People who buy a puppy and will be doing their own training or working with a trainer coming to their home would still have to meet the age requirement for certification even though the dog was placed with them at an earlier age.
A good dog is one that does its job, but you must be very clear when you are purchasing a dog that you define what that means to you.
We do strongly suggest you contact several people and do cross-checks and comparisons, always ask for proof of any claims that are made of parentage or performance, make sure all issues about health clearances are addressed in writing, and that your expectations are clearly met.
The Diabetes Alert Dog Alliance carefully screens all the breeders, bloodlines, and trainers that are members. You should never rush a purchase of a dog and make sure the fit is a correct one as the dog will hopefully live a long working life with you.
We suggest you work with a Diabetes Alert Dog Alliance trainer in your local area. All the trainers on the website have attended training to learn how to train Diabetes Alert Dogs, and many have decades of experience with all breeds of dogs, service work, and other general dog training.
Ask to see the person’s credentials if they do not show them to you and ask for references if you have any doubts. Working with a local trainer will help keep the cost of the Diabetes Alert Dog down and offer you the best follow-up support.
Yes, there are many types of training workshops around the country at different times of the year for people wanting to train their own dogs.
With most of these type of workshops, attendance by you and your dog is subject to the instructor’s approval.
Not all dogs are suitable, so be sure to check if the workshop includes attendance with your dog or is for your information only. There are also books and videos available on self-training.
The sample is placed by the puppy’s nose while he is nursing or eating, so the puppy learns to associate the scent with food and a pleasant experience. In theory, this early introduction to the scent of low blood sugar is supposed to decrease the amount of time needed to scent-train a diabetes alert dog. A puppy that has been through this process is called an “imprinted” puppy. There is no scientific evidence that doing any of this makes any difference in the success of the puppy becoming an accurate and reliable alert dog when it grows up.
Some examples of alerts are hitting the person in a specific spot with his nose or paw, or bringing a specific object. Until a puppy or dog has been trained to alert, it is not a diabetes alert dog.
All Diabetes Alert Dog Alliance trainers agree before being listed here that they can and will train their Diabetes Alert Dogs to meet these standards. For this reason, we strongly suggest you buy a fully trained dog from a trainer rather than a puppy and raise it yourself. In either case, the dogs are eligible for the certification offered by the Diabetes Alert Dog Alliance – For more information about the the minimum standards set by the Alliance.