A deaf dog supports its disabled owner by making him aware of important noises. It indicates the ringing of the alarm clock or the doorbell, reports sirloin and honking, and if necessary also guides the disabled to the source of the noise. And it nudges its owner if their name is mentioned or an object has fallen unnoticed.
Guide dogs also assist disabled people in their everyday lives. Its task is to enable blind or visually impaired people to find their way around safely in familiar and unfamiliar surroundings. This dog not only has to indicate or avoid obstacles, but also think along: Part of his job is to refuse commands that would put his owner in danger, e.g. if the visually impaired person wants to cross the street and a cyclist is just approaching.
Dogs that work for disabled people must have “intelligent disobedience” and also have strong nerves, peaceful and resilient. The first aptitude tests are already carried out on puppies, the suitable animals then come to sponsored families, in which they live for about a year, are socialized and are subjected to further tests. The training itself is very demanding and takes about a year. Health insurances cover the costs for a guide dog training, but only rarely for the training of the deaf dog. It is believed that when there is a close bond between humans and animals, their abilities develop “automatically”.