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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, psychologicl and situational needs.

Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) Training:

  • Training will be customized for your specific needs.
  • Training lessons are done in your home, at our Training Center (near Kolb and Broadway), and in public places.
  • Lessons will be completed in both group classes and private sessions - typically, one 1-hour session per week.
  • The length of time it takes to complete training and pass our certification test depends on several factors including how often you work with your dog in between lessons. On average it takes 1 to 1 1/2 years to complete. 

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


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