Diabetic alert dogs are assistance dogs that can detect dangerous fluctuations in blood glucose levels in diabetics. They are specially trained to indicate hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia to the diabetic through learned behavior.
The dogs can sense hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia in the diabetic patient. In addition, they bring the diabetic the blood glucose meter and in case of hypoglycemia appropriate carbohydrates (juice, glucose, cola). You learn to wake up the diabetic as well as relatives in case of hypoglycemia during the night and basically to call for help in case of emergency.
The dog does not have to be in the immediate vicinity of the assistant, but is able to perceive a change in blood glucose levels even over different floors within the house. Diabetic people have been treated for years with many new technologies. Therapeutic options confronted. Despite advances in diabetes mellitus therapy, there is still a large gap for timely detection and protection against hypoglycemia.
In addition to self-recognition for timely warning of hypoglycemia, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and the use of a diabetic warning dog are available to diabetics. All three alternatives are not mutually exclusive but complement each other.
Especially diabetic children the diabetic warning dog enables a piece of normal life. In addition, the parents get additional security and can sleep through the night because they do not have to constantly monitor the child and measure blood sugar.
What can a diabetes alert dog do?
– recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia – warn the diabetic by a specially learned signal
– the blood glucose meter (glucometer), the dextrose (juice, cola, etc.) or even fetch the emergency bag on command or independently
– flip a light switch or an emergency switch – wake relatives in threatening conditions – lead a diabetic home who exhibits a hypoglycemia-induced state of confusion or visual disturbances – provide more rearance about hypoglycemic conditions
– Learning requirements specifically adapted to the needs of his diabetic
The training to become a diabetes alert dog is very intensive. A strong bond between dog. you – its owner – is very important here. You are significantly involved in the training of your diabetes alert dog and directly involved from the very beginning.
Every human-dog team is different, has different goals and different problems. Therefore, the anamnesis interview forms the basis for the training of your diabetes warning dog. Here we determine the requirements for the human-dog team together. You decide for yourself how far you want to go in training.
The core of the training is the indication behavior (barking, pawing or nudging). How and from which value the dog should warn, is worked out individually for each human-dog-team.
In addition, individual behaviors such as bringing the measuring device or pressing the emergency call button are trained. A very good basic obedience is also a part of the training, because a diabetes warning dog should behave well everywhere and should not have any
Training is done in individual training after individual appointment at your home and on the road in everyday life. In the first weeks, training sessions take place 1-2x a week, then about 1x a week and towards the end at longer intervals.
I work exclusively with positive reinforcement. Constraining means, such as z. B. a spiked collar or Teletak, I refuse in principle.
In which financial and temporal framework the training of a diabetic warning dog moves, is difficult to say in the apron, because it depends on different criteria and factors:
– How old is the dog? (puppy, young dog or a dog that already lives in the family, with the owner)
– What level of training does the dog have? (basic obedience, basic commands, retrieval training) – Is the assistance recipient a child or an adult?? – Does the dog owner have experience in training with dogs? – What is the individual learning pace man and dog? – Which behavior should the dog show, how and where?? – How much time can be invested in training? – Would you like an identification blanket and an assistance dog card?
An approximate guideline:
– 9 – 12 months: If an existing family dog with good basic obedience is to be trained. In this case it saves many training sessions. This significantly reduces the cost of training. – up to 24 months: When a puppy is prepared for its task as a diabetic alert dog from the very beginning. – If you are not interested in obtaining an identification blanket and assistance dog certificate and you only want to train the pure display behavior in the domestic area, you can expect training costs from about 1.800 EUR calculate. – If the dog is later to be identified to the public as a diabetes alert dog by an identification blanket and is to receive an assistance dog certificate, many more training sessions are of course necessary. In this case, the price ranges from approx. 3.500 Euro to approx. 5.500 euros.
Explanation: In order to receive an assistance dog certificate and wear an identification blanket after the dog's training is complete, the dog must demonstrate a set standard of obedience in everyday situations, in addition to safe hypo-display behavior. This means for you to consolidate the basic obedience parallel to the display training and to realize many common training situations in everyday life.
Background: Since assistance dogs are often granted access to otherwise dog-free areas and buildings, the dogs should also know how to behave impeccably so as not to attract negative attention. Taking this aspect of training into account should be a matter of course for any trainer of assistance dogs, but unfortunately some training companies still fail to cover this area in the training of a diabetes alert dog. But if we want to achieve that in the near future assistance dogs find acceptance and also legal recognition in our society, we must be aware of the responsibility that comes with the identification of a dog as an assistance dog.
I do not advocate lump sum offers and often associated down payments because of the lack of transparency. I will never ask for money in advance, but my work is paid as it is done. I therefore prefer monthly billing according to actual training units performed. Thus the training costs remain comprehensible for you at any time.
Health insurance does not cover the cost of a diabetic alert dog. However, assistance dogs are exempt from dog tax in many communities.