Diabetes Alert Dogs
Our Diabetic Alert Dog program is designed to investigate a detection dog’s ability to recognize, and alert, when a diabetic person’s blood sugar is out of the normal range.
We first introduce the dogs in the study to the hypoglycemic scent using saliva samples obtained when a person’s blood sugar is in the range of 50mg/dL – 70mg/dL. The dogs are first imprinted on the odor from the saliva samples.
To find out more information about donating saliva samples to the study, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After many repetitions in various environments, the dogs then begin training on the scent wheel. The wheel is a tool used to present the dogs with many different odors, allowing the trainers to selectively reward only the dog’s indication at the target scent. The wheel is used to refine the training, proof the dogs off of other odors, and communicate to the dog exactly what scent it is we want them to find.
In addition to scent work training, the dogs undergo extensive environmental desensitization ensuring they will be able to confidently and successfully work in any situation. These training elements are then combined and the dog begins training for real world alerts with their trainer, then their owner.
Our training program utilizes positive reinforcement and each step is diligently recorded for research purposes.
- Evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of a detection dog’s ability to alert on hypoglycemic scent.
- Identify the volatile organic compounds unique to this physiological condition that the dogs are alerting on.
Interested in purchasing a Diabetic Alert Dog from the Penn Vet Working Dog Center? CONTACT US