MD Dogs is seeking Verification Testers! Before launching this to the public, we are looking for 5 individuals who have Diabetic Alert Dogs that they consider fully trained to MD Dogs standards. Individuals may have used MD Dogs throughout the entire process, or for just parts of their training.
Qualifications to be a Verification Tester: Dog can pass the MD Dogs Public Access Test, dog can find the low sample in a scent wheel or scent lineup, and dog alerts at 70% success or greater. If your dog fits these criteria we would love to have you apply for verification for a discounted rate. Please see below for more information on MD Dogs verification, and send us an email if you qualify and are interested!
MD Dogs Verification is a completely voluntary process that assesses a fully trained Diabetic Alert Dog team’s obedience and alerting performance, as well as knowledge of dog training and MD Dogs standards, with the goal of becoming an MD Dogs verified team. This assessment is detailed and rigorous to ensure every Service Dog team representing MD Dogs is effective, professional, and courteous. This verification program allows MD Dogs to continue providing free instructional materials to the public, while supporting and acknowledging the distinguished teams who have trained to MD Dogs standards.
Not at all! In the United States, and many other countries, Service/Assistance Dogs do not need any specific test or registration. MD Dogs Verification is a completely voluntary process and does not have any legal standing – the purpose is to benefit the individuals by being able to support them when needed, providing third party assessment, and giving clear goals for their DAD training, as well as for us to distinguish the remarkable teams who have achieved MD Dogs standards.
So if MD Dogs verification is not legally required, why does it exist? Below are a few reasons that we developed a verification process:
1) Training your own Diabetic Alert Dog to the standard of a professional is difficult, so we want to recognize those who have achieved this! This is an impressive accomplishment and those who are capable of it are perfect examples of why legislation should continue allowing those with disabilities to train their own Service Dogs. Through this process MD Dogs hopes to recognize these incredible teams and demonstrate that self training is possible!
2) Verification allows MD Dogs to support teams who demonstrate proficiency in line with MD Dogs standards, while still providing all training materials for free to the public. MD Dogs is passionate about providing Diabetic Alert Dog training materials to everyone at no cost to bring transparency to the field and to allow those with disabilities to train their own Diabetic Alert Dogs. However, a detriment to fulfilling this mission is that anyone can utilize the materials in any way, leading to individuals possibly (intentionally or unintentionally) labelling a dog as a Diabetic Alert Dog trained through MD Dogs, even if it does not represent the MD Dogs standards of Service Dog behavior. MD Dogs verification distinguishes those who have worked hard to train their dog fully to the MD Dog standards, setting them apart.
3) MD Dogs verification can serve as proof of training when needed. In a few situations proof of training can be requested before providing access to a team. Having an evaluated Public Access Test, scent discrimination video, alert records, and verification from a third party can benefit a team by demonstrating to the inquirer that they have been evaluated by a training organization who supports them and will be an advocate for the team. Verified teams have a profile on the MD Dogs website which allows inquirers to confirm a team’s training or provide feedback.
4) Lastly, it provides objective assessment, allowing a team to be confident that they have completed the “in training” stage. When self training, it can be difficult to decide when to transition your dog from ‘in training’ to ‘fully trained’ – the boundary can be ambiguous since Service Dogs always need continuous training. While it is not necessary to pass a test in most countries (including the US), a clear demonstration and evaluation by a third party is a great way to be confident your dog is ready to graduate and be considered fully trained. This can be helpful for those who are uncertain when to take off “in training” patches, or for those who live in locations that do not give Service Dogs in training any access in public.
There are 5 components that a team must pass to receive MD Dogs Verification:
When a team receives a passing score on all assessments and are granted MD Dogs verification status they receive:
The verification process is difficult and requires a lot of training. With each verification application you receive two attempts to achieve passing scores. Each attempt must contain passing scores on all 5 portions. If the first attempt is not successful, we will provide feedback on all portions of the submissions to provide transparency about how you can prepare for your second attempt. Verification is designed to be difficult because MD Dogs’ goal is to provide materials for individuals to train their own Service Dogs, without compromising the reputation of Service Dogs, the safety of the public, or the operations of businesses.
We are currently looking for testers for this verification process! We are looking for 5 individuals who are ready to go through the verification process with MD Dogs and would be willing to provide feedback throughout – by asking questions or requesting clarifications to help us identify how to make the verification process as smooth as possible.
Testers will have the opportunity to apply for verification at a discounted rate of $45, while still receiving all the items listed above (patches, profile, treat pouch, MD Dogs support, etc.). If you would be willing to be a tester at the discounted rate, please email us at MDdogsInc@gmail.com, or click the button below. We would love to help you work toward MD Dogs Verification, while learning from you how to improve the process for future applicants.