A diabetic alert dog gives our clients peace of mind. They know they have an extra security blanket. Our dogs are trained to detect your specific high and low blood sugar. We train our dogs to alert with your specific scent samples, so by delivery time your dog will already be aware of the scent your body gives off during a hypoglycemic event. We train them to be alert in various environments, venues, and situations to maximize their ability to help you. Our dogs are trained to provide in-house alerts, public access alerts, car alerts, and night alerts. We have a detailed application to help us determine what specific training your dog will need. Some of our clients tend to have hypoglycemic events during certain times of the day; we do our best to train the dog around those times or specific situations.
The very first step for our dogs is going through our puppy raising program. We test them bi weekly to determine which program they'd best fit into. All of our dogs are handpicked by our trainers and temperament tested for each program. Once our dogs have completed our puppy raising program, we start them off in obedience. Here they learn commands such as heel, sit, down, auto sits, come, leave it, bed and load up. Our dogs are raised and trained both at our facility and at our trainers' homes. This helps us get the dog used to a family/home environment, thus making the transition into your home a lot easier. We try to make all the training relevant to what the dogs' daily lifestyle will be by beginning training in a home environment. Our dogs spend a great deal of time in obedience training since this is the foundation of the program. To move on to the next step in training, each dog must pass our standard obedience test to demonstrate the proper level of obedience needed to move on to the next step in training. We test on/off-leash and in low/high-level distraction settings.
The second step is public access. We begin by reinforcing all obedience training in a low-distraction environment, such as a store when its not too busy. We gradually work our way up to higher distraction environments such as busy shopping centers, restaurants and office buildings. Once we have good, consistent obedience in high-distraction environments, we throw in some of our own distractions to test the dog’s ability to successfully handle them. We train the dog around your daily routines—for example, if your child rides the bus to school, we'll train the dog on our city's public transportation. While in training we also bring our dog around in different transportation, such as vehicles, buses, commercial airlines, and elevators. Before moving on to the last step, they are tested in public access, making sure they are ready for the final step in training. Again, we test the dog in low- and high-level distraction settings before passing onto the final step in training.
The last step is scent and alert training. The dogs are trained to alert in advance of a low (hypoglycemic) or a high (hyperglycemic) event. We focus on positively rewarding the dogs for alerting while minimizing false alerts. They will alert anything lower than 80 and anything higher than 150. Once we have an active alert from the dogs, we take them back to step two of the public access training and teach them to alert in various places. Night alerts are the last part of scent training we teach our dogs to jump on our clients’ bed to wake them when they go too low or too high. They are required to pass a scent and alert test to show their ability to actively alert in different situations in both low and high blood sugar changes.
Keep in mind we do not use generic samples, we will mail out a scent sample kit that is to be completed by the diabetic and returned to Loyalty Service Dogs before the scent and alert training begins.
Cost depends on many factors, such as specific training required, location, and breed. Thus, we cannot give a quote without a completed application. Our diabetic alert dog program starts at $22,000. Please keep in mind that our service dogs are at cost and not eligible for coverage under any health insurance plan or funding from any government program. We offer interest-free payment plans for those who qualify. Many clients also choose to fund-raise to help offset the cost.
Thank you for taking the time to learn how our program works. We want you to be well informed of the ins and outs of getting a service dog through Loyalty Service Dogs. We want to build strong relationships with each client we help. Please fill out an online application to begin your journey in getting a service dog.