Some things I have not seen discussed in this group (could be here, just did not see it):
1. No one ever mentions how much Labs, most common DAD, shed. Is no one bothered by that?!!
2. Does anyone know of the potential for a poodle (would want the smaller mini poodle) as an alert dog? Doesn't shed! But would it be good alerter? My reason for wanting a non-shedding, smaller dog has to do with being older and not wanting to face all the related house cleaning and dog brushing in the years to come.
3. Has anyone had experience getting a 'starter' dog that is trained to alert for hypoglycemia but you have to do the public access training. There is a trainer (Scott Smith) in Virginia Beach who sells such dogs at a cheaper price than the 20k for a "finished" dog. Or is it the other VA trainer who does that?! Not sure how much for the starter dog though. If yes to this, were you able to get a good result with your own training for the public access portion?
4. Does anyone know of a trainer who will train a dog of your choice instead of the usual Lab or other shedding dog? (My preference: wt between 15 and 35 lbs, female, non or low shedding)
Finally, I am considering a DAD for some of the usual reasons. I now live alone; I have severe hypos, unaware, and have had diabetes so long that I fear not coming out of one of the hypos. I have a pump and cgm. I still have the occasional severe hypo during sleep. But, no one to check on me now.
I know that I am asking a lot but I am older and don't have the housecleaning and dog care energy of my younger years so I have to try for what would best work for me. Thanks for any responses.
There are dogs of all breeds doing DAD work.
However, if you have hypoglycemic unawareness and other complications of long term diabetes, I highly recommend the Pulsitile IV INsulin Therapy program. Years ago I had severe hypos, that required a 911 call and an ER visit several times a month.
Since I have been in the PIVIT program, 2 1/2 years, now, I have not had a low sugar that I needed assistance with. This treatment has also helped many of my long term complications. My quality of life has trememdously improved!
Wow. At that price, it ought to come fully trained and ready to go. And do the dishes. That's not a "cheap" price. If it has 20K worth of training, it shouldn't need "public" training.
It's not the breed of dog that matters, it's the ability of the dog. You want one who is a natural sniffer and one who is sensitive to you. A dog who likes to sniff is easy to train.
But, to be blunt, if you are worried about dog fur, don't get one. Any kind of Service Dog is not a machine. It is not a robot. It is a living, breathing, eating, pooping, barking, playful, wonderful, beautiful thing. They all need daily care including brushing.
That out of the way, a poodle will shed. What happens is instead of falling off like fur, it gets tangled up in the other hair. They require daily, regular grooming to prevent knots, just like our hair does. Except of just brushing your head, you're brushing an entire dog.
Yes, I talk about the lab hair. There are many working poodle DADs (I have one). There are a couple of trainers that will work with you to find an acceptable dog and breed for you. Send me a private message & I can give you a couple of trainers that don't just train labs.
From what I know, Scott trains mainly Labradoodles. They shed the same amount as poodles. They can come in a variety of sizes and are generally very well tempered. Great for service work.
I would suggest not attempting to train a dog for public access by yourself. The alert training is actually far easier to train than training/desensitizing/socializing a dog for service work.
I attempted to train a dog myself and it didn't work out. The dog could alert to highs and lows but was too nervous to work in public. I am now receiving a fully trained dog in March from a program and am much happier.
Well, PaulaO, I kind of know that dogs aren't robots. Have lived with Scotties most of my adult life. They do not require brushing every day and shed little.
The 20k is for a fully trained dog, not a starter dog, as I said.
I appreciate your concern, however, that I may be looking for a robot. By the way, do you know of a robot that alerts for low blood sugar?!
I re-read the bit about the price. I apologize for reading it wrong.
As for the robot, far, far too often I see folks with service dogs who act as if the dog is a piece of equipment, not a living being. They expect the dog to never fail, to always be perfect, and to be on duty 24/7. So when you mentioned you were looking mostly for a dog that didn't shed, that's where I thought you were headed, too. Again, I apologize if I jumped to the conclusion but that's usually been my experience of where it was going.
Getting a dog trained just for scent and not public behavior would be rather backwards, in my opinion (and as you've found out, I have strong opinions). It would be sad if the dog alerted just fine and dandy but was dog aggressive or hated kids or couldn't stand to walk along a busy street. And you don't know how that dog will be until you get them out there, several times, so they are comfortable with you.
Thanks for that tip on Pulsitile IV INsulin. I had never heard of it. I did a quick check and will study it further. I don't think I would qualify though. My main issue is the hypo unawareness and needing help to come out of it, or catch it before I slip into unconsciousness. My main complication is some neuropathy (knock on wood).
If you ar between 18 and 93, you will qualify. Some insurances pay for the treatment.
It changed my life. Check into it!
Google A service dog trainer
He is good and works with many different breeds.
I am not sure what you mean about the google "a service dog trainer." That gets me lots of trainers but you seem to be talking about a particular trainer.
Exactly, his name is Scott Smith his website is a servicedogtrainer.com, he also has a facebook page. He is in Virginia, not to be confused with the retriever outfit in VIrginia with the law suite against them.different people!
I recently heard about a great group in Atlanta that trains Service dogs including seizure alert and diabetic alert. Let me look up the bookmark....
Canine Assistants. Been around for a while. They say that the dog is provided free of charge because they have big sponsors and donations. But the waiting list is long, of course. I like them because they train by positive methods and don't use "puppy raisers". And the dog chooses the person, not the other way around. They have a high success rate, 9 out of 10 work out.
Their diabetes alert dogs were not mentioned very often so I don't know how they do them. They do mostly Goldens along with some mutts and regular Labs.