Sugar Sniffing Dogs / Scent Training, and Obedience    


About Diabetic Alert Dogs

Certain types of dogs are able to do more with their advanced ability to smell than others. Scent dogs take full advantage of their superior sense of smell.  A dog’s smelling capacity is 10 -50+ times stronger than man’s.  They have the capability of ‘tasting’ smells, as well as categorizing scents and associating smells with specific human responses. 

It’s because of their amazing scenting abilities that they can detect the change in blood sugar levels in humans.  We train them to not only recognize the change, but react to the change, as well.  That reaction, in real time, helps us know when a change is actively happening.  To a diabetic, that real-time reaction can be crucial. 

Many breeds are bred specifically for their sense of smell.  And while hunting dogs certainly qualify for the job, they aren’t the only breed that does it amazingly well.  The best candidate for a DAD is one that scents well, has an above average work ethic, and is able to manage their work drive to be calm enough to live within the parameters of a family setting. 

Remember that certain breeds fit all of those requirements easily, but not wholly.  In other words, it comes down to the dog, not the breed.  The variances among personalities, temperaments, and drive within a litter can be extreme.  So while a breeder has a whole litter of pups, only 1, 2, or none, may qualify for the demands of being a Diabetic Alert Dog. 

Your family dog probably doesn’t meet all of these requirements, and neither do all working dogs.  Keep an open mind.  If you don’t get too focused on the desire for a single breed, and instead look at the dog that can be a solid working dog for alerting to blood sugar changes and saving lives, you’re focus is where it should be:  on the dog’s ability to alert, not the dog’s appearance.