Therapy/Service dog for a diabetic

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.


I love going to- Camp Bow Wow- with my Mom
Barked: Fri May 7, '10 9:27am PST 
Does anyone know how to go about getting a service dog that could detect a diabetic going low with their blood sugar level?

Edited by author Fri May 7, '10 10:38am PST


Let's go for a- swim
Barked: Fri May 7, '10 9:52am PST 
There are a number of programs that train dogs for that including, http://www.dogs4diabetics.com/ http://www.companiontraining.com/service_dogs.html http://www.diabeticalertdog.com/ http://www.diabeticalertdog.com/trainers.html http://www.dogabetics.com/ http://www.alertservicedogs.com/ http://www.battlediabetes.com/diabetes-alert-dogs/ http://www.pawswithacause.org/

Each program handles funding and waiting lists differently. In some cases, at little or no cost to the dog's partner.
Maizie Moo

Yup, I'm a- fashion diva,- DEAL!
Barked: Fri May 7, '10 12:35pm PST 
If the programs aren't a good option for you... train your own dog. It's not that hard to do if you have a dog that's willing to please, motivated to learn & that you have the time & patience to do the training.

My Diabetic Alert Dog Maizie is a natural alerter, but when the time comes that she retires I'll be training my own w/help of a couple professional trainer friends.


Super Silver- Service Spoodle
Barked: Fri May 7, '10 1:50pm PST 
A therapy dog is a dog that is trained to help people other than their owner-- in other words they bring joy and happiness to people in hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

A service dog is trained to ignore other people and to only help their disabled owner. Service dogs are allowed to go anywhere the general public is, while therapy dogs can only go into no-pet places if they are specifically invited.

It is very important to get the terminology straight. There are some organizations that train diabetic alert dogs, or you can train your own. If you want a program, you should probably look for one in the general part of the country where you live. The Delta Society has a nice listing of service dog programs state-by-state. If you want to train your own, here is a list of steps I recommend you take:

Step 1: Talk with your doctor, verify your disability, and discuss what work or tasks a dog could do to assist you. Talk with other service dog owners about the pros and cons of living with a service dog, reading these webpages for more information http://www.psychdog.org/lifestyle.html and http://www.psychdog.org/faq.html

Step 2: Find a trainer and have your dog temperament tested to make sure they are likely to make it as a service dog-- any sign of aggression in a dog's past (towards humans or other animals) is unacceptable in a service dog candidate in my opinion. Talk with the trainer and/or a vet to be sure your dog can safely do the work/tasks needed to assist you. Also have your dog examined by a vet to make sure they are healthy enough to work. If you don't have a dog, or your dog is not suitable for service work, read this article for help deciding what breed and where to get the dog: http://www.psychdog.org/lifestyle_ChoosingDog.html and hire a professional trainer to help you pick a dog.

Step 3: Master basic obedience at home, in local parks, in petstores, and in other dog friendly stores-- some hardware stores and bookstores will allow pets, call and ask. Make sure to start keeping a training log of what you are doing, how your dog is doing with obedience, public access and assistance behaviors.

Step 4: Once your dog is pretty much able to pass the CGC (in other words could do it with the use of a few treats) purchase a vest and in training patches, and visit the places in step 3 with the vest on. If you haven't already started training tasks/work, start that now, too.

Step 5: Gradually visit more and more difficult environments-- saving places with lots of crowds, food etc for later. Train to the public access standard on the PSDS website.

Step 6: If you live in a state with SDIT protection, spend another few months in training just to make sure you're both really comfortable with whatever comes up. Really, it's not a race!

Step 7: Take a public access test like the one here http://www.psychdog.org/attach/Public_Access_Standard_Test_Sheet.pdf and have someone videotape it if possible. If you don't have a trainer who can give the test, have a friend do it. The idea is that your dog should be able to perform these things, and if you ever have a court case, video proof of this may be helpful, or at least a letter from a trainer saying that you did the things.

I love going to- Camp Bow Wow- with my Mom
Barked: Fri May 7, '10 3:55pm PST 
Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
Barked: Fri Jun 11, '10 9:59pm PST 
Earl I know what you mean there I am trying to get myself together and start reg. testing myself to tell if Sadie is alerting me about my blood.

Member Since
Barked: Wed Jan 18, '12 2:19pm PST 
Please Help
We have a beautiful daughter who is 21 years old.
She has had Type 1 Diabetes since age 8.
She is now suffering with terrible panic attacks and having difficulty managing her diabetes.
She loves dogs and we are a two dog family.
Since she was just a little girl, her dogs have brought her peace and comfort.
Please – what are the qualifications for obtaining a Diabetic Therapy Dog-?
How do you obtain a Diabetic Therapy Dog-?
Please help us
Thank you for your response.

Don\'t Give Up
Barked: Thu Jan 19, '12 1:39pm PST 
I'd like to say that a Therapy dog and a service dog are very different.

Jesse is a TD and he does NOT help me with everyday activities does NOT have any tasks to help me. He DOES give lots of unconditional love and smiles to peoples faces. He is trainined of course but not to the extent that a service dog is. Yes he makes me feel better when I am sad or sick but that is not the same thing as what a service dog does.

Perhaps looking into programs related to diabetes will provide you with more information.

https://www.face- book.com/Sequoia- sMaximum
Barked: Sat Jan 21, '12 5:22pm PST 
Ed, please read Ollivander's post above and previous posts to get your terminology straight so we know how to answer your questions.