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Diabetic Alert Dogs

Diabetic Alert Dogs: What are They?

Diabetic alert dogs are dogs trained to assist diabetics - Type I and II, adults and children. They are trained to alert to significant fluctuations (low or high) in glucose levels. Dogs do this by recognizing the unique smells that result when levels change - these smells are not noticeable to people. Dogs are also trained to retrieve items that help with the management of the condition, or get a person for help if needed.

If you or a loved one has diabetes, Handi-Dogs can assist you to train a dog to do this work. We will evaluate your dog to confirm that your dog has sound temperament for service work, and evaluate his natural 'scent' ability. A breed that usually meets both criteria are Labrador Retrievers, but we will work with you and any dog that shows promise. Brachycephalic breed dogs (short-nosed dogs) are not recommended.

We offer training for both in-home assistance only (no public access rights), or fully certified with public access rights. 

To become a fully certifed public access diabetic-alert service dog team, the team (handler/dog) is required to go through basic obedience training, and public access training in addition to the specialized scent work training done in the home. Training is customized for each person's unique physical, psychological and situational needs.

Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) Foundational Training Plan (your individual plan may be modified.)

  • Individual In-Home DAD Training Sessions: A minimum of one weekly session will be done in your home. $50 per session. The number of sessions will depend on needs and training progress. This training is done simultaneously with classroom and field work training noted below.
  • Classroom Work: The person/dog team will need to attend weekly classes at the Handi-Dogs Training Facility (near Kolb and Broadway) for obedience and team-building training - two 10-week sessions at $200 per 10-week session.  From there, the team will need to attend Assistance Dog classes - typically two 10-week sessions are needed at $300 per 10-week session.
  • Field Work: Once the team has passed the classroom portion of training, they will advance to Field Work. The team will meet a Handi-Dogs trainer in a mutually agreed upon public place to practice public access exercises and DAD scent training out of the home. Each 10-week session is $250.

For more information, please email Service@Handi-Dogs.org or call 520-326-3412.


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