Blog Posts – Free Training Advice

A Testimony After Almost 3 Years Of Alerts

“There is no question in my mind that he saved me.”

In 2015 Ross took our 4 Day Medical Alert Dog Class in Seattle with his dog Crush. 4 days ago, out of the blue, Ross calls me and recounts how his incredibly reliable medical alert dog alerted to a night time low he never expected. Ross wants to share with you how our class, his hard work and one very determined dog saved his life. Specifically how he “would not have woken up from that one” night time low. If you would like to hear his entire testimony, watch below. If you would like to attend the 4 day class, because its World Diabetes Day we have extended the deadline for the class till November 16th. We cant wait to hear your life saving story soon!

The Evolution of Migraine Alert Dog Training

ohio dayton iowa indiana migraines aura alerts doggie trainer
I personally know what it’s like to suffer through a migraine. My migraines can be easily triggered by scents like perfume and cologne.

Marshall from Kansas City Missouri has our question of the week. Marshall has had migraines for 6 years. He’s done his research about Service Dog Academy and has found out that we have been training migraine alert dogs since 2010. Marshall called our office and I had to give him some bad news about the limitations that our students are having when they train their own migraine alert dog. As one of the premier medical alert dog trainers in the country, I have noticed a pattern in my migraine alert dog students and have now had to evolve how I talk about how a migraine alert dog can help someone with chronic migraines. In this weeks Medical Alert Dog Monday you will learn how our students have changed the way they are using their migraine alert dogs.

So what do you think my answer? Do you think that your desire to have a migraine alert dog will change given pharmaceutical limitations? If so, please leave a comment below.

Dont Obedience Train Your Service Dog Puppy Before Medical Alert Dog Classes

Missouri POTS Alert Trainer
Why can obedience classes cause your dog to be a less reliable alerter?

Anya from Oregon has our question of the week. Anya has question EVERYONE who trains their own POTS Alert Dog or Medical Alert Dog has, should you obedience train your dog prior to taking medical alert dog classes. This is an important question because the order in which you train can have a significant effect on whether your dog will easily learn medical alert dog training or struggle, become frustrated and/or fail in being able to learn the difficult concepts that are instrumental in training a medical alert dog. See what our answer is in this weeks Medical Alert Dog Monday.

So what do you think my answer? Do you think its easier to train a highly obedience trained dog for medical alert or start off your dogs training with medical alert first and then work on its obedience? If so, please leave a comment below.

My Dog Has Never Noticed My Blood Sugar Changes

What does Pirate Mary say about teaching an old dog new tricks?

Independence from Cedar Rapids Iowa has our question of the week. Independence has a 3 year old labrador who has yet to show any sign of recognizing her hypoglycemia episodes. She has been told that if her dog has not supernaturally noticed her low blood sugars in the last three years that the dog will never be able to alert to hypoglycemia. Independence wants to know if her friends advice is true. See what we have to say about this so called advice her friend has given her.

So what do you think my answer? Do you think you can teach an older dog to alert to your low blood sugars given that the dog has never alerted or even noticed them before? If so, please leave a comment below.

Meet Me In St. Louis

diabetes diabetic hypoglycemia hypo hyper hyperglycemia lada 1 2 type
Homer, one of our Already Trained Diabetic Alert Dogs learning to focus at a football game.

Service Dog Academy will once again be featured at a diabetes conference. Take Control Of Your Diabetes is having their annual conference in St. Louis this year and Service Dog Academy will have a booth at this wonderful learning opportunity. The conference includes educational presentations, a health fair and even a free lunch and snacks. If you would like to meet Mary and ask your questions about medical alert dog training you can meet us in the health fair program booths.

The conference is being held Saturday September 23rd from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM at the America’s Center Convention Plaza. More information about the presenters and the line up can be found on the Take Contol of Your Diabetes website.

Do I Have To Take My Service Dog With Me All The Time?

Homer and Imogene, two of our Already Trained Diabetic Alert Dogs learning to focus around distractions.

Rachel from Michigan has our question of the week. Rachel is interested in getting a medical alert dog for her POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). She is interested in one of our imprinted puppies from our next litter but has a question about taking her puppy everywhere while she is in school. She wants to know if there is some sort of law or regulation that states that once you get a service dog, do you have to take it everywhere with you all the time? See what our answer is to this question on this weeks Medical Alert Dog Monday.

So what do you think my answer? Do you think once you get a service dog you should be required to take it everywhere with you? If so, please leave a comment below.

Socializing A Young Puppy For Service Work – My First Tip

BettyLou
Betty Lou an 8 week old Labradoodle puppy is still available for placement as a service dog candidate.

Mason from Bloomington Normal Illinois has our question of the week. Mason has just received his new puppy and knows that if he is going to train it for service work he needs to socialize it to as many people places and things as possible. But Mason is having trouble managing his puppy in environments where he needs to socialize it. He wants to know if we have any tips or tricks to help him with socialization.

I’m glad you asked this question because I just sent several labradoodle puppies out of my first litter ever, all over the country to be trained as medical alert dogs for conditions like POTS and diabetes. There are actually two puppies left from this imprinted litter who might make it as service dogs with the right training. If you are interested in one of these puppies please contact me at 206-355-9033.

Homer
Homer an 8 week old Labradoodle puppy is still available for placement as a service dog candidate.

All right Mason let’s cut out the BS and get down to the nitty-gritty solution to this question. The reason why you’re having problems socializing your dog is that you are probably not an expert dog trainer. I didn’t say that to offend you it’s just that trying to learn to train a dog and accomplish the things you need to do in the real world is incredibly difficult for an expert dog trainer but almost impossible for a new handler.

Let me put this more simply. Have you ever tried to practice a taekwondo move sequence at the same time you are shopping at the grocery store? Or have you ever tried to practice your latest ballroom dance dance while navigating the crowd at the local fair? My guess would be probably not. It makes no sense to try to learn something while your brain is busy focusing on accomplishing another task. Multitasking barely works for experienced dog trainers and in reality doesn’t work very well for newbies like yourself.

So what’s a new puppy raiser to do? Give yourself a break. You are new at this. You cannot focus on the comfort level of your dog and the task you were trying to perform in the real world. Dragging a nine week old puppy into a grocery store while grocery shopping without taking into consideration how that puppy is feeling during every moment of her time in that grocery store can easily overwhelm a young dog resulting in lasting fear of grocery stores. In the dog world we don’t call that training we call that flooding and flooding has serious life long consequences.

LiameAnxiety
Liame displaying anxiety at one of his socialization opportunities.

So my recommendation is in the first several months of your puppies life, get accomplished what you need to accomplish without your puppy. Then, come back to the location you need to socialize and train in and just focus singularly on the the act of socialization and training with your dog. This is not something that you’re going to need to do for the rest your life it’s just in those first few critical weeks and months that you will need to focus on making sure your dog has the most positive experience possible during all of its socialization exposures.

Stop trying to multitask the training of the dog who is learning how to save your life. You owe both you and your puppy your full attention during these first few critical weeks and months of your dogs life. Don’t mess this up. Carve out the time to focus on just being with your dog and you will most certainly reap the rewards later in life.

So what do you think my answer? Do you think you can multitask puppy training for a young puppy? If so, please leave a comment below.

2 Places To Never Take A Service Dog In Training

airport

As a service dog handler who has been personally accompanied by a dog 24 hours a day 7 days a week for over eleven years, I have had just about every experience possible with a service dog right beside me. Ive been to football games and experienced the roar of a crowd as the winning touchdown has been scored, Ive been to amusement parks with two puppies in training in tow and squeezed myself and my service dog on an airplane more than 50 times. I was a newbie handler for the first several years of Liames life and like you, I had been told to socialize my puppy to as many people, places and things as possible. But as a new handler, what I didnt know is if there were places you should never take a service dog in training or even a fully fledged service dog. Laurence from Topeka Kansas has our question of the week. Laurence wants to know if there are any places you should never take a service dog in training to. See what my advice is so you can prevent a mistake that could easily ruin your dogs’ ability to become a stably temperamented public access service dog.

Christmas Labradoodle Puppies For Diabetic Alert Training

leiacopy

Leia is pregnant with first generation Christmas Labradoodle puppies. She is due to give birth around December 11th. This litter will be raise with the following criteria:

  • Imprinted with diabetic alert scent from one day old (can be imprinted with migraine scent as well)
  • Early neurological stimulation as developed by the US military’s super dog program
  • Environmental enrichment
  • Avidog Early Scent Introduction
  • Open Paws Minimal Mental Health Guidelines for puppies
  • Beginning crate training
  • Beginning potty training
  • Chew toy training
  • Beginning obedience training – sit, watch me, down, walking on a leash, etc
  • Meet at least 100 people prior to going home with owners
  • Vaccines timing based on University of Wisconsin Schultz Lab titer testing
  • Mother fed grass feed meat based diet with additional DHA oil, coconut oil and probiotics
  • Additional info about the litter and how you can get one of these amazing puppies for service work or for your next super duper smart and completely overly qualified pet dog can be obtained by joining the email list. Non refundable $500 deposits (unless we do not have a dog for you), will not be taken until after the Thanksgiving holiday on November 28th. Deposits must be made with a check.

    CarpeLiame

    CarpeLiame

    On Thursday June 3rd I found out that Liame, my service dog of 8 years, the dog that inspired the creation of this business, has an incredibly aggressive form of kidney cancer and has days to weeks to live. I will be shutting down the operations of Service Dog Academy to focus on his care, comfort and happiness with the time he has left on this earth. Please pray for us during this difficult time.

    Our dogs do so much to light up our lives, its time we give some of that happiness back to them in the short time they have with us. I want to encourage you to share on facebook, twitter, a comment on the blog or in an email to me how you will personally make your dogs day a better one. More treats, more walks, more snuggles, more kongs. #CarpeLiame the day and make #TodayTheBestDayEver for your dog.

    Donate To Support The Program That Saves Lives Hundreds Of Times Per Day

    Mary McNeight and Service Dog Academy have been pillars of justice, advocacy and education in the medical alert dog community. If you would like to support this mission, you may do so using the paypal link below.