Dash, a Golden Doodle is being trained at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan as a Service Dog – Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) through our Train Your Own Service Dog program. Dash’s training started with her associating the scent of her mom’s low blood sugar, collected on a cotton swab resulted in tasty food treats.
Then we taught her to alert on the sample in Shannon’s hand and later with a normal sample as a distraction so she would have to differeniate between the two samples. In this video, Dash is learning to find the sample hidden closer to Shannon’s mouth as that is where the largest concentration of scent will come from during an actual low blood sugar incident.
In the past, Dash had been reluctant to jump up on her mom as she was a well mannered dog. So we reassured her it was ok to do so when she smelled the low blood sugar sample. Then we also raised the expectation that she needed to paw at the sample.
This pawing alert will help Shannon realize her blood sugar has dropped as many diabetics don’t realize when their sugar level is dropping until it’s too late. To Dash’s credit, she recently alerted on Shannon on two occasions that her sugar level dropped in real life applications. Additionally, Dash went and retrieved a granola bar so Shannon could eat it and raise her sugar level back to normal. Â Great job Dash and Shannon!