Diabetes Training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Question Diabetes Training

I have diabetes and I was wondering if anyone knows of some resources on how I could train my dog to help alert someone if I become unconsious, or my sugars drop so low that I am not able to function? On the other side, I do have a Chihuahua that has a fantastic nose and I am wondering if he could be trained to smell the change in breath.

I live in Europe, so going to a place in the US is not possible.

Kind Regards,
Amy from Heidelberg

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 08:03 PM
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Darn...there is a dog in a shelter that already does that kind of alert...but I think he is here in the states.

Dawn Brogan

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Why is this dog in the Shelter? Surely there are people who would treasure this type of gift and would go to a special type of homing shelter?

Kind Regards,
Amy from Heidelberg

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 08:06 PM
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Hi I'm diabetic to. Daisy has been able to alert my husband quite a few times when I go low. I'm told our scent changes as our blood sugars fluctuate.Not sure how to train but I wonder if the service dog association could help give you some help.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 08:24 PM
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Amy would the local utility dog certification boards be a resource to help you find a trainer or training? Where your at is the birthplace of GSD's and canine training.Here in America the American Diabetic association would be a starting place for help. I'll look for some links for you
Maggi
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 12:17 AM
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I have read various reports that between 15%-20% of dogs naturally alert to seizures or other medical conditions. The problem is that the owner does not recognize that is what is happening as dogs alert differently. Some whine, some bark, some nudge, some nip, etc. so once the alert is recognized for what it is then it is best to get the dog to alert in an acceptable manner. The training for diabetic alerts is still in a fairly new stage with research still going on.

Some dogs will alert for one person and not someone else.

All people with diabetes are not considered legally disabled and so would not qualify for a SD.

Quote:
but I wonder if the service dog association could help give you some help
What SD association?

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 11:45 AM
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Diabetes Training

I am a type 1 diabetic and my WGSD is currently in training to alert me. He actually gave me my first alert at 4 months old. He will be 14 months on October 1st. I have been working with a trainer for this specific service. My dog does not get my husband or anyone else when my blood sugar changes. He has been trained to alert me when my blood sugars either go low or high [although he figured out the high blood sugars himself, we never trained him for high ones]. The trainer asked me what alert I wanted from Judah. Because we risk going unconscious, I said it had to be something distinguishable from other things he might do. I choose that he put his mouth on my forearm between my wrist and elbow. This has worked great. He never bites...it's very specific to alerting. If I appear to ignore him, he may put more pressure on my arm but he never hurts me. Our routine is that if he alerts, I immediately go to my glucometer and test my blood sugar to check and to confirm his alert. If he is right, he gets rewarded with a treat - a high value treat. If he is not correct, I simply tell him thanks and go play...no treat.
I gave detailed information because I do not have a recommendation for Europe...but maybe knowing these details can help show you what a DAD [diabetic alert dog] is capable of.

Jiah WGSD - rescued 3/3/2012
Judah WGSD - 8/1/10 S.T.A.R. Puppy, CGC
Bear WGSD mix - 9/8/99 - 8/23/2010
Cuddles GSD mix - 3/6/92 -12/2009
Tiger GSD mix - 3/6/92 - 1997
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