A DAD is a service dog trained to recognize and alert on low and/or high blood sugar levels in Type 1 or Type 2 diabetics.
The dog uses his nose to recognize changing blood sugar levels. Identifying scent is a common trait in other working dogs, including search and rescue dogs, bomb and drug detection dogs, and arson dogs.
How long does it take to train a DAD?
It takes 1-2 years to train a diabetic alert dog.
Maybe. Some people choose to train their own service dog. If you are considering this option, think about this: not all professional dog trainers are capable of training a service dog. If you do choose to train your own dog, work with a qualified service dog trainer to assist you along the way, insuring success.
Maybe. Contact us if you want to have your dog evaluated as a potential service dog.
How much does a DAD cost?
Costs vary but can go as high as $20,000. Choosing to do part of the training yourself can save you a considerable amount of money.
Where do I get a diabetic alert dog?
A DAD can be obtained from a trainer or organization specializing in this particular training protocol.
What breeds are best?
Many dogs have great noses and numerous breeds are potential candidates for the job. Those include Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and doodles (poodles mixed with Labs or goldens).
Do you certify dogs trained by other organizations or people?
Sometimes. Your dog must have his/her AKC Canine Good Citizen certification, be at least one year old, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on all shots. Our staff will evaluate the dog for temperament and soundness. Dog and handler must then pass our public access test.
Do you only work with people who live in Virginia?
No. We work with clients worldwide.
I have a DAD from another organization who is not alerting (or not alerting consistently) to my (or my child’s) changes in blood sugar. What should I do?
Your dog needs to be evaluated to determine his/her scent ability. Contact us to schedule your evaluation.
The DAD I got from another organization seems to be afraid (or aggressive or lethargic). How do I figure out if he will be able to work as a service dog?
Your dog needs to be evaluated to determine his temperament, whether he has health issues that may be impacting his behavior, and whether additional training and/or behavior modification will help. Contact us to schedule your evaluation.