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November 2018

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Hearing Dogs alert their hard of hearing or deaf handlers to important sounds in the environment. Commonly trained sounds include approaching cars, fire alarms, sirens, dropped keys, and the handler's name. Read on to learn all about Hearing Dogs, where they come from, what they do, and how they're trained! Bonus: Read our step-by-step training guide at the end of this post to learn how to introduce new sounds to a Hearing Dog in Training.  Hearing Dog Basics Hearing Dogs, also known as Hearing Alert Dogs, Hearing Ear Dogs, or Signal Dogs, partner with D/deaf and hard of hearing people of all ages. These specialized Service Dogs undergo countless hours of task training, during which they learn to recognize a variety of sounds and how to notify their handler of the sound. Before being accepted for Hearing Dog training, trainers test the canine candidate for sound temperament, good physical structure, and a keen, curious, social personality. Upon passing their initial temperament and aptitude evaluation, new Hearing Dogs in Training formally begin their Service Dog foundation training. They learn manners, basic and advanced obedience, and public access skills. They work on focusing through distractions and on building impulse control. After these special dogs master the basics, they begin their advanced training. For Hearing Dogs, this consists of "soundwork," or the process of learning sounds and the associated alert behaviors. Some Hearing Dogs work for people with multiple disabilities. These multi-purpose Service Dogs may be cross-trained for other Service Dog jobs and undergo additional task training. Good Hearing Dogs undergo hundreds of hours of specialized training and socialization before ever entering the field. Once teams graduate from training, they continue building their skills and bonding as a pair. Who Trains Hearing Dogs? In the United States, Hearing Dogs can be trained by a professional organization or program, or their future handler can train them. If the handler self-trains their own Service Dog, it's called "owner training." U.S. Federal law protects the public access rights of professionally trained Service Dogs and owner trained Service Dogs the same way -- there are no differences. Both types of Service Dogs enjoy the same level of protection. Several organizations in the United States train and place Hearing Dogs. Each has their own set of requirements and guidelines for receiving a Hearing Dog. These are a few of the most well-known programs: International Hearing Dog, Inc. - They've trained over 1,300 Hearing Dogs and have been in

Choosing the perfect name for your pooch isn't easy. After all, they'll have it forever! Here are the most popular dog names from 2018. These creative names are derived from movies, current affairs and celebrities.     Infographic courtesy of DogBuddy.com Political Pooches Whether you're on the left or the right, I think we can all admit it's been a big year for politics. Political names, for better or worse, have made it into the top 100. Superheroes and Songs Dogs are the superheroes (and the kingpins) of the animal world, so it makes total sense to give our pups names worthy of the silver screen. With the release of a whole host of Marvel franchise movies in the last 12 months, superheroes (and, if we’re getting technical, gods) are leading the pack. Logan’s steel claws are tearing up the competition with a 20% rise since 2017, whilst the Norse god Loki is up 21%. Dog owners, like the rest of us, are suckers for a bit of movie nostalgia, too. The original Toy Story movie came out way back in 1995, and The Lion King barks back to 1994, perhaps prompting today’s dog owners to name their precious pooch after the leaders of a famous pride. Simba is up 15% and Woody is up 11% but the real winner (and let’s be honest, the real hero of The Lion King) is Nala who’s up a roaring 83% since last year. When it comes to music tastes, our data suggests that more dog owners are bathing in the purple rain than donning their blue suede shoes or giving a countdown to Major Tom… Ziggy is down 20% Elvis is down 13% Prince is up 29% Gender Neutral Names Gender neutral names are more popular than ever, with unisex human baby names rising in popularity by 60% since last year. Fur baby parents are following the trend, too. Check out the doggo names that are on an upwards trend since last year: Bobby is up 87% Arlo is up 15% Frankie is up 13% Top 100 Female Dog Names 2018 Bella Poppy Lola Luna Molly Daisy Ruby Coco Rosie Millie Roxy Tilly Bonnie Willow Lucy Holly Honey Maggie Nala Lily Maisie Skye Belle Pepper Mia Lulu Betty Minnie Lilly Pippa Jessie Penny Winnie Lottie Lexi Maya Amber Bailey Jess Missy Ellie Phoebe Dolly Milly Stella Ella Lady Izzy Sophie Mollie Sasha Peggy Mabel Olive Meg Darcy Misty Frankie Cookie Evie Sky Tia

Federal law stipulates that a Service Animal is "any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability" and that a Service Dog teams are allowed to enter areas where the public is normally allowed to go. However, a Service Dog team's civil rights may be occasionally challenged by well-meaning people trying to keep pets out of the establishment. While stressful, these challenges are typically easy to handle. Sometimes, though, a little more work is required.

We can’t control disasters but we can control how we respond to them. Our animals, pets, working and Service dogs are all part of our families and having a plan will make responding easier and less stressful. Most plans often overlook these important points. Therefore, preparing a disaster kit, having safe place to stay, having insurance all are important parts of ensuring your well-being in times of catastrophes. Make sure your pet, working dog or Service Dog are safe whatever the circumstances are. Create an emergency plan. For more detailed information on how to create a disaster plan, please click here. Infographic courtesy of mikesgearreviews.co      

The midterm elections are tomorrow, November 6th, 2018, and it's time to start making plans about when, where, and how you're going to vote. For voters with an Assistance Animal, there are even more considerations. Read on to learn more about making your trip to the polls with your Service Dog smooth and uneventful. First things first, make sure you've got all of your voting logistics handled. The process for preparing to vote and for voting can be different in every state, but in general, you'll need to: Determine your Eligibility -- Federal U.S. law mandates that all U.S. citizens 18 or older, even if they turned 18 on the day of the election, are eligible to vote. State laws vary and may or may not exclude felons and incarcerated persons from voting. No one can be denied their right to vote based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, level of education, disability, employment status or other factors, excluding citizenship, age and criminality. Check the Voter Registration Deadline -- each state has differing deadlines for when you must be registered to vote in the upcoming November 8th election. Some states have their cutoff in mid October, and others allow you to register through the first couple days of November. This article will help you easily determine your state's voter registration deadline. Register to Vote -- each state has different requirements, but you can search for your state's requirements here, as well as find everything you'll need to complete registration in your state. Some states will even let you register completely online! If you don't want to register online, you can complete your voter registration at your local DMV. Complete your registration early, as there are deadlines that must be met in order for you to participate in the upcoming presidential election. Check Your Status -- a couple weeks after registering to vote, verify your status online if you haven't received your Voter Registration Card in the mail. Find Your Polling Location -- Every town/city (potentially county) provides one or more polling locations. Look up your polling location online, by calling your city hall or by contacting your local election board. Find the address and make sure you know how to get to the polls. Double check their hours of operation, too, so you can ensure you can be there at the proper times. Make sure to write down the name, location and hours

According to TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), an organization which began in 2000 and has grown today to 19 Chapters and 31,000 families across the United States, it is estimated there are almost 2 million people in the United States alone with autism. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States.