What does a Diabetic Alert Dog do?
If you are serious about managing your or your child's blood glucose levels, you know it is a constant challenge. The payoff for your ongoing work with your D.A.D. is that it can give you peace of mind and help you lead a more confident, independent life through better management of your diabetes!
Our Diabetic Alert Dogs (D.A.D.'s) are specifically trained to detect and alert to the changing blood sugar levels (highs and lows) in Type 1 diabetics.
We start our puppies with basic D.A.D. training at a very young age. Over an approximately 16-24 month period, they must pass high standards of behavior, health, obedience and skills training. They are exposed to a wide ranging variety of circumstances, people, animals, and places to help give them the confidence and self assurance they need to perform with distractions and to be good canine companions for a diabetic.
PawPADs strives to maintain strong continuing working relationships with our clients to ensure the dog's long term success. After you are selected, we provide the support and training for you to have the highest possible chance of success with your D.A.D.
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Basic D.A.D. placement criteria
In order to achieve the highest rate of success for clients and assistance dogs, PawPADs has established the following criteria for applicant acceptance:
- Recipients contribute $3,500 toward their D.A.D. ($5,000 as of March 31, 2020)
- We place our dogs with those living within 200 miles of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.
- Applicant must be at least 12 years old and have adequate support from family members and aides. Children under 12 years of age may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Diabetic Alert Dogs are generally placed as the ONLY dog in the home, however, other pets are considered on a case-by-case basis
- You must be able to meet the emotional, physical, and financial needs of the service dog and must offer a stable home environment. This includes providing the dog with appropriate exercise and grooming.
- Preference is for a home environment that has a safe, fenced enclosure area attached to the home to exercise the dog off lead.
- You must be able to attend a two-week Partner Training Camp (PTC), to receive proper instruction on how to care for and work with your dog. (You will be responsible for living expenses – travel, accommodation, food, etc. during this time).
You must complete an intensive certification process, which includes a written final, an oral exam, and multiple dog handling tests.
- Following D.A.D. placement, you must complete monthly written evaluations on your dog’s behavior and alert record and, as needed, participate in further training lessons and evaluations given in your home. After 6 months, your partnership will be re-evaluated and, if appropriate, full ownership may be transferred to you.