"Sound awareness" training means exactly what it says--training the dog to listen for, be aware of, and identify one specific sound from all other sounds. Once the dog can identify this sound it will then be taught to "self-start"--to begin its job--and what its working pattern will be in order to complete the entire job. The dog's special sound occurs when the patient's feet hit the floor, which could develop into a wandering situation. The dog's work task begins with the dog always listening for its patient's feet to hit the floor. The dog has to know what to listen for and then when it hears that special sound to "self-start", going into action to first confirm wandering and then racing for the caregiver to alert them to the potential dangerous situation.
Statistics state that 70% of all Alzheimer's patients will eventually begin to wander. Wandering makes the caregiver's job much harder. However, with a specially trained canine, the caregiver has a help-mate, an ally. Your "sound awareness" training sessions are key to teaching your dog to become a successful Alzheimer's assistance dog--your partner--and molding both of you into one viable team.