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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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pepper goes to school

My clients' diabetic children attend public, private or home school. When the time is right, based on the child, the dog, and the kind of school, we begin the dog's introduction to a classroom setting. Pepper's handler, 11-year-old Cassidy, is home schooled. One day a week she attends a home schoolers' co-op, which is similar to a standard day in a public school. Yesterday, Cassidy attended her first day of the new session at co-op. Her mother was there, assisting in the classrooms. I joined them to evaluate 5-1/2 month old Pepper's ability to handle a full day of school. Following are some of my observations.

  • was well mannered for six straight hours. 
  • moved comfortably from classroom to classroom, through crowded halls, up and down the stairs, in the ladies' room, and in the elevator
  • had no toileting issues - going potty outdoors on cue each time we took a break between classes
  • did not try to interact with anyone but observed everything (gold star for that one!)
  • never vocalized (no whining, barking, etc.)
  • showed no anxiety when not in direct contact with Cassidy (they are bonded to the nth degree)
    • Note: I handled Pepper most of the day so I could closely observe even the most nuanced behaviors. This meant we were sometimes seated next to Cassidy in the classroom, sometimes across the room. It also meant I took the pup on potty breaks without Cassidy. Separation anxiety can be an issue with service dogs and their handlers. I'm thrilled this is not an issue for Pepper.
  • handled the chaos of an unexpected evacuation of the building (very much like a fire drill) beautifully
  • was extremely cooperative in a tight space when I took her collar and vest off to crate her briefly during lunch
Pepper's family and I will sit down and talk about the next step: when and how Cassidy starts the process of taking Pepper to school.

This was a stellar performance by a young dog. Bravo to everyone involved!


Pawkeeper said...

Gold stars for everyone! You must be bursting with pride Dee! Great work and what fun to go back to school too.

Wendy said...

How exciting!

My oldest daughter was dx with T1D in 2005, at the age of 24 months.

What an amazing blessing an alert dog would be...