Trained Diabetic Alert Dogs
MD Dogs fully trains a few DADs each year. The dogs are raised in our home, go through thousands of hours of training, and pass multiple scent and behavior tests. Once a dog is matched with a recipient, we integrate the dog into the family to ensure a seamless transition with reliable alerts
Get a closer look at our graduated teams who have gone through the application, matching, and transition process to graduate with their MD Dogs DAD. If you'd like to talk with any of them, let us know as we are happy to put you in contact!
About Our Diabetic Alert Dogs
What is a DAD?
DAD stands for diabetic alert dog - a type of service dog. DADs alert a person to low and/or high blood sugar.
How does a DAD detect blood sugar changes?
Dogs detect the change through their excellent sense of smell. The dogs can smell the chemical changes in a diabetic's spit, sweat, and other bodily fluids. Sometimes even people are able to smell the somewhat sweet scent of a diabetic's breath when they are extremely high. But dogs can detect this at a much lower, safer blood sugar level. And more importantly, they are able to smell the low blood sugar which we are not able to detect. We are not sure what low blood sugar smells like, but it may be similar to the smell of acetone. Although some scientists are still skeptical, a study showing the reliability and accuracy of the dogs was done in the UK and can be found here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0069921
What does an alert look like?
There are multiple methods of alerting, including the following: nose bump on person's leg, paw the handler, jump up on the handler, bark, or pull a bringsel from the handler's belt loop or the its own collar.
Does MD Dogs train other types of Alert dogs?
We only specialize in training Diabetic Alert Dogs as that is our passion. However we are happy to provide consultations for public access training and scent training for other types of service dogs.
How can I get an MD Dogs fully trained dad?
We fully train just a few dogs each year to match with individuals with type 1 diabetes. Because we are a small organization we do not have a waiting list, and instead accept applications for each specific dog as they are each unique! Below are the steps that an applicant goes through prior to being matched with one of our fully trained DADs:
Step 1: Application (link here)
Step 2: 4 hour Online Class
Step 3: Zoom interview with trainer
Step 4: Conversation with another MD Dogs DAD recipient
Step 5: In person training session and home visit
Step 6: Officially matched!
Step 7: Transition training
Step 8: Graduation!