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Samsung Funds Dog Training in China

Samsung Funds Dog Training in China

China’s first center for training hearing dogs for deaf people will be set up at Beijing Union University with the financial support coming from the electronics giant, Samsung.

Park Keun-hee, president of Samsung China, said the company will donate 1.4 million yuan ($200,000) to establish the facility at the university, where more than 300 students with hearing problems are taking courses in higher education.

“Staff at the Samsung Assistant Dog Service Training Base in South Korea have a lot of experience in training dogs, and we hope to bring that knowledge to China to provide long-term support for deaf people here,” Park said. The dogs, many of which are former strays, are provided for free. Samsung will provide financial support for the center’s first three years of operation, he said.

Hearing dogs are trained to distinguish between different types of sounds, such as a telephone ringing, a knock at the door or a fire alarm. They then “touch” a specific part of their owner’s body to indicate the particular sound. The Beijing center will train four dogs per year in the beginning, with the number growing over time, Park said.

Although China has more than 20 million people with hearing problems, there are just three hearing dogs working in the country, two of which were provided by Samsung in 2006 to two students at Beijing Union University. Dong Shan, one of the dogs’ owners, said: “I’ve had my dog for over two years now, and it has become my close friend. “It has made my life much easier.”

China’s third hearing dog, also donated by Samsung, was presented Thursday to Qi Daxin, a deaf man living in Beijing. “Getting this dog in my 50s is great,” the 53-year-old said using sign language. “It will help me to become more integrated in society.”

[Source: China Daily]