Why Alert Service Dogs, Inc.?
There are other organizations that produce qualified Diabetic Alert Dogs. Each varies slightly in their training techniques, their delivery, and their strengths. We encourage you to shop around, and want to help you make an informed decision. In considering which DAD provider to use, there are some important points to consider:
- What types of other service dogs do they train?
- ASD, Inc.: We only train Diabetic Alert Dogs. That is our passion; that is our focus. Because we only train one type of working dog, we are able to refine our dogs to become truly proficient at scent work. We do not sell hunting/sporting dogs, or dogs to compete in other arenas. We do not muddy the waters with other interests.
- Who is training the dogs, and how often are they trained?
- ASD, Inc.: Only our professional trainers work with our dogs. We do not utilize ‘puppy raisers’ or other non-professional trainers at any time. This quality control measure allows us to oversee every experience our puppies have, and to ensure that they’re exposed to appropriate situations at appropriate times during their puppyhood, all the while cementing their scent work during their critical early months. We are with the dogs 24/7, and work with them constantly.
- What are the qualifications of those training the dogs?
- ASD, Inc.: Our trainers have decades of combined real-world professional scent and obedience training to their credit. Properly teaching scent work to dogs is a challenging and precise process which takes years to refine. Obedience training, while not nearly as meticulous as scent work, needs to be taught with proper methods to last the lifetime of a dog. Our trainers have years of teaching foundation obedience skills to individuals and families of from all walks of life. This combination of skill and experience can be difficult to find.
- What are the criteria for delivering a dog?
- ASD, Inc.: Our dogs are not delivered until they’ve been through extensive proofing specifically designed to ensure their success in their new homes. That proofing includes confirming scenting and obedience, as well as ensuring that the dogs are mature enough to maintain their training. This may require more time pre-delivery, but eliminates the need for our families to bring their dogs back to us monthly or yearly for additional training, and reduces transition time to their new homes considerably.
- How do I get my dog?
- ASD, Inc.: When your dog is ready to come to your home, we bring the dog to you. We work with your schedule to determine delivery dates, so that you can spend some time with your new dog. We typically allow at least 2 days for delivery so that we can go through morning and evening routines, running errands, work or school routines, etc. It’s very helpful for us to see what environment the dog is in, so in the event that you have questions specific to your situation, we’re able to help you come up with realistic solutions that will work for you. It’s much easier to troubleshoot problems or issues when we have seen and experienced your life with you.
- What services are they able to provide?
- ASD, Inc.: We’re an all-inclusive training service. Our Family Coordinator works with you to complete the application process, and gather information on how our clients live. We select, socialize, care for, and train our puppies into solid, obedient scent dogs. Our trainers then accompany our finished dogs to their new home to complete the delivery process. We have a post-delivery process that includes follow-up calls for issue resolution. We ensure full vet care for our DADs, including vaccinations, spaying/neutering, transitioning health insurance, and will help you with everything from dog food to grooming needs. We offer limited boarding and refresher training if it’s ever needed. We also have a Fundraising Coordinator on staff to assist with any needed fundraising. We’re truly a one-stop shop!
- Where do they get their dogs?
- ASD, Inc.: We are not breeders. We invest in our relationships with some of the best working dog kennels in the United States. This helps us stay objective about the abilities of the puppies we see. Many breeders tend to think that all of their puppies are capable of becoming a Diabetic Alert Dog. Unfortunately, that can be far from the truth. We maintain a very strict set of criteria for our working dogs, and if none of the puppies in a litter meet those criteria, we continue looking. This also helps us reduce our wash-out rate, keeping us on schedule to deliver dogs on time.
- How old will a dog be when I get it?
- ASD, Inc.: We will not deliver a dog until it’s mature enough to be past all of its stubborn puppy phases, exercise self-control on a consistent basis, and alert solidly in a variety of situations. We believe that those needing a DAD already face many challenges; one of them shouldn’t be trying to train obedience or review scent training with an immature, incomplete dog. The age at delivery will vary slightly with every dog we work with. When we see that your dog is ready, we will work with you to determine dates and times for delivery.
While we strive to train the most highly qualified, obedient Diabetic Alert Dogs in the industry, we understand that we aren’t the only trainers providing solid DADs. Whether you decide to go forward with Alert Service Dogs, Inc., or another training organization, we encourage you to ask questions and know your provider’s qualifications before acquiring a dog. You’ll be glad that you did!