Hey! Does anyone here use a dog to help with their T1D? I live in Colorado and am trying to find a place that will train a dog to be a Diabetic Service Dog but am not having much luck. If anyone knows of any information as to where good training is or a good breed of dog to get, please let me know! I need the help!
Hi Emma, @sunshine_em,
I am Type 1, a dog lover, amateur dog trainer, and compete in scent-related dog competitions. I have talked online with other T1Ds who have either owned or wanted an alert dog. Based on my research and others’ actual experience, I do not believe an alert dog is the way to go… I suggest you instead look into a good CGMS, such as the DEXCOM G6, that will give you reliable, 24 hours a day alerts. and then do separate research to find a pet that will be a good fit for your family. One good resource for that is, “The Right Dog for You.” Training an alert dog is very expensive and on-going after you have the dog, and it’s not a reliable 24 hour a day solution. If you want to read more about diabetes alert dog training, see, “The Ping Project,” https://www.amazon.com/Ping-Project-trained-diabetic-alert/dp/1499742444. Best wishes for your decision-making.
I am a Type one diabetic too,
I don’t have a service dog. But my parents and I have looked up sites. I would recommend diabeticalertdogsofAmerica. They specialize in people having diabetes and will find you a dog. Hope that helps!
Hello! Oh my goodness, what a coincidence!! I just adopted a puppy from a breeder about 2 weeks ago for a diabetic alert dog. I have found someone who has a sort of “curriculum” as on how to train them for obedience and scent training. It is totally free and i love it!! The puppy was 6 weeks old when we got him and is now 8 weeks old. He is a standard Goldendoodle. He has already learned so much and I’m already on step 5 of the scent training! If you ( or anyone else ) is interested in checking it out, it completely free, please feel free to reach out to me and I can send you the information and talk to you about it more!
Email me email@example.com or text @(210)636-8601
Hope this helps!!!
I would say to you on the different breeds that can be used, depends on you, your life style etc.
Once you decide, then pick your breed, then get training.
But also consider this too. Once you have the dog are you ready for 24/7 companionship? Will your lifestyle be suitable for the dog? Remember, the dog has to be accommodated too. Do you have enough room for the dog to exercise? Do you have family, other pets etc? If so especially family, do they understand that this dog is not a plaything and will be working pretty much all the time?
A distracted dog can’t do it’s job if little Susie wants to play fetch!
These are some of the things to consider.
Next is the expense. The cost of a fully trained dog can be huge! 20 to 30k is not unheard of. Personal story now. I checked into a dog from a local trainer. Cost of dog $1500.00, what he failed to mention was the $250.00 per month for the next 3 to 5 yrs contract for training. Making total cost of dog $16,500.00. This was a “deal” from a friend.
Dogs are great! I’m training one now. He’s better than the CGM. He alerts 3 to 5 minutes earlier than the device. But you will spend hours either training the dog or learning how to use the dog who is trained.
Just somethings to consider, before you make a commitment to get a dog.
I’ll be honest, I’ve owned, trained, and shown German Shepherds for over 40 yrs. I still am wondering if it’s gonna be worth all the work from time to time. I love working with him and creating the team with him, but from time to time, due to being diabetic, I get really fed up with having him around all the time. Even tho they are trained, they still do things to irritate you, they still do bad things, they misbehave because they are dogs!
Just a few things to consider first before going all in with a dog. I think it helps to know the negatives as well as the positives before you commit to a service dog. It’s not the same as having a regular pet. There are rules you have to conform to and there are rules that people around you have to submit to as well.
If you decide to go with it, awesome. I actually have both a CGM and a dog, but both have thier own problems to work with. I’ll help any way I can once you decide. But I just ask that you reflect on some of the things I’ve said first before making the commitment.