So as most of you know, I have been thinking and researching as much as possible about getting a diabetic alert dog. It was a toss up about getting a resue dog vs a pure breed, what breed to get..etc.
Well as it turns out, The BC Canada ministry will not register a service dog that is not one of their "program dogs" ok, fair enough so I inquired about applying for one of their "program dogs" but guess what??? they dont train service dogs for diabetic alerting! So I would be wasting my time applying!
Then I had an opportunity to train a rescue dog that is already adopted by a family member...well that didn't turn out either, they want me to train it, but not keep it! arrgghhhh! no problem I will do it anyway because I love the dog and it keeps my mind of the D!
Long story short after talking to all the guide dog places in canada, I ended up on a website that breeds labrador retrievers, which are recommended for this type of service work. It just so happenes that they even live right here in the middle of nowhere BC! So I gave the lady a call and she seemed very helpful,polite, and knew what she was talking about! And they even guarentee them for 30 months healthwise! And provide lifetime advice/support for the life of the dog!
Not cheap though, gonna have to save up for this, but it just may be worth the effort. Once trained, to perfection with manners and all, I will then challenge the ministry into recognising my dog as a service dog so that I may get the tax breaks and benefits that all service dogs get. Either way, Im getting a dog, just need to find the money to do it! Wish me luck.. and as for the ministry of BC....I will see you later!!!
That is good, enjoy your dog!
Wishing you very good luck! Sounds as if you found a wonderful, responsible breeder. You'll have a blast with a new pup, a lot of fun training, and a wonderful companion just for starters. An opportunity to advocate down the road as well is icing on the cake ;)
My Jack Russells have never had any formal alert dog training, yet have take it on themselves to wake me if I'm low. Tough to sleep with dogs bouncing on me and whining!
I have always been curious about DADs. The concept makes sense. Accuracy has always been a concern but it is even more concerning that it is not recognized here in Canada! Good luck with your training, your funding and your fight to have them recognized. I will be interested to see how this goes. It may be a more realistic option for my teen son.
I had a guide dog for a few years and am still fairly involved in the guide dog community. I don't know anyone who self-trained their dog in Canada, but I'm pretty sure it's still possible. There is new legislation coming down the pipeline (if it hasn't come already) that is much better than the old. It's not perfect, but the BC Government, to their credit, did collaborate a lot with the disability community in the development of the legislation. Unfortunately, there needs to be some guidelines in place to stop people from trying to bring their pet dogs everywhere, which does happen and ruins it for those of us who use real service dogs.
There is a school in the U.S. called Dogs 4 Diabetics that might be worth looking up. You are allowed to go to a U.S. program and bring your dog back to Canada (I went to Guide Dogs for the Blind which is a U.S. school).
Good luck! If I ever get another guide dog ... which I won't unless my horrible, adult-onset dog allergies get cured ... I'm going to get a dually trained guide/diabetes dog somehow. :)
I think I'd rather just get a constant BG monitor, and a dog from the local city pound. That'd be much more modern. Good luck with your dog though.
Hi Scott. In my opinion, there is so much more to a service dog than having a dog, and receiving the service. There is the bonding that occurs for one major thing. Every dog likes to have a "job". Some of us train our dogs for shows in conformation, performance sports, etc.; some dogs decide they're guarding their family; dogs are truly herders of sheep or cattle; some dogs consider their job is to be a good companion. Service dogs realize that they're giving a special service, and try their best not to fail; a very, very strong bond occurs between the dog and handler.
I have not had a service dog, but before I retired, I trained dogs for years. My Mini Wirehaired Dachsie was a show dog. When we both retired, she taught herself to be my alert dog through the night. She not only saved me a whole lot of grief, but she entertained me with her efforts to help me. Any non-service dog cannot go with you everywhere, which you may need; a rescue dog may also bond and learn to alert, but cannot (as I said) go with you everywhere.
I understand some people have both a CGM and a Diabetes Alert Dog; if you're hypounaware or have other problems with your Diabetes, you can use all the help you can get -- my preference would be the alert dog.
I am getting my dog from Warren Retrievers in Virgina, USA they do send their dogs plus trainer to Canada and Europe.
Yes Kathy I have heard of them. The problem is the new laws coming into effect here in canada, they only recognise certain breeders/trainers. And to have one from there, sent here is in the range between 20k and 90K Which is out of my budget. The program dogs here that they provide for hearing and sight impaired people are free of charge if you qualify. Having a reputable breeder right here in my little neck of the woods would be more of a reasonable choice. \I will deal with the government when the time comes. I have worked with and trained german shepherds throughout my life, not as a professional mind you but they were just as well trained as any professional dog I have encountered. My father was on the k-9 section of the police force for many years so I have enough experience that along with coaching from a professional in alert dogs I am confident I will have the dog up to industry standards and beyond. Once you get your dog Kathy I would beinterested in keeping in touch with you to perhaps pick your brain and compare notes if that is ok with you??
Scott, dogs aren't for everyone, and I understand that you may find technology easier. For me personally I have always had a dog and actually trust their instincts over a monitor anyday. My loving dog of 15 years passed away 6 years ago and I am missing the companionship that only a dog can provide. Having a fur buddy again would really pick my spirits up as they are great for that sort of thing. Having one that can make managing this disease easier for me would be a bonus!
Hi where can I get a service dog and how much will cost? Any advise please. I live in Az. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks
firstflorde1 not sure about the US the best place to find info about these dogs is www.diabeticalertdogs.com