Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Top 20 things (most) organizations don't tell you...

  • This industry is young.
  • To find a successful DAD and handler that has been together over a few years is rare. 
  • There is no regulating what makes a DAD trainer/organization, or DOG legitimate.
  • Dogs do NOT need certification to be in public (tho it is nice to know dogs can pass certain standards, i.e. Public Access test with HANDLER of dog doing the test.) Click here for details on "Public Access Test" and certifications...
  • Most of the certification is "in house" anyways, therefore biased and has no significance to the outside world's requirements- which aren't any.
  • DADs do NOT ALERT 100% of the time. You may have a dog that is 80+, but none is perfect. DADs are dogs, too!
  • NOT ALL DADs night alert. That is a trained behavior (tho some have been known to do it naturally), & takes EXTRA WORK to have a dog alert to night LOWS. 
  • DADs naturally alert to HIGH blood sugar, out of range. That's why training LOWS is what begins the training process.
  • Service dogs need behavior/obedience training, and that is what you are waiting for (if on a list). If you get a puppy, YOU are going to be handling that training, or finding the trainer to assist.
  • Dogs do not "mature" for this kind of ALL PUBLIC access with their training until over 2yrs old.
  • "DEAD IN BED" fears have been debunked by some of the best in the medical field, citing there are had been other unknown factors that contributed to death...
  • Despite health checks at around 1yr of age, dogs may develop issues in the months/years following and you need pet insurance to cover all possibilities. Check out Pet Plan
  • The price of a DAD varies per organization, just like shopping around for the ortho to do your  kid's braces... you can do quick and easy, long and expensive...shelter dog, highly bred dog, scent imprinted, scent introduced later in life. 
  • There is no ONE WAY/ bomb proof technique to get a DAD that is better than most.
  • Non-profits and For-profits are just as legitimate in this business. 
  • Expertise in scent work, obedience, and certificates as trainers is not always "in stock." 
  • Neither is experience with Type 1 DIABETES. 
  • There is no evidence to support WHAT the dog smells, just that it KNOWS there has been a chemical reaction within the body; and upon alerting and rewarding, the dog will repeat the behavior. See Research HERE
  • YOU (the diabetic handler) are the scent work. And your scent, while unique, can still train ANOTHER, successful DAD that doesn't go to you. And your dog may be trained on another scent until yours is introduced.
  • They really might tell you all of this, if you knew to ask!
Are there exceptions to any of this list above? Absolutely. Disagree/Agree or need to add more bullet points? Tell me below in comments!


  1. Great list, I agree with all! Important things for folks to know when looking for a DAD organization. Thanks for posting this!

    1. Thank you Sue! Appreciate your comment :)

    2. There is a Certification available for the Obedience. The AKC (American Kennel Club) hold sanctioned events where dogs compete against a set of standards and earn titles. Every Service Dog should be able to at the very minimum pass and hold a CD title. A reputable DAD organization can/will title the dog for you if you so choose. ASK!!! This is one way to know for sure you are getting what you pay for...IF THE DAD PROVIDER WON'T, ASK WHY NOT?? If they have never titled a dog before - This is your first clue that they can't. BEWARE

    3. At what age would the obedience cert apply? (for those who puppy raise or do it themselves and want to title their own dogs...)

    4. I know of no service dog organization that bothers to obtain CDs on their dogs (and this includes agencies accredited by the only service dog NGO, Assistance Dogs International). This is not a criterion by which an org should be selected (or not), IMO.