Many breeds can excel at being Diabetic Alert Dogs! While the breed is not the most important factor, certain breeds are more likely to succeed than other. The most successful breeds for any type of service work are: Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and Collies. There is a reason established organizations such as The Seeing Eye, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and Canine Companions for Independence use these breeds – they have experimented with other breeds but have found the “Fab 4” have the highest success rates. Below are other common breeds, and a few pros and cons of each.
German Shepherds – these dogs are very smart and willing to learn. However, they need extensive socialization in order to prevent guarding tendencies. The breed is very prone to guarding but a DAD cannot ever growl or attempt to protect in any way, so there is a risk with using a German Shepherd as a Diabetic Alert Dog.
For more details on breeds for DAD training, refer to our book, Diabetic Alert Dog Training Steps.
Libby Rockaway is the founder of M.D. Dogs Incorporated and the author of Puppy Steps and Diabetic Alert Dog Training Steps