Can you help train dogs for St Albans deaf people?

Diana Bell, Harpenden, far right, with other volunteers for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

Diana Bell, Harpenden, far right, with other volunteers for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People - Credit: John Mobbs

A charity that trains clever puppies to grow into ultra-alert canines, working alongside deaf people, is seeking dog-lovers in St Albans district to help out.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People trains dogs to alert those they accompany to important sounds, which could ultimately prevent accidents or even save a life.

Among those volunteering for the charity is Diana Bell, of Harpenden, who was initially involved in a puppy socialising project in Herts a few years ago where she received her first puppy, Tandy.

Diana said that she and the pup, a ‘gorgeous cocker spaniel’, joined a group of eight volunteers who all “took part in regular training classes and learnt so much about obedience, dog-to-dog interactions and socialisation in shops, cafés etc.

“The people became lifelong friends, and so did the dogs.”

The charity relies on a network of more than 1,700 volunteers to continue its life-changing work, and is looking for people to become ‘puppy socialisers’.

Those taking up the role will look after puppies in their own homes from eight weeks old, until they reach 14-16 months.

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Socialising includes weekly puppy classes, and taking them to as many different places as possible, including busy towns and cafés.

Victoria Leedham, volunteering manager, said: “If you live in St Albans or Harpenden and are looking for something new to do this year, then why not give something back and meet some loveable life-changing puppies along the way?”

If you cannot commit to taking a puppy for the full 16 months, there are also opportunities to look after the dogs on a short term basis during holidays or emergencies.

• To find out more about puppy socialising, contact the Hearing Dogs team on or 01844 348100.