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Does anyone have a D.A.D.?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by DiabetesMama, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. DiabetesMama

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    We are looking into adopting a puppy from a local shelter to train as a Diabetic Alert Dog. I was just wondering if anyone here has a D.A.D. and if so, how has it changed your life? I am wanting a friend for my son, but more than that, I want some extra piece of mind that there is another set of eyes watching out for him. (Well, a nose actually!) Would like to know if there is any one who has had experience training a dog, or just someone who wants to share their experience. Thanks in advance. :dog:
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I have to assume you are coming into this with extensive experience in basic obedience training and dog ownership.

    One of the reasons that there are so many sham DAD groups out there is that there isn't a standard, recognized training protocol. One group was developing one a while back. If I can find their info I'll post it.
     
  3. DiabetesMama

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    Thank you so much. I would love to see that.
     
  4. rgcainmd

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    Don't need a DAD because we have a Dexcom. It doesn't pee or poop on the carpet.

    (Even if we did need a DAD, we couldn't afford one as they are PHENOMENALLY expensive.) My daughter has a puppy and two kitties and a Beta for companionship. She isn't too fond of the Beta fish these days, as she says he stares at her when she gets dressed.
     
  5. DiabetesMama

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    LOL!!! That is hilarious!!! So you have a "peeper" fish. Good to know. I know, we have the Dex too. Just want an extra family member that can help me through the night. Plus, we are not buying one fully trained, that's my job. And if my training fails, we will still have a family pet when all is said and done. We have never had a family dog and we are all excited about the experiment. Can't be that hard... I trained a 15 pound Flemish Giant rabbit to come, go into her crate on command, stand up, and lay down and is fully potty trained. It's worth a try. If I can train a rabbit, which I have never heard anyone doing, a dog who is super willing to make its master happy can't be that hard. I will let you all know how it goes. I know some of you think I might be crazy, but that's ok. The rabbit probably agrees with you. She lives in our bedroom and she wakes up my hubby when he sleeps through his alarm in the morning. She knows who brings home the hay, so to speak. We have a crazy household, but it does make life interesting. Share your experiences if you have a D.A.D. or know someone who does. Take care. :triumphant:
     
  6. rgcainmd

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    Can I ship our puppy to you so you can potty train her? Getting desperate...
     
  7. DiabetesMama

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    LOL!!! Let me just get through this first puppy, ok? I think I have my work cut out for me. There is going to be a lot of work to this, I realize. We have to teach it all the normal commands and then have to train it to pick up and alert on highs and lows. Should be interesting though. Either way, we are hoping to add a member to our family. I am praying things go really good and maybe I can help others to do the same. I always want to give back to our own D community, helping to make this more manageable for everyone.
     
  8. KHS22

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    Go on Facebook and look for Saving Luke - mum Dorrie of a T1D son Luke - she trained her own DAD with help of a local organization. Though, she was involved in the dog breeding or training world prior to this I believe…But she is super nice, and chatted with me through options when we were trying to decide where get a DAD from…
     
  9. DiabetesMama

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    Cool. Thanks for the website! Will definitely check that out! We have a puppy picked out, just waiting to hear back from the organization we are adopting from. Cross your fingers for us! We are very excited!
     
  10. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Well, never having had a dog I think you are probably over reaching to think that you can train any random dog to detect high or low bgs. I think a lot of dogs end up in shelters because people have completely unrealistic expectations of what it is to have a dog. Sure, some dogs can do this - dogs with the physical ability, dogs with the inclination, dogs with the correct training, dogs who do this for a job , but that's like 1% of the population of dogs, less if they are managed badly, and most are. Having not ever trained a dog to so much as pee outside, you are being incredibly arrogant to think that you can pick a random dog and make it a DAD. And you won't pay the price for this, the dog will.
     
  11. swellman

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    This will not end well. I still don't believe a DAD is scientifically falsifiable.
     
  12. Beach bum

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    Just so you know, on average a DAD takes 2 years to fully train to the level you are looking for. This is in addition to general puppy training. I just wouldn't go in with the expectation that you will get results instantly. We have a friend who got a dog for the sole purpose of having a pet. Once the dog was acclimated to the home, they attempted to train for a different medical condition, the dog just couldn't do it. But, they had a cat they had gotten a bit after. Guess what? Cat alerted to whenever girl was having a seizure. Luckily, they knew going in the chances of the dog learning were slim, the cat was just a bonus.

    I guess what I'm saying is don't go in with high expectations.
     
  13. Brenda

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    Though this still does not convince me 100%, there was this recent study that showed: Dogs Can Be Successfully Trained to Alert to Hypoglycemia Samples from Patients with Type 1 Diabetes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26440208
     
  14. DiabetesMama

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    To Sarah Maddie's Mom and swellman:

    Like I said in the beginning, we are totally ok if the dog is not able to pick up on highs and lows. I understand it might be a challenge, but that's ok. You could have just stated that it was going to be challenging instead of tearing our idea apart. I though that this place was where we could share our lives with each other, to encourage one another. What do you two mean the dog is going to pay the price? What do you think we are going to do to the dog if he is unable to detect? Beat him, take him back to the shelter, abandon him? I am sorry to be upset, but neither one of you know me or my family! How can you say it's going to end bad for the dog? We are saving him from a shelter and giving him a forever home, regardless of what he can or can't do. I am willing to take the chance to train this little guy to make a great best friend for my son and maybe a life saving friend too. Why is this wrong? I thought we were suppose to support each other here? To share our lives with each other? I get enough discouragement from my own family, I didn't expect to get it here too. I am trying to help others and see if it is POSSIBLE for an ordinary person to train an alert dog for themselves instead of paying $5,000-$20,000. I am going to share my training, give updates and just try to give back to my D family. Sorry if this is wrong. I am the last person who ever gets upset with people, but when you are passing judgement on me and my family, that kind of upsets me. This dog will be loved and spoiled, not beaten, neglected or abandoned. Thanks to the ones who encouraged me and gave me websites to check out. I will be looking at all of them and I will update you all on how things are going. Hopefully, this will be a beautiful story of success and hope for more parents out there.
     
  15. DiabetesMama

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    Oh, and both my husband and myself have had dogs. We just haven't had a "family" dog with our children. I have had three family dogs and my husband has had so many I can't even remember. I was not meaning I have never trained a dog in my first statement, just wanted to know if anyone here has had any experience and open that up if they wanted to share. I am fully aware that this is a huge undertaking, but I think it is well worth the effort. Either way, we will be getting a new member of the family. My son is very excited for a new best friend.
     
  16. LoveMyHounds

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    Sometimes you just get lucky, I think. Zippora Karz (former T1 soloist with NYC Ballet, author of "The Sugarless Plum") had a cat from ASPCA that could sense and alert her lows!

    I always laugh at "dexcom doesn't pee/poop at the carpet" comments. People really think this is what the dogs do?? :D

    OT: DiabetesMama, I love Flemish Giants! We just adopted American Chinchilla rabbit. She's amazing, dog-like bunny :). And - like Dexcom - doesn't pee or poop at the carpet! :D:D
    Maybe we could train the rabbits to be D.A.B.? ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  17. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    My point is that most people can't train their puppies to piss outside, so why in the world would you think that as a first time dog owner you will be able to train a puppy to detect high and low bg?

    You seem shocked that anyone pointed out the obvious flaw in your plan... why that is I'm not sure. Yes, we do support one another but if you told me you had plans to take up pig farming to produce your own supply of insulin I'd tell you THAT was a bad idea.

    And yes, the dogs always pays the price for people's hubris.
     
  18. DiabetesMama

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    To Sarah Maddie's Mom:

    I don't want to have bad feelings here. As I posted a few posts ago, this is not MY first dog. It is our FAMILY'S first dog together. I have trained and worked with dogs before, just not the alert part. I think that becoming a parent is even harder than raising a dog, (especially when you throw in an incurable disease) and most people don't have any experience in that before they begin having kids. I just wish that you would not be so harsh to people and assume that they are going to "make their dog pay for their mistakes" or whatever the case may be. We are a very responsible family, we love animals and I have the drive and passion to at least make a great friend for my son. I don't want to have any animosity here, and I don't want any new people to see how negative someone can react to their ideas or questions. And the pig farm is just a crazy idea! Training a puppy is not as hard as you make it out, alert dog or not.
     
  19. DiabetesMama

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    To Love My Hounds:
    I thought I spotted a bunny in that picture! That bunny is adorable! Yes, I had wondered about having an alert bunny as well, but when my bunny smells something weird, she usually goes the other direction. Maybe she could be trained, but her being fully potty trained, to come on call, go back in her crate and being able to stand up is enough for me. She is one of the best pets we have ever owned! She makes me smile with everything she does. Love my bunny girl!!
     
  20. forHisglory

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    Okay, how did you train a rabbit to do all that. I've obviously underestimated them. :) I've trained and lived with dogs my whole life then made animals (really, it's people though :) ) my life career as a DVM. The negative comments may stem from the acknowledgement that it takes a special temperament plus extensive training for medical/law enforcement reasons (seeing eye dog, DAD, K-9 unit, etc.). Guide dog organizations have well-established breeding programs that single out specific characteristics and even then, many of the puppies don't make the cut. The ones who don't certainly are not "doomed" but can make wonderful pets or may switch to other service jobs. I think you're going into it with eyes wide open. No harm in trying, you could be successful. I think you will give it a wonderful home and children age 10+ are ready for the responsibility.

    Potty training is not hard, just a lot of work for about 4-6 weeks. Since you homeschool, it should speed up the process/provide more consistency since no one has to leave for long periods during the day. I will say the process is a whole lot more pleasant in the summer when you don't have to freeze to go outside at 2 am. Crate training works best IMHO because it utilizes the dog's natural instincts to keep its sleeping quarters clean. You don't have to use the crate once training is done. Please let me know how it goes and enjoy your new puppy! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions!
     

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