so dear to our hearts!