Discussion in 'Parents of Teens' started by KarenRI, Aug 8, 2013.
Thanks. My son has been expressing interest and I'm gathering info.
No DAD here, though I was just chatting about them with a friend on FB
I'm curious how your research is going. I've followed this issue pretty closely, more out of being a dog person than being someone in the market for a DAD and I haven't really seen an organization yet that appears to operate on the same sort of model as the "seeing eye dogs" and other service dog organizations.
If you find one that isn't sketchy looking, or incredibly expensive with links to funding pages I'd really like to hear about it.
The only member who has talked much about this is... KatieAnn'sMom... something like that. She's in TX I think. Has made some pretty incredible claims about what their dog can do. Maybe she'll chime in.
I looked in to one here in Washington but the $20,000 price tag put an end to my search.
You're better off owner-training the service dog and not going through a program, for a variety of reasons.
Get a trainer that is listed off of Delta Society/Pet Partners and ask for references from the trainer to find out some sort of credibility. Ask what kind of dog would be best for training from the trainer.
Scent discrimination training is essential for detecting hypos and hyperglycemic events.
* Consult the service and therapy dogs forum on dogster.com.
* Also there is a "Netflix for dog training" (but I do not know if it is credible), bowwowflix.com
* There is an active and helpful group on yahoo groups called assistance-dogs
* Service dog central (search on google) is useful but only if you register, so you can access their forums.
I don't know much about diabetic alert dogs but if the goal is just to detect highs and lows I could not imagine a dog being more effective than the dexcom g4.
And honestly, I'm a huge dog person but I just couldn't see how having a dog at college would work. I am assuming since your son is 17 he would be leaving for college in a year or so. I just feel like dogs attract a ton of attention and require lots of time for walking, training, vet bills, and things like that. Just my opinion, hopefully people with actual experience will chime in.
Sorry if the above sounds negative. I really hope you are able to figure out something that works for your son!
The dogs can supposedly catch hypos early before a CGM can, according to some on this forum (I believe them), but the "organizations" that train them are often spotty and sketchy, to say the least.
There are a lot of conditions required of an SD, such as having to urinate on command. There are people who take those animals on cruises. It takes a lot of planning. Having a service dog is like having a 2-year-old in public and takes a lot of responsibility.
I could not imagine being a professional with an SD. I have considered it, but not specifically for diabetes.
I have no doubt whatsoever that dogs can do this task, BUT, first you need a dog with the intellect to give a ****, then you need the dog to be trained to understand what to care about in terms of scent, then you need that same dog to want to do this, and you need that same dog to be obedience trained and then, most vital you need a bond between dog and person... It's far more, I think, than we ask of any other service dog and therefore a great deal rarer. Any group that claims that it can breed a dog to do this is full of it and will washout 95% of their pups. Does the world really need more dogs without homes? I think not.
That's why a trainer with professional certifications and experience in training service animals needs to evaluate the animal.
The dog also needs to be able to pass public access training, which involves lots and lots of socialization and training. The reason why people video record these tests is in case they face public access challenges in the future.
You and your child have to be able to (example):
* Put the priorities of the animal first
* Keep the animal under control
* Constantly train and reinforce concepts when the dog does not behave impeccably
* Stay at home when the service dog is too sick to work
* Deal with harassment and with both the public and businesses
* Deal with access challenges
Well, there's that ... and the fact that, in my experience, most folks who look to obtain a DAD have never actually owned a dog and have no idea the time and commitment and expense and worry that living with, and hopefully loving, a dog can bring...
By and large I really think most people would be better off ( and most dogs would be better off) if folks just got a cgm
OP ALERT - this in no way reflects on your attempt to research a DAD - I am speaking historically and in the most general terms and not about your specific goals.
There is a group on Facebook called Diabetes Alert Dogs. I "know" one of the Admins of the group through FB and she has had great success with their DAD. You may want to check it out for more info. https://www.facebook.com/groups/diabetesalertdogs/
There is a lady here in UT that breeds dogs. Somehow she scent imprints them Its called tattle tails. I think she is under that name on FB. One of Taylors friends has one of her dogs and they are very happy with him. The trainer is there for you every step of the way. I am trying to decide if we want to do one. And she doesnt cost an arm and a leg.
I have not posted on here in YEARS and just thought I would add a brief chime in because we have 2 dogs that are service dogs for my TI daughter. She is going to HS this year (first year in public school) and plans on bringing her dog. Our story is quite long and yes, I agree there are those organizations and people out there that know nothing, into it for the wrong reasons and give others a bad name. Some people who get a service dog, have actually had a dog before and know the work even a regular dog would take. You take a service dog and add to that.... Our dogs are amazing (one more than the other). The first (from an organization) had to be career changed after only a week... insert heart break. The final dog we have now we had the trainer help pick out from the breeder when he was 4 weeks old. He is specifically breed for show or service dog work. He is AMAZING. A LOT of the dog is the temperament, a LOT of the success is the trainer. We chose to have her train the dog and board the dog b/c I wanted the fewest possibilities to mess him up by training a puppy for even puppy behaviors, service dog set-up and to be a good citizen puppy. He began alerting at 4 months. He came to us at 8 months, and just turned 2 last week. He is wonderfully behaved. He has alerted on other TI's during sports across many courts. He has alerted to my DD on the SB field from the dugout to the outfield. He has alerted from the outside to the inside with windows open. He catches highs and lows before the CGM (yes we have one) will catch them. When he alerts to a 120, (and the CGM is not on) WE have to wait and see is it the rise or the drop so we can react accordingly. I have some cool video of him alerting and going through the sequence. It is actually pretty darn cool. I have seen and experienced the other side of this hot topic. I have seen dogs not work but I have seen a LOT of dogs with the right trainer and the right dogs work very well. There are a lot of bad organizations and bad individuals out there but there are some amazing diamonds in the "ruff" that have changed people's lives. My dd has been awakened at night by her dog when the CGM is out of battery or not on (or not loud enough). There are so many different ways to help our kiddos. I am not one to judge anyone and their methods. What works for some, does not work for another. I personally wanted to give my daughter every opportunity to aid her in her quest. She is a teen now. Loves her dog and sometimes hates dealing with him. He is a lot of work. Maintaining that "game" of finding the scent has to be done and it has to be fun and rewarding for him. He is loved and praised by so many that see, experience and benefit from the comfort and aid he gives us. I figure if he catches that one low that could have made the difference then it is all worth it to me and that is nothing I can put a price on. Just my experience and two cents for those wondering.
This is extremely well written and a must read from a DAD owner.
Thinking About Getting a Service Dog? My Advice to You.
LOL, well that reinforces my desire to have my dogs be pets and my CGM be the catcher of my dd's lows.
Except for the statement that CGM is 30 min behind, I think, as a dog owner, that much of that could well be accurate.
Thanks for the link.
We have trained our own DAD. But decided to let it go for constant alerting 24/7. He is very good. Maintenance adds up like any pet, but the reason we opted to not use him was it was to hard for my teen to cope with and advocate for herself in public. We had some people threaten to call the police for the dog being with her. She was 14 and just could not stand the stress. He wore a vest we had cards that explained. Very few places believed us that he was a service dog. Granted at first he was in training but he was due his test when we stopped and he would have qualified. The only other issue was that he is a small dog as he was the breed we liked and a dog we liked for our size house. Most people believe only big dogs can do the job but ours is a mix peekaboo and Maltese. He is very sensitive to smells and we have known him since he was hours old before her diagnoses. I had a trainer pre evaluate him as she had trained a peekaboo before for diabetes. Poodles, labs and shepherds are the trainers favorite breeds and mix breed can work if those breeds are predominate. Our cost for self training was 950 dollars a year. We took a little over one year to train the test was due in the second year. Our trainer did not charge for year two since he did not test.
I'm very confused.
You had a small breed pet dog, which you trained as an adult dog, after he was your pet? He was alerting 24/7? He was in public as a vested "service animal" but had not passed his test? An obedience test? A service dog behavior test? A DAD test?
He was in training for obedience from day one. I always work on making sure my dogs are well behaved. He was 5 months old at her diagnoses. His training went excellent and yes while in training he wears a vest that he earned after proving he was obedient. He was perfect it was the stress my daughter felt having to fight for the right to have him with her. At first I was always there to help but when it was up to her alone she came home stressed and crying as people thought she was just cheating the system. Guide dogs in most people's minds are for blind or wheelchair people. I am sure epileptics face the same issues. Invisible diseases are just not as accepted. He was already alerting her sugars which he still does. We just never did TE inal test to take him in public.
I appreciate you coming back to elaborate, I'm still not sure I understand but I do wonder at what point one gets to call a "pet dog", a "service dog". My dogs are obedient in the, "sit, stay, wait, down" sort of way, but not "obedient" like a service dog- trained to relieve themselves on command, able to be trusted to be silent, utterly unfazed by the presence of another dog and so on and so on.
May I ask again what you meant in that first post about "deciding to let it go for constant alerting 24/7"?
I think she means they stopped training the dog to alert highs and lows. DADs having to keep up with specific training with rewards to keep up with always knowing what's a high and what's a low. I am eligible for a service dog for the Deaf but I wouldn't get one purely because I'd have to give up my current dog I have to be eligible for a service dog. I love my dog way too much to give him up. He alerts me to noises...lol perhaps a lil too much but that's ok
Service dogs have to go through training and an exam by an organization that trains service dogs. So, while you *can* use your own dog to be trained and such they still have to pass by a reputable organization (for example Guide Dogs for the Blind, Lions Foundation for Canadian Dog guide, etc) which gives the dog an Official Vest, which are different colors for diff uses(orange for hearing ear dog, red for diabetic alert dog, etc). The dogs also get paperwork from whomever did the testing so that if it's ever brought up in a dispute as to why your dog is in an establishment they can't legally ask your dog to leave.
As for the 24/7 I meant Emo still alerts and we maintsin him for home only. He does not go inbpublic other than the same way a pet does. Because we choose to skip certification as it just did not work for my child.
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