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Posted by DADfor Daughter 
Breeds
December 30, 2011 10:44PM
Hi! We are looking at getting my daughter a DAD. We are thinking about getting a Yorkie. We have been looking for a smaller breed of dog. What are your thoughts?
Re: Breeds
January 01, 2012 07:50AM
Hi there and welcome to the forum!

I don't know of any Yorkies at this point that are working DADs. Labs and Goldens seem to the be the most predominant breeds that are working for diabetic alert. All dogs noses are much more sensitive than the human nose but breeds that are bred for retrieving have also been breed for their scenting ability. A Lab might be expected to run into an area covered with brush/long grass or whatever else and must use his nose to find the bird that has been shot, so it is a very important trait to be kept in breeding lines.

I don't mean to steer you away from getting a Yorkie, but when I was first considering a dog for a DAD I chose the type of dog that would be the most likely to be successful. I had never trained a DAD before and I wanted to make sure the odds were stacked in my favor. I chose a lab, and one from Wildrose Kennels because looking at the history of successful DADs that is where many of them are coming from.

Whatever you choose, you will find this forum to be a great source of support and information and I hope you find what is right for you and your family!

Maureen Brown
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Mother of Eli and DAD Wildrose Maple

The Positive Pooch LLC "Where Learning Clicks!"
www.thepositivepoochvt.com
Re: Breeds
January 01, 2012 05:09PM
We have successfully trained a migraine alert dog using diabetic alert dog training techniques. The dog was a yorkie.

Happy Tails To You!
Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, CCS, BGS
Diabetic Alert Dog University
[www.diabeticalertdoguniversity.com]
Re: Breeds
January 02, 2012 11:13AM
When I am asked about very, very small dogs as good service dog candidates, I say though there is nothing keeping a person from selecting ANY breed of dog, I caution using such small dogs for these reasons: ADA law states "dog is not to be carried & must not ride in carts" cannot sit on a chair or lap at restaurants, important when you are out and about with a service dog. I also suggest you look at the world from a very small dog's perspective.... Many things capable of harm...a sea of legs and feet in a crowded store or elevators. Children can unexpectedly run towards your service dog while you are in public and sometimes scream "look at the doggie" this can be difficult for many size dogs to not react to. A solid temperament is required by all service dogs and many very small dogs are often more apt to be reactive and afraid (understandably so). Many tiny dogs will bark and appear tough... The owner will remark "my little dog acts like he doesn't know he is a little dog"...oh yes, he quite aware of how small he is....he is barking and acting tough for just that reason, because he figures a good offense is best. The tiny dog knows that all it takes is a misplaced foot and he is injured.

Yes, there are tiny service dogs, most were already owned by their disabled handler and then "turned into" a service dog. That is not your case, you are asking "what to buy or adopt"...so, as Maureen stated "begin with a dog that gives you more chances for success" is my advice. I am pointing out daily activities and a very small dog's possible problems.

Perhaps you could look into a breed in the 25 pound range rather than the 10 pound range?

Ann (T1 since 1985: Hypo & Hyper-Unaware since 2004) & Lily (std poodle: owner trained DAD since 7-2009)

www.ScentAngels.com

....to leave the world a better place is to have succeeded....
Re: Breeds
January 02, 2012 01:31PM
What are some dogs you could recommend? The reason we were looking at a Yorkie is the lady we are going to get it from is going to scent imprint from birth. We just really don't want a huge dog.
Re: Breeds
January 02, 2012 01:52PM
Like Ann, I have also heard from many trainers how small dogs tend to be protective of their own space. I will stay away from suggesting a small breed to you because I don't have as much knowledge on small breeds as I do the larger ones. I'd hate to suggest something and have it not work out.

I guess my suggestion to you is to do your research, and lots of it. Call as many breeders as you can, ask lots of questions. Many dogs are able to be trained on the low blood sugar scent but if they don't have the temperament to do the work they will be not be up for the task. Imprinting is helpful but not necessary. The breeds that are commonly used for service work are seen so often as service dogs, because they do have those desirable temperament traits. No matter what type of puppy you decided on, it will be a gamble. You may not know if he/ or she is cut out for service work after many months of time and money put into training. The journey is long and difficult as well as very rewarding.

Keep us posted and let us know what you decide!

Best of Luck!

Maureen Brown
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Mother of Eli and DAD Wildrose Maple

The Positive Pooch LLC "Where Learning Clicks!"
www.thepositivepoochvt.com
Re: Breeds
January 02, 2012 02:42PM
Maureen and Ann have covered so well all of the issues regarding your question but if you are set against a larger breed I have heard second hand that the Australian Labradoodles from Killara Ridge Breeding and Research Center, Inc. are working well in a peanut allergy alert service dog capacity. These dogs can range in size from 30-70 pounds but are bred for non-shed and intelligence/temperament for service work.

Like Maureen mentioned, scent imprinting is not key to having a great Diabetic Alert Dog. Finding scent is the easiest piece of the DAD puzzle for these dogs. Doesn't that sound crazy? It is the most jaw dropping, spine-tingling experience to see a dog alert to a diabetic glucose event but it is true...the scent is the easy part, It is everything else; temperament, intelligence and training that follows that makes and breaks them for true service work.

We, too, initially wanted a smaller breed and non-shed but after living with a successful alert dog and having her save our child from dangerous lows, highs, steep changes, and ketones, all preferences pale to stacking for success. In the future, I would never consider size or coat over stacking everything in our favor to get a true working dog. We have a 40 pound British Labrador and her intelligence, prey drive, desire to please, work ethic, and sense of smell all contribute to her success.

Our little pet Maltese is bold, intelligent and lives to please and if she could alert she would but that is just not in her.


Hope this is helpful.

Laurie: Coach for Team Willow Wonka
Adam T1 dx 06/08 at age 5
Adam's DAD is Willow a sweet female British Lab DOB: 06/10
Re: Breeds
January 02, 2012 10:12PM
Also, several people have Australian shepherds for DADs, females are 40-55 pounds.

Foy
Dad of Lydia (age 11, type 1 since age 2) and awaiting Canine Hope for Diabetics DAD
Re: Breeds
January 03, 2012 12:49PM
For all the very good reasons listed above we dont RECOMMEND yorkies. It just happened to be the dog the owner already had. Our recommended breed, just like the other diabetic alert dog trainers, are labs, golden retrievers, poodles or mixes there of (labradoodle, goldendoodle). You can get medium sized labradoodles (30-50 lbs) if you dont like big big dogs.

Happy Tails To You!
Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, CCS, BGS
Diabetic Alert Dog University
[www.diabeticalertdoguniversity.com]
Re: Breeds
January 06, 2012 02:31PM
Thanks everyone for your honest opinions we have decided against the Yorkie. We are now looking at a Aussiedoodle anyone have worked with those? We are going through a company in Kentucky.
Re: Breeds
January 24, 2012 04:06PM
How about a borde collie mix for a DAD? Anyone here have good results with training a 3/4 border 1/4 retriever?
Re: Breeds
January 25, 2012 06:01PM
BCs are not a breed I recommend for somebody not experienced with training dogs. I have worked with several BCs (not for service work but for working sheep) and they are wonderfully smart, amazing work ethic but they are a breed to consider very carefully. There are many unwanted BCs in shelters now. People purchase them because they are so smart and athletic but cannot figure out how to channel the energy and end up surrendering them. BCs are also genetically predisposed to chase and nip, people, cars, and whatever might move across their line of sight and they are not as gregarious as other breeds such as the lab so tend to be more wary of strangers. They are very visually orientated because they have to be when herding a flock of sheep but tend to want to chase cats, chipmunks and anything else that moves because they are bred to do so.

Don't get me wrong, BCs are probably my top preferred breed, (for me) and I actually have one, but it is labs I choose for service work.
Re: Breeds
January 27, 2012 08:22AM
Maureen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> BCs are not a breed I recommend for somebody not
> experienced with training dogs. I have worked with
> several BCs (not for service work but for working
> sheep) and they are wonderfully smart, amazing
> work ethic but they are a breed to consider very
> carefully. There are many unwanted BCs in shelters
> now.

> Don't get me wrong, BCs are probably my top
> preferred breed, (for me) and I actually have one,
> but it is labs I choose for service work.

Thanks Maureen,
I do know that BC are high energy and very intelligent. We had a BC mix for our last dog and he was amazing. Lived 17 years and was the best trained dog and only dog we ever had. So I am quite fond of them since its what I know. I do remember having trouble in the first 4 months with mouthing and nipping. It is a challenge for sure to raise a high energy dog. I spend about an hour a day just training, the rest of the day working on good manners. Our dog loves to chase the kittens and so we keep her on a leash at all times. I am hoping that we can train her to catch a Frisbee. She is already playing fetch w a tennis ball. Working on walking with the leash and some scent training. She is very focused on learning. She does well with socialization, but she is a puppy of 12 weeks. I take her to puppy socialization classes 2 times a week and we are enrolled in puppy classes because I need training. Then we go to the high school and grade schools to expose her to people. She loves kids and everyone. I do remember my last BC in later years was a bit fearful of dogs at the dog park and that must be a bc trait. Thanks for your honesty, I was wondering if she would be able to calm down enough to be harnessed and work as a service dog. I still plan on trying, but again will not be disappointed if she becomes a house pet, she is a wonderful dog. I am amazed at her ability to learn new commands, already she can sit, lay down, stay, fetch, understands release, ball, touch. We are still working on heel, off, no chase the kitty, no not the garbage, not my shoe...lol..puppies!!
Re: Breeds
May 08, 2012 11:30PM
Small dogs can be used as DAD. I have had my chihuahua Cocoa for 12 years and he works very well for me.
We live in a small town and every business that I frequent accepts and even welcomes his presence in
their establishment. People are always amazed
At how quiet and well behaved Cocoa is in public. No one has ever been concerned about him riding in shopping
carts or the fact that I carry him with me.
Over the years Cocoa has made lots of friends in our town and he loves them all.
Cocoa has saved my life many times. Even to the point of waking my husband when I didn't
respond to his signals.
When I first got him the belief was that the dog needed to be able to smell your breath
so small dogs were thought to work quite well. Cocoa has proven though that he can smell trouble even through my skin.
The one disadvantage is that a small dog usually needs to be carried and this makes it somewhat awkward
To carry groceries or other items. Although we almost always get help carrying bags and even fast food trays.
Unfortunately Cocoa is getting older and I imagine it won't be long before he needs to retire to his favorite chair and I will
Need to find a new DAD. Must admit I am not sure which breed I will choose next time. I do know I most certainly am not look forward to that day.
Hope this might help you to make your decision about the breed you choose.
Re: Breeds
May 22, 2012 11:49PM
Hi all, I am type 1 diabetic and would love to get a poodle mix. I saw that a couple of kennels were mintion above, I am in Arizona, does anyone know where in AZ I can find a good DAD? (or within a days drive of Prescott, AZ). Also I am hoping for a DAD that is no more than 30 lbs.
Re: Breeds
August 09, 2012 12:02PM
can you train a pug to be a DAD?
Re: Breeds
August 09, 2012 12:11PM
It is not as likely. Pugs have a pushed in nose ( can't remember the official term for this) , but any dog with a pushed in nose probably doesn't have the same capacity for scent as one who doesn't.
Mary, bumping this to you.....

Michelle Dutoit, NBCT T1 and T2, hyper and hypo unaware
DAD partner, Lucas
Re: Breeds
August 09, 2012 07:56PM
I personally know that Diane @ Scent Angels trained a boxer and Jinx is truly a great D.A.D (one that even alerts at night).

My idea is even the worst dog's nose should be capable of smelling a WHOLE person's changing scent !!

Assessment of the individual dog's work ethic, stable personality and bond to people versus an aloof dog is most important. I do not really know much about Pugs as a breed (brachycephalic is the word), but of course individual dog personalities as well as breathing difficulties (degree of smashed-in-ness of the nose) are going to be different. That said I would not choose a Pug, however nothing wrong with attempting to work with one that is already owned ........

Ann (T1 since 1985: Hypo & Hyper-Unaware since 2004) & Lily (std poodle: owner trained DAD since 7-2009)

www.ScentAngels.com

....to leave the world a better place is to have succeeded....
Re: Breeds
August 10, 2012 05:16AM
I know of several Boxers, Pugs and Bostons who are working.

[www.aservicedogtrainer.com]
Ava - My High Drive Border Collie Puppy
Out of Working Lines with The Herding Gene
What could I have been thinking? ..... Help!
Re: Breeds
August 12, 2012 02:54PM
How trainable is the dog in the first place?

And how aware of scent is it?
Re: Breeds
February 14, 2013 01:34AM
I have had 2 BC/BC mixes as DADs. One was purebred and trained himself before I had even thought of the concept (I was 12) the other was a BC/Lab mix. He wasn't quite as consistent as the purebred, but he did a good job. I also had a Corgi/Heeler mix that did a wonderful job. I am currently on the hunt for my next DAD and am going to check out a promising BC/Lab mix tomorrow. I find that the herding group do a wonderful job as DADs as long as you can handle their energy. I think it is because they are naturally so protective. I have also had better luck with dogs that I have had from a very young age.
Re: Breeds
February 15, 2013 12:44PM
Just an update: After searching I have finally found my new DAD!! Guess what? Border Collie/ Black Lab mix. 12 weeks old and smart as a whip. I'll keep you updated on how things are working out with him!!

Katrina Crossland
T1 since 1995
DADs in Training: Tuck, 3 mo old Border Collie/Black Lab; Apollo, 2 year old Pitbull/ Bull Mastiff
Re: Breeds
March 19, 2013 02:57PM
Searching for a DAD for my 8 yo son (dx'd @ 19 mos old). Considering Bichon Frise. Any recommendations?

Thanks
Re: Breeds
March 21, 2013 09:16AM
The Bichon Frise breed is brachycephalic which means that their scent detecting capabilities are dramatically limited which I think disqualifies them from this kind of work. Just my opinion.
Re: Breeds
August 29, 2013 04:23PM
I have a Jack Rusell / Lab mix that I have trained at the beginner, intermediate & advanced puppy classes @ PetSmart and she passed. She is now 8 months old and very hyper & active.

My husband says no dogs in the bed overnight but while he was on vacation recently she slept with me. My bs dropped to 60 and she woke me up by licking my face. Maybe a coincedence? I had a german shepherd that would jump on my chest at night (not hard) to wake me. Neither was trained. I am thinking of trying to train my JR / Lab.

Anyone have any thoughts?
Re: Breeds
December 06, 2013 10:21AM
Several people mentioned the possibility of using the Australian Labradoodles. Has anyone known of successful one's? I'm very interested in that breed because of the coat and they are bred specifically for service work. I haven't trained for scent work though and I'm worried about choosing a dog that isn't bred for hunting/scenting primarily. I'm trying to figure out if the labradoodles that are DAD's are an exception to the breed. I know I have to temperament test but I don't want to blow it.
Re: Breeds
January 17, 2014 11:18PM
What are the thoughts on a siberian huskey?
Re: Breeds
January 19, 2014 02:21PM
You couldnt PAY me enough money to have a husky. Their jobs were to run and pulling things all day long. Unless you are a marathon runner, its a disaster waiting to happen. Under exercised high energy dogs are neurotic.
Re: Breeds
January 21, 2014 09:22PM
I have started looking into possibly getting a Diabetic Alert Dog. I am 35 Type 1. I normally dont have low blood sugars when i am out but I live alone & tend to have them at night when I am home alone. I dont need him or her to go to work with me but I do need him/her when I am home alone. From what I have seen the majority of these dogs are Retrievers of some kind. Is that because the majority of service dogs are some sort of Retriever & those breeds have a proven track record or is it because they are hands above better at the job than other breeds?

I dont have anything against Retrievers but they arent my favorite dog. What are the thoughts on using a German Shepard as a Diabetic Alert Dog? Are they suited for the task? Anyone have experience with this breed?

I am not sure this last question belongs in this post but I will ask anyways. What percent of people that get a Diabetic Alert Dog find hat it does not live up to the promises or that it really doesnt do the job? My research shows one will cost me between $5,000 and $20,000 so spending that much I want to make sure it works. I Also would rather get a breed I like.
Re: Breeds
February 10, 2014 04:35AM
Hi....new to this forum...just got a chocolate lab /border collie mix....I know they are high energy but I am planning on attempting to train it to be my DAD she is 12 weeks now...been working on socializing a potty training a d walking on a leash....any help or suggestions would be helpful
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