The “hear that” games for a 2-3 month old puppy were about recognizing what object makes what sound. Alot of sounds service dogs alert and respond to are 1–beeping (coffee pots, watches, alarm clocks), 2–ringing (phones, doorbells, cooking timers), and 3–human made noises (dropped items, handler’s name called).
There are other alerts as well; to vehicles so a person doesn’t get hit by the car they didn’t see or hear, a pan on the stove forgotten about, bikes coming too close from behind, the bathtub faucet left on by a distracted handler.
The beeps, rings, and human voice alerts are what I focus on for youngsters. The others mentioned are difficult, and often require more complex training.
Noticing certain sounds while ignoring others really has to be taught. I’m not usually too hearing impaired, having an odd mix of hypersensitivity to noise and yet not noticing sounds sometimes. When I need an alert, I really kinda do need it though.
I am able to teach these sound alerts when my ears aren’t full of noise and I’m reasonably un-foggy. If you have consistant hearing difficulty, you’ll likely need a family member or trainer to assist on the alerts for you.
There is many a moving part to a hearing alert and response, which means a thousand things can go sideways on you! So just like other tasks and obedience commands I avoid lumping by practicing the individual “parts” seperately with little pups.
I began by drawing attention to a sound I want to be alerted to, and luring a touch from them. Provide ample and consistant click and reward each time the sound occurs, and they begin to automatically look then touch, anticipating their yummy.
If they know what a coffee pot is and where it’s at on the counter. They might also know the door greeting ritual. It’s just a matter of putting those parts together in a behavior chain.
Now that they can alert to the cooking timer, I will wait on the click and treat and ask them to find first. When they show me the timer, they get their click and considerable rewards. Since I’m putting more than one thing together now, I need to make concentrating easier.
So reduce the distractions around them by beginning this when the house is quiet and bones put away, lessen the distance they have to go to find the source of the sound, and increase the value as well as the amount of their reward. As they become reliable with an alert and find, you can re-introduce distraction and distance.
Here is a document you can download with a fairly large list you can alter to your own needs: HEARING ALERTS
Can’t count the number of times I forgot there was something in the microwave, or had too much ringing in my ears to notice the coffee maker beeped when it went off.
Rarely do I need to be awakened for an alarm clock or the house alarm (wow those are loud).
But I still want to teach some hearing alerts, especially for when ‘me and he’ are in public. I’m usually concentrating too hard to hear my name called in a busy restaurant. Most of the time I hear the cell phone because I only turn it on when I’m expecting to hear from someone. Sometimes I miss it though.