Hearing Dogs provide assistance by alerting deaf or hearing-impaired individuals to sounds that they would otherwise miss.
Dogs alert the person by making physical contact with them with one or two paws and leading them to the source of the sound.
Dogs are typically trained to respond to: alarm clocks, kitchen timers, smoke alarms, name call, door knock/doorbell, and telephones (for users of telecommunication devices for the deaf).
Some dogs will independently learn to alert their owners to sounds they were not initially trained on (e.g., tea kettle, the toaster, or washer and dryer buzzers).
Hearing Dogs can also assist in the workplace or, for people who travel, in a hotel.
Like Guide Dogs for persons with visual impairments, Hearing Dogs have public access rights under the American Disabilities Act and by state law.