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Donna Hill's

Service Dog Training Institute


Have Trouble Learning by Listening or Reading?


1). Learning by Listening

Try listening just before bedtime. That way you are relaxed and focused only on the voice. 

Then when you wake up and listen or read the material, you will have already heard it once and can focus on pulling out the key points. 

It might be as simple as putting in one ear bud and turning on your phone. You can do this during the day as well. Darken the room and get in a relaxed position. Don’t take notes, just listen and enjoy!

If you have a bunch of text to absorb, try using a screen reader. There are some very good voices with the state of AI today. We might as well take advantage of the technology! Mac products come with text to speech readers and you can download text to speech readers for PC and hand-held devices, some for free. And you can even choose your voice of preference! Sex, accent and speed.

If you use an online version, the benefit is that you are chunking the material, which provides breaks where your brain can process the information. This is just like when we give our dogs a rest or play break between training sessions.

If you want to try this before going to the fuss of using a free reader or buying one, find a website that offers audible books or even old radio shows and pick a topic that interests you. Try it for at least 3 nights and see what happens. It might even improve your ability to fall asleep! 🙂 That’s a win as you will be better rested for learning during the day.

2). Learning by Reading

If you can’t learn by reading, try the same trick! Get a real book or use print material and read it before bed. Put a soft yellow light (3500 Kelvin) behind or above your head.

You might be surprised at how much changing the environment can change how you learn!

These tips can help you use our online service dog classes at

Check out an old service dog podcast on YouTube. They are done in my voice.

Press play and listen away!

Here is a link to shows.

There are a variety of genres to choose from. Some radio shows are better than others. I enjoy those that have a clear story line, rather than random comedy. Most of them have really good sound effects that help with picturing what is going on.

If you have an Amazon account, they offer and which offers free books, podcasts etc.

Here are some sample online Text to Speech (TTS) readers to try for free:

In general, the paid versions have better voice quality.

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