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Diabetic Alert Dog University

Researcher Aims To Shed Light On Diabetic Alert Dogs

Researcher Aims To Shed Light On Diabetic Alert Dogs

Currently in her fourth year of the experimental psychology PhD program at Dal, Reeve has launched one of the first studies of its kind on diabetic alert dogs. The basis of her research is exploring if dogs can detect changes in the blood sugar of people with diabetes, and how it's done. "That, along with cancer detection dogs and medical detection in general, is just now becoming a field of research. It's very promising and that's why it's very interesting," Reeve says. "There have been very few studies done with cancer detection and dogs, but the ones that are out there, the dogs are extremely accurate and its extremely impressive. Now it's kind of like, wow—what else can they do?" After completing her undergraduate and master's degrees outside of Nova Scotia, Reeve decided to move back to Halifax and look at departments that aligned with her interests in animals and behaviour. She found Dr. Simon Gadbois, faculty in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dal, volunteered in the lab for a year, and applied to the program to begin a project of her own. Four years later, the study has reached a climactic point. "Where we are now is that the dogs are smelling actual biological samples, breath in particular," Reeve says. "We're mostly interested in the lab setting because nobody knows how the dogs do this, and we're working under the assumption that it's a smell. And if it's a smell, then the person shouldn't necessarily have to be in the room. That's the first question that I'm trying to answer." Reeve has been working with four volunteered border collies, Mist, Bella, Nutella and Koda, who have each been trained in the lab for the past 2-3 years. This specific breed was chosen for their high energy, high drive, and stamina to work for extended periods of tim Continue reading >>

Diabetes Alert Dogs

Diabetes Alert Dogs

Breanne Harris, 25, first encountered a diabetes alert dog when she was a counselor at a camp for children with diabetes. Two people from Dogs4Diabetics, Inc., (D4D) – a nonprofit organization that trains assistance dogs to detect hypoglycemia in people with diabetes – brought an alert-dog-in-training to camp. Every night, the counselors would make midnight rounds to check campers’ blood glucose levels. In the dormitory, the dog tore free from the trainer, ran to one teenager, jumped on the bed, and tried to awaken the girl. “We checked her blood sugar immediately, and her sugar was 32 mg/dl, which is severely low,” says Harris, who has lived with Type 1 diabetes since she was 4. “I was sold at that point and applied for a dog.” Kristen Beard, 24, who also has Type 1 diabetes, got a golden retriever puppy named Montana when she was about 19. One night Montana would not leave her alone as she slept. “He was crying and pawing at me. I was mad because he woke me up, but once I became aware, I thought maybe I should test my blood sugar. I tested it, and it was low,” Beard says. “I thought it was a fluke, but he started doing it regularly.” Now he wakes her at least twice a month to warn about her falling blood glucose. “He just started doing it on his own, and I reinforce the behavior with treats,” she says. Veterinarian Nicholas Dodman recalls a client who had a German shepherd that was afraid of men, including the woman’s husband. The dog would avoid him even if they were in the same room. But one night, the dog woke him. The man realized that his wife, who had diabetes, was becoming hypoglycemic. After that, if the woman’s blood glucose dropped dangerously low, the dog would overcome his fear and wake up the man to help her. “It was the on Continue reading >>

Service Dogs For Diabetics

Service Dogs For Diabetics

Most people are familiar with the role of guide dogs and hearing dogs. But not as many people know about the other different jobs service dogs can perform. The specific role we want to focus on in this post is alert dogs for diabetics. A significant concern for people with type 1 diabetes is hypoglycemia unawareness. This condition occurs when someone's blood sugar gets too low but they don't experience any symptoms like shaking, sweating or confusion. The reason this can be so serious is if an individual's blood sugar continues dropping, it can eventually result in seizures or even a coma. A trained diabetes service dog can prevent this from happening. The Power of Scent Because detecting a drop in blood sugar is much different than guiding someone with sight or hearing difficulties, people often wonder how dogs can be trained for this specific type of service. The answer has to do with smell. It's no secret that dogs have an incredible sense of smell. That sense is so powerful that dogs can be trained to recognize very precise scents, including the unique scent a person gives off during a hypoglycemic episode when blood sugar is too low. The same is true for identifying the fruity smelling ketones a person’s body produces when blood sugar is too high. More Information About Service Dogs for Diabetics A diabetic service dog isn't a replacement for checking blood sugar levels on a consistent basis. However, it can be a critical safeguard for someone who regularly experiences hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic episodes without any warning symptoms. The Diabetic Alert Dog University and National Institute for Diabetic Alert Dogs are two organizations that specialize in training service dogs for diabetics. Mixed sporting dog breeds, poodles, Labrador retrievers and golden ret Continue reading >>

Tudiabetes Live Interview With Mary Mcneight, Founder Of Diabetic Alert Dog Academy

Tudiabetes Live Interview With Mary Mcneight, Founder Of Diabetic Alert Dog Academy

Mary McNeight is the founder of a unique program called Diabetic Alert Dog University. She is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, holds a CPDT-KA (certified pet dog trainer — knowledge assessed) granted by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and is certified by the American Red Cross in pet first aid. With more than 5 years of training experience, she has had multiple requests nationwide for her services and to speak on behalf of dog training. Using only methods approved by the American Humane Association and positive reinforcement techniques, Mary gives private training sessions and offers small group classes for both service and pet dog training in order to provide the best possible service that caters to your needs. Mary is also dedicated toward providing low-cost service dog training for people with disabilities ever since she had to become the resource she needed to train her own dog for service work. Currently, Mary is owned by her yellow lab who is a certified diabetic alert dog. A certified dog trainer who has experienced life before a service dog, and life with a service dog, Mary McNeight is a fantastic resource to help train your pet or service dog. She can be found teaching at The Service Dog Academy at her dog training studio in the heart of West Seattle. Continue reading >>

There Are 5 Core Foundations Of The Diabetic Alert Dog 101tm Program

There Are 5 Core Foundations Of The Diabetic Alert Dog 101tm Program

1. Stably temperamented dogs. Dogs need to be free from all signs of aggression and anxiety. 2. Affordable training. It shouldnt cost you $25,000 to train your own dog for diabetic alert. There has to be a better way. Thats where the Diabetic Alert Dog 101TM program comes in handy. 3. Ensuring that our dogs are happy and are allowed to be dogs. Some service dog organizations have a 75% drop out rate. Some of these dogs are dropped from the program for being unable to shut down everything that is dog about a dog. We think dogs should be allowed to play with other dogs, that dogs should be allowed to play with a ball or engage in a little telephone pole sniffing every once and a while. What is so wrong with that? We think there has to be a middle ground between robot dogs and ill behaved dogs. 4. Training using strict positive reinforcement methodologies. Dominance methodology creates a confrontational relationship with your dog. Do you really want to train a dog that is supposed to be saving your life in a confrontational manner? No way! If you wouldnt do it to your two year old, why would you do it to your dog? What the Diabetic Alert Dog 101TM training methodology creates is a dog that who thinks you are the sun, moon and the stars, a dog that thinks you are the granter of all good things in their life, a dog that not only enjoys his job but is obsessed over it 5. Creation of a THINKING dog Have you ever had a low blood sugar before? What does it feel like? It seems like the first thing to go is critical thinking skills. What type of dog would you rather have? A dog that you have to tell what to do when you are in a state of brain dysfunction or a dog who assesses the situation a responds to it again and again and again trying to get your attention in many different wa Continue reading >>

This Is How Dogs Detect Low Blood Sugar In Folks With Diabetes

This Is How Dogs Detect Low Blood Sugar In Folks With Diabetes

One of the many burdens that someone with diabetes has to suffer with is the task of constantly monitoring their blood sugar levels. For some people, this means pricking their finger every hour to test their blood for normal levels of glucose. For others, it means employing the help of a Diabetic Alert Dog to assist with this daunting task. A Diabetic Alert Dog is highly trained to alert someone with diabetes when their glucose levels fall out of a normal range. Source: lukeandjedi Through practice a Diabetic Alert Dog can learn to detect dropping or rising glucose levels 30 minutes before their handler experiences any symptoms. This allows a diabetic person enough time to check their glucose levels and take the steps necessary to avoid serious complications. Some Diabetic Alert Dogs are also trained to get help or retrieve medical supplies. Source: diabeticalertdog Diabetic Alert Dog can be especially helpful during situations where it’s difficult for someone to check their blood sugar with a medical device (i.e. during sleep, a business meeting, exercise, or while driving). Many people that suffer from diabetes have to wake up several times a night and check their blood sugar levels or they might go into a diabetic coma while they are sleeping. Source: service_dog_thunder So how are these amazing dog’s trained? The training for a Diabetic Alert Dog varies depending on the organization or trainer. The most highly trained Service Dogs are bred for the job and are trained from birth until they are around 18 months of age (sometimes more). Some organizations however aren’t breed specific and will train any dog with a strong nose and a willingness to work. Source: diabeticalertdog All Service Dog training begins with socialization and obedience training. During socia Continue reading >>

Etsu Physician Studies Reliability Of Diabetes Alert Dogs

Etsu Physician Studies Reliability Of Diabetes Alert Dogs

JOHNSON CITY (Dec. 14, 2016) – Dr. Evan Los chose to become a pediatric endocrinologist because he wants to make sure kids with diabetes get the best care possible. With that in mind, Los spent the past couple of years designing and conducting a study that looked into the reliability of diabetes alert dogs. “I wanted to make sure kids and families affected by diabetes had the best information possible,” said Los, an assistant professor in the East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics as well as a practicing physician with Mountain States Health Alliance. “I was trying to answer the question, ‘Are diabetes dogs really doing what patients think they are doing?’” Diabetes alert dogs are service animals trained to alert their owners in advance of incidents of high or low blood sugar before those levels become dangerous. Los specifically studied the dogs’ abilities to detect low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, in individuals with type 1 diabetes. “What we found is, yes, dogs can do this, but they are missing it a lot, too,” he said. In studying eight patients with diabetes alert dogs, Los found the dogs do have success in detecting low blood sugar, but missed a low blood sugar event more than half the time and also alerted owners when their blood sugar was not low. Additionally, when the dogs did alert, they were typically slower than continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), which are devices approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used to alert individuals with diabetes of high and low blood sugar. The dogs also have more variables impacting their abilities to detect and alert hypoglycemia, Los said, noting a dog’s need to eat, use the bathroom and sleep as examples. The study found that the dog us Continue reading >>

Dr. Hardin On Training Diabetic Alert Dogs

Dr. Hardin On Training Diabetic Alert Dogs

WRITTEN BY: Katie Doyle Dr. Dana Hardin is a senior medical advisor in Biomedicines at Eli Lilly and Company, and a pioneer in the field of understanding the clinical benefits and training of diabetes alert dogs (DADs). She first became involved in this endeavor as part of a collaboration with the Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN), and the head trainer at the time, Dr. Jennifer Cattet. She has since expanded these collaborations and currently works with multiple trainers to better understand the complex world of DADs. “Sensing dogs for medical alert was something that had not been done at all by Indiana Canine Assistance Network, and Dr. Cattet believed there was a strong need for this type of training. When I attended a talk given by Dr. Cattet and ICAN head Sally Irwin, I instantly wanted to be involved,” Dr. Hardin said during a recent conversation with Beyond Type 1. “So we worked together to talk about, ‘What would a dog do for somebody? How does that work? What do people need?’” While she worked with Dr. Cattet and ICAN to train and place the first successful DAD, who ended up helping a young man with Type 1 finish his graduate program, Dr. Hardin noticed big gaps in medical literature about training dogs to support this very specific population. Case studies could be found here and there, but there were no data-driven reports to rely on. “I wanted to get what I would call real-world evidence of what a dog could do for a person with diabetes: collecting information before a dog is placed with a person with diabetes and collecting data again after the dog is placed with that person. This is a much more scientific way of obtaining information and reporting information. My concern was that you have to have some standard to measure against to know Continue reading >>

Diabetes Alert Dogs Don't Detect Hypoglycemic Scent

Diabetes Alert Dogs Don't Detect Hypoglycemic Scent

I’ve written previously about my skepticism that dogs can accurately warn humans that blood sugar levels are low (Diabetes Alert Dogs Are Still an Unproven Concept). Now there’s scientific evidence, from a medical and veterinary school collaborating with DAD trainers, about whether these dogs can do what is claimed that they are able to do: reliably detect a scent that reflects hypoglycemia. On August 24, 2012, there was a posting at Facebook from a representative of a dog-training organization as follows: "On Saturday, I will be conducting a study with OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences University) where we will investigate the dog’s ability to smell the metabolic change in a diabetic’s body. It is amazing to have some of the dogs I trained in a clinical research study Send me and my dogs some good energy Saturday morning!" There has been no followup at Facebook, nor at the organization’s website, about the outcome of the study, but the July 2013 issue of Diabetes Care describes the study and its results, in a letter titled Can Trained Dogs Detect a Hypoglycemic Scent in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes? The authors included (among others) a veterinarian, several physicians, and trainers from a dog-training organization. The three dogs in the study had previously been trained by the organization, and the procedure used to test the dogs’ abilities "was chosen because the dog-training organization affiliated with one of the authors used this method to train dogs to respond to hypoglycemia in their human companions. The three adult dogs used in this study had been trained to respond to hypoglycemia by pressing a bell after sniffing the open-capped container with the hypoglycemic swab. Each of these dogs had been placed in the home of a person with T1D. The owners and t Continue reading >>

About Mary Mcneight, The Service Dog Academy And Diabetic Alert Dog 101tm

About Mary Mcneight, The Service Dog Academy And Diabetic Alert Dog 101tm

Mary McNeight holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the only dog training degree program certified by the State of Washington. She is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, holds a CPDT-KA (certified pet dog trainer – knowledge assessed) granted by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and is certified by the American Red Cross in pet first aid. With more than 5 years of training experience, she has had multiple requests nationwide for her services and to speak on behalf of dog training. Having attended the APDT conferences in 2009 and 2010, the 2010 Clicker Expo, Fear Aggression and Play Workshop, the Dr. Ian Dunbar seminar in May 2010, Diabetic Alert Dog Training classes in California in 2009 and classes with the top Narcotics Dog Detector for the Seattle Police Department in 2011, she is committed to continuing her education and professional development by continuously attending seminars and dog training conferences nationwide. ( Mary is currently scheduled to attend the APDT conference in San Diego in October of 2011.) Using only methods approved by the American Humane Association and positive reinforcement techniques, Mary is available for private training sessions as well as offering small group classes for both service and pet dog training in order to provide the best possible service that caters to your needs. Mary is also dedicated toward providing low-cost service dog training for people with disabilities ever since she had to become the resource she needed to train her own dog for service work. Currently, Mary is training her yellow lab for both psychological and physical disabilities and for diabetic alert. A certified dog trainer who has experienced life before a service Continue reading >>

Instructional Videos On How To Train Your Own Diabetic / Diabetes / Hypoglycemia / Alert Dog For Type 1 & 2 & Lada

Instructional Videos On How To Train Your Own Diabetic / Diabetes / Hypoglycemia / Alert Dog For Type 1 & 2 & Lada

Diabetic Alert Dog University in cooperation with Service Dog Academy will be holding an Intensive Diabetic Alert Dog class in St. Louis Missouri November 16th - 19th 2017 (the next class after this will not be scheduled until APRIL OF 2018) and in Seattle WA December 7th-10th of 2017 These classes will combine the 4 weeks worth of foundational video homework with the opportunity to train in a classroom environment with founder Mary McNeight. You can find out more about this class and enroll in this unique diabetic alert dog training workshop by going to our Diabetic Alert Dog Class Workshop webpage. Registration for these classes must be completed at least a MONTH in advance of the class! If you are interested in either of these classes, it is recommended that you enroll ASAP. The last class filled up within 36 hours of after announcing the class over our email list. WARNING Before enrolling in our program please understand that a diabetic alert dog is not a machine that operates at 100% efficiency and will NOT catch all of your lows and highs. Diabetic Alert Dogs are meant to be another tool to help you manage your diabetes, they are not a be all to end all solution. Diabetic Alert Dogs should be used in combination with the prescribed medical advice of your diabetes specialist. And most importantly a diabetic alert dog is not meant to replace proper adult supervision of anyone with diabetes (including children and adults). Continue reading >>

Diabetic Alert Dog

Diabetic Alert Dog

There are many tools to use in dealing with diabetes, and the Diabetic Alert Dog is one more tool to add to the toolbox used to help families deal with their child who has diabetes. With the use of a Diabetic Alert Dog the child can gain the independence they need as they grow up and mature and the parents are not afraid to allow them to do so. Here at 4 Paws we place Diabetic Alert Dogs with children who have insulin-dependent Type 1 Diabetes. As with all medical alert dogs, Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to smell the chemical body changes that occur as the insulin levels increase or drop. When a child is experiencing a high or low, their body is releasing chemicals that change their typical scent. A 4 Paws Dog with the right training in scent-based work is able to respond to those chemical changes, at the onset of the changes long before any adverse medical reactions occur, by alerting the parents or caregivers to the change at its onset. The parents and/or child are then able to check their blood sugar level and take appropriate action. Training Diabetic Alert Dogs for children means that we must train a dog that is unique in its ability to meet the needs of both the child with diabetes and the child’s family. Most agencies do not work with children, especially very young children. Here at 4 Paws we have no minimum age requirement and believe strongly in early intervention. In addition to the alert work, these dogs provide a measure of comfort for the child, increased self-esteem and confidence, a distraction during unpleasant medical procedures, and of course companionship. USA WEEKEND recently published an article on Megan Rittinger and her service dog, Pip. Full story . . . Continue reading >>

Why Do We Care

Why Do We Care

Why is our head trainer taking potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars out of her pockets annually to provide you with this information? [list icon=”circle-yellow”] Her grandmother died from complications of type 2 diabetes. Her father passed away from complications of type 2 diabetes in March of 2012. Her husbands family is full of type 2 diabetics and her husband is has been recently diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. She has all the classic symptoms of metabolic syndrome and have recently been experiencing episodes of hypoglycemia. Mary’s love of dogs runs deep, all the back to childhood and beyond. Her family’s genealogical history is full of dog loving great great great great grandparents. Mary didnt come from money and doesnt expect her students to mortgage their houses in an attempt to pay for diabetic alert dog training. [/list] Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, CCS, BGS didn’t get into the business of training diabetic alert dogs to make money, she did it so that she could live a better life than her grandmother and father. Diabetic Alert Dog University in cooperation with Service Dog Academy will be holding an Intensive Diabetic Alert Dog class in St. Louis Missouri November 16th - 19th 2017 (the next class after this will not be scheduled until APRIL OF 2018) and in Seattle WA December 7th-10th of 2017 These classes will combine the 4 weeks worth of foundational video homework with the opportunity to train in a classroom environment with founder Mary McNeight. You can find out more about this class and enroll in this unique diabetic alert dog training workshop by going to our Diabetic Alert Dog Class Workshop webpage. Registration for these classes must be completed at least a MONTH in advance of the class! If you are interested in either of these classes, Continue reading >>

Diabetic Alert Dogs And Your Breath

Diabetic Alert Dogs And Your Breath

A recent study from the University of Cambridge may have pinpointed one of the chemicals diabetic alert dogs smell when they detect low blood glucose. Earlier this summer, we wrote about Diabetic Alert Dogs (DAD) and the ways in which they can help monitor and alert people with Type 1 Diabetes to dangerously high and low blood glucose levels. Dogs have a powerful sense of smell and a much more sophisticated olfactory system than humans, including an extra smell-related organ. Their keen ability to detect odors and to hone in on specific scents makes it possible for dogs to be scent trained to perform certain tasks. In the case of a DAD, scent training is related to biochemical changes in the body that relate to high and low blood glucose levels. Scent-training requires rigorous, consistent, and ongoing training, but exactly "what" these dogs are detecting that marks low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) has remained a bit of a mystery. New UK Study Focuses on Breath A recent study from the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge may have pinpointed at least one of the scent markers DADs detect during hypoglycemia. In a controlled study, researchers "hypothesized that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath might change at low glucose." Focused on VOCs, the study identified naturally-occurring chemicals that appear on the breath (including acetone, methyl nitrate, ethanol, ethyl benzene, propane, and isoprene) and measures the levels of those chemicals at varying blood glucose levels. What researchers discovered was that the levels of isoprene in exhaled breath almost doubled when blood glucose was low. Other VOCs measured in the study did not show change correlated with blood glucose. Isoprene is a chemical that hum Continue reading >>

Week 1

Week 1

Congrats on deciding to train your own Diabetic Alert Dog using Diabetic Alert Dog University’sTM Diabetic Alert Dog 101TM training program. Here is the first of many videos on what to do in Week 1 of training your own diabetic alert dog. So that you can see the quality of the programming you will be purchasing you can view Week 1’s content for FREE! Additionally we have listened to your feedback about streaming these very high quality videos and are now placing both small and large format videos on our site so that you can choose which one you would like to view. In Week 1 you will learn: Our training philosophy The importances of work to eat puzzles in the creation of a diabetic alert dog Diabetic low scent collection If you are having problems viewing the video, please update your flash player using the following link Large format Diabetic Alert Dog Training Video Small format Diabetic Alert Dog Training Video Here are the links to the work to eat puzzles we recommended in the video. Kong Extreme Premier Twist and Treat Premier Linkable – Orb Premier Linkable – Elblow Premier Tug A Jug Additionally, here is the product we recommend you store your blood sugar samples in the video. Student Questions: My dog really isnt playing with these work to eat puzzles, how do I get him really into them? Instead of using just your kibble in them, place anywhere between 10 and 20 eraser sized treats in the work to eat puzzles with the kibble. Slowly over the next 2 weeks, reduce the amount of treats you are placing in the puzzles by 5 pieces every couple of days. Can I “contaminate” the collected samples? Try to keep your scent sources as least contaminated as possible (just drink water during the collection process). In all honesty we do have to admit, this whole idea Continue reading >>

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