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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Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Service Dog Information Tsunami

By Guest Blogger, Sue Kindred, President, Service Dog 411

Congratulations! You’ve decided to explore the idea that a service dog might help provide you with increased independence or an enhanced quality of life.
You’re having a good day – one mixed in with all the bad days – so you open your computer and start your Internet search. You type in “Service Dogs” and lo and behold, you get 31 million links to follow. Now what?  Where do you start … what do you click on first?  And, just suppose you find a site that looks pretty good to you … what questions should you ask?
The first thing you need to know is that for many service dog organizations, it is their job to sell you on their program. They will tell you why they’re the best and many times, they’ll tell you what they think you want to hear. Reputable organizations will tell you the truth which might be … “we’re not a good fit for you”, or “we don’t think our trainers can train what you need”. But often an organization will sell you hope. Hope that things will get better just as soon as you get a dog in your life. 
Start your journey before you ever crack open your laptop by contemplating your lifestyle, the amount of time you have available for training, your commitment of financial resources, training preference style (doing it yourself by working with a qualified trainer or waiting for an organization to provide a fully trained dog) and whether your disability is static or changing. The answers to these questions will inform the direction your research should take.

It’s not enough to know what questions to ask. You need to understand the answers you should get in return. So, here are few questions to consider and answers that make sense. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a place to start.
Do you offer your program to people who reside outside your geographic area? You will first want to know whether or not the program will accept you as an applicant presuming their program is a good fit for your disability. If the program only provides service dogs in their city or state and you live outside that area, move on to the next program on your list.

Do you have any age restrictions? Age restriction will be an important factor if you are searching for a service dog for a child. Many organizations will not place a service dog for applicants under the age of 12.

What types of programs do you offer? Do you have a specific specialty? Some programs specialize in one or two types of training. For example, training a diabetic alert dog is not the same training that would be used for training a dog for post-traumatic stress. Make certain the organization has qualified and experienced trainers who excel at training the types of tasks and behaviors your service dog needs. Ask them how many dogs they’ve placed and over what period of time.

Where do you obtain the dogs used in your program? Do you have your own breeding program? What breeds do you typically use? There is no right or wrong answer here. You simply want to ensure that the dogs are temperament and personality tested (and scent tested if for medical alert work) to ensure they are the right fit for service work. Keep in mind that rescue dogs will not come with a health guarantee but can still make an awesome service dog.

What do you charge for placing and/or training a service dog? How long is the waiting list?  And, how old are the dogs when they are typically placed? Do you guarantee a match? Prices range anywhere from $20,000 to free of charge depending on the organization. The waiting list can be from a couple of months to as long as five years. And, a fully trained dog will likely be between 18 and 24 months when placed; partially trained or untrained dogs can be placed as young as 4-5 months.  Some organizations offer and/or encourage fundraising as a way to pay for the cost of the dog.

How long do you follow a client after they are placed with a dog? Does the client have the opportunity to receive follow-up training if necessary? Organizations should ideally have a policy that follows their clients for the working life of the service dog.
And, if you decide that your one day of feeling good isn’t quite enough to manage this tsunami of information, consider contacting Service Dog 411. For a very small fee, they will consult with you about what you need and the process involved in selecting a provider. They will work with you, one-on-one, helping to determine YOUR best course of action, leaving you more time to take care of yourself and your health.

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