Foundation of Hearing Dogs in the UK
The idea of first training dogs to help the deaf first started in the United States in 1976. Lady Wright, Vice President of the R.N.I.D. and Doctor Bruce Fogel thought a similar scheme should be set up in the United Kingdom and they went to the U.S.A. to observe their methods.
The Americans sent over a top trainer in February 1982 and the training programme at Chinnor was started in June 1982, as a branch of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, although it is not funded by them. A large hut was donated by a building company and financial help given by a pet food firm, a dogs charity, a newspaper, an American Insurance Company and the Pebble Mill at One television programme. This enabled six dogs to be trained in the first instance.
The original site for Hearing Dogs and their headquarters was next door to the Forest Glade Boarding Kennels on Chinnor Hill, just outside the village, where the dogs were boarded. The scheme paid a fee for the use of these facilities
Hearing Dogs is now a registered Charity in its own right and in recent years moved out to Saunderton, in Bucks, to much larger premises where they are able to carry on with the training of Hearing Dogs for the Deaf