Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tips for People Considering a Diabetic Alert Dog

I get asked frequently by people who want to get a diabetic alert dog for their children their is several issues I have seen and observed from the parents. I know most people assume that all diabetic alert dogs alert at night but that is incorrect there are some but the majority do not always alert at night. Duchess will alert but she is not very consistent and I am working on that currently but I also have my Dexcom as a back up. Duchess is really just another tool in my arsenal and not my only one. Another thing I have learned is that any trainer should really try to talk your out of getting a diabetic alert dog before you start the process because if after all the downsides they talk about and your still interested the more likely you are to succeed as a team. I have seen some children who's parent purchase a DAD for their teenager but did not ask the teenager if they wanted a diabetic alert dog and the team ended up failing only because the teenager ignored the dog and the dog interpreted it as that the job is not important. If you ignore alerts, do not do consistent follow up with training, allow petting  and not enough down time for the dog can all equal a diabetic alert dog who does not work. I can see the novelty of the idea of a companion which is one of the best parts but there is also so much work as well. I knew going in several years it was going to be work but I had not idea how much that was really entailed. I am very comfortable with that their is work but with a busy life it can be difficult at times. I know some may read this as I am trying to discourage other from getting a diabetic alert dog but that is not the case. I am trying to provide you some of the things I have learned along the way. I know most families that have the diabetic alerts dogs only talk about that good things but I feel the need to discuss all aspects.

              I know their was some things I did not know going in that I wish I had when I went through the process and I want to share that information. I could not agree more that I made the correct choice for me and I will never regret this journey with my best friend Duchess but I have also had so many unexpected issue from dealing with the public. I did expect issues from the general public and public access issues. Some of the comments from people were more than I have bargained from I stole Duchess from a child who would need it more than me. Which is really an unfair statement because I actually paid for Duchess. I know when I first got Duchess there was not nearly as many places who offered diabetic alert dog but I have also seen so many people get ripped off by companies selling untrained puppies and sick puppies. I did my research and found a great dog. So if you are looking into getting a diabetic alert dog remember research and more research. There is quite a few reputable places but keep in mind on average to get a fully trained dog is at least two years. If something sounds too good to be true it is. I have heard claims that a dog was able to tell a child was low from 9 miles away is not possible. They can from quite some distance but that is a little far fetched.

I am posting an interview at blogging diabetes about diabetic alert dogs as well.


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