International Hearing Dog, Inc. is a Colorado-based nonprofit organization that was organized in 1979. Our mission is to empower individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing by purposefully training specially selected dogs to alert to sounds, then carefully matching these dogs with their handlers and supporting the paired teams throughout the lifetime of the life changing match. Since our founding, IHDI has trained and placed more than 1,350 dogs to assist persons with hearing loss in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada.
IHDI's goal is to ensure a better quality of life for its recipients who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing through the custom training of its hearing dogs. Having a dog that will alert to the phone, doorbell/knock, smoke alarm, alarm clock, baby cry, sirens, dropped items, and other common sounds in the home opens the doors to independence, awareness, and safety for the hearing dog owner. Every hearing dog is custom trained to their recipient's specific needs and while the cost of this care, training, and placement reaches $15,000 per dog, but each Hearing Dog is provided to their recipient free of cost. #TrainingOtherEarsToHear
International Hearing Dog, Inc. (IHDI) was the first organized group to explore the idea of training dogs to assist persons with hearing loss. A four-year pilot study conducted in 1975-79 by the founders of International Hearing Dog proved that dogs could indeed be trained in sound response and that the Deaf community could greatly benefit from this service. Based on the positive results of the pilot study, International Hearing Dog, Inc. was incorporated as a Colorado non-profit organization in 1979.
Known worldwide as an authority on Hearing Dog training, International Hearing Dog, Inc. has worked with individuals from Japan, Norway and Australia to establish similar programs. Today, after nearly 40 years and more than 1,300 hearing dog placements in all 50 states and Canada, IHDI's mission remains unchanged: "To train dogs to assist persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, with and without multiple disabilities, at no cost to recipients."
Hearing Dogs provide sound awareness, independence, safety, security, loyal companionship and many other benefits for their humans with hearing loss.
"Thank you International Hearing Dog Inc for this wonderful dog Crispy, wearing his work vest, goes everywhere with Darwin and lets people know, "this person is hearing impaired and cannot understand what all you say." People have become more considerate and patient. A hearing loss is an invisible handicap but Crispy males the invisible visible" Darwin & Hearing Dog, Crispy
"Penny's training was absolutely stellar. She is a better match for me than I imagined possible! She is consistent with her alerts and extremely attentive in all situations. Her professionalism has given me the opportunity to help others understand the importance of service dogs to those that need them. Her presence has also made my quality of life so much better. My fear of missing important cues in public and at home have greatly diminished. I am better able to do everyday tasks knowing if there's something I need to know, she will alert me to it... often times even without training! This makes me confident that I can navigate through life much better!" Sarah & Hearing Dog, Penny
"With Dove, I am not afraid of anything that comes my way. I know Dove will listen and alert me to things that affect my safety." Joanna & Hearing Dog, Dove
"Ducky is life changing. He has been hands down amazing. IHDI is amazing, it's crazy to think that Ducky was on the kill list at a shelter before IHDI rescued him and forever changed not only his life but mine. Giving to IHDI is giving a person like me a new outlook and safety as well as a best friend" Johnathon & Hearing Dog, Ducky
"Whiskey has forever changed my life in so many ways. With him in my life I feel safe, aware of what is going on in our environment, whether outside, in public or home. I'm blessed and thankful to have Whiskey as my Hearing Dog." Amanda & Hearing Dog, Whiskey
"Hearing Dog Sadie possibly saved me again last week. At 2:16 AM I woke up with Sadie jumping and pawing at my back. I opened my eyes and asked her, "What's wrong?" Just at that time my phone alert went off with a "take shelter immediately" tornado warning. I would never have heard the alarm had I not been already awake. She woke me up before it went off and the storm was getting bad. I grabbed her leash and we went to the bathroom for the duration of the storm. This is the 2nd time that she alerted me before an alarm went off. The first time was only 3 weeks after I received her. She woke me up and I had no idea why. When I opened the bedroom door, the hall was filled with smoke from a down draft of our wood burner. Not enough to set off the smoke alarm but enough to wake her up and for her to let me know something wasn't right. I couldn't live alone without her to alert me to dangers. Thank you for allowing me to have Sadie." -Pat & Hearing Dog, Sadie
"I have almost no hearing in my left ear and have given up trying to correct it with a hearing aid. We were on vacation and out walking when a car appeared out of nowhere on the left. Before I could cross the street, Gracie stopped quickly, keeping us both safe. I did not hear the car and had Gracie not stopped like she did, I would have been hit." -Laurie and Hearing Dog, Gracie