Training Your Puppy to be a Diabetic Alert Dog

Training Your Puppy to be a Diabetic Alert Dog. My training manual is in
workbook format with links to online resources, training videos, recommended
products,how to use collect and use scent samples, forms to track
scent training,training checklists, and much more. 122 pages.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

How old is my dog?

Here’s the scenario: you pay big money for a fully trained diabetic alert dog. When you take delivery of the dog, he comes with no vet records. You don’t understand why but you need this dog for you or a family member with type 1 diabetes, so you accept it and move on.

I’ve heard this story over and over again. The first time I heard it, warning bells went off in my head. Why would a reputable trainer or organization NOT include a dog’s health history, vaccination records, etc. upon delivery of a service dog? The answer came from my first encounter with a family who had a dog from an outfit in Missouri. This particular organization’s policy is that they own their DAD dogs forever. If the dog doesn’t work out as a DAD for a particular family, it’s the family’s fault and the family is contractually required to return the dog to the organization. Since many of these dogs were NEVER going to be working DADs (because of poor training and/or behavior issues), when they were returned to Missouri, I believe they were being recycled, and paid for over and over again by unsuspecting families. If vet records were made available to these families, they would know, for example, that rather than a 2-year-old service dog with a lot of years left to work - they might have a 5 or 6-year-old dog with way fewer working years left. Plus, who knows what health issues the dog might have that are conveniently invisible with no vet records. 

If your dog comes with vet records, how do you make sure they are for the dog you have? Check the obvious – breed, color and gender. Reputable dog people microchip their dogs. Have your vet scan your dog’s microchip and match it to your dog’s vet records. No microchip? Call the vet of record and describe your dog or email the vet with a picture of your dog. Hopefully someone in the vet’s office will remember him and confirm that he is who you think he is.  
This is a cautionary tale. Beware.