On February 28, 2016, Fleetwood Farms Thee “Saoirse” JedIrish, an Irish Setter puppy and a future Service Dog for Diabetic Alert Detection passed her American Kennel Club (AKC) Puppy S.T.A.R. Evaluation with flying colors. Saoirse is trained and handled by Johanna Anderson of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Saoirse and Johanna are participating in private dog training lessons to become a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) team at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan with its CEO and Dog Behaviorist Michael Burkey. Saoirse will be ready to test for her Canine Good Citizen title at her next training session and Johanna has set her sights on also obtaining the Advanced Canine Good Citizen and Urban Canine Good Citizen titles.
While only 8 months old, Saoirse has already alerted Johanna to her sugar levels dropping too low on many occasions. A DAD is an important part of a Diabetic’s medical management program. When a Diabetic’s blood sugar falls they often times don’t feel the oncoming symptoms until its too late thus requiring hospitalization. A dog trained to detect the change in blood sugar is an early warning system, reminding their human partner to test their sugar level and take appropriate medical intervention.
The below video clip shows part of Saoirse’s training exercises to alert on a blood sugar scent sample that was collected previously when Johanna’s blood sugar level was below 70. Contact Michigan Dog Training if you are a Diabetic 1 and want to train your dog to be a Service Dog / Diabetic Alert Dog.