My Dog Has Never Noticed My Blood Sugar Changes

//My Dog Has Never Noticed My Blood Sugar Changes

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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.



  1. Debbie Molot October 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Hey Mary,

    I trained my standard poodle panda through your exceptional webinars through DAD Academy about 4 years ago. He did beautifully, and we were a great team for a bit. He then developed epilepsy. With medication (1/2 dose now since we introduced CBD) panda seems to be doing well. I then had some added health issues, we have since trained very little. He will alert me sometimes, but I have not followed through on training. My question is twofold; the first is, now that he has epilepsy, is it unfair for me to ask him to work? Second question; If you think he can continue to work. would it be as simple as retraining a few times a day with scent, alert, and trick, or would I fast-track through your entire program?

    Thank you for your wonder guidance and follow through. You are much needed in the world.

    Forever grateful,


  2. Doug Liverance October 9, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    I think that older dog’s can be trained for diabetic alert dogs.

    Having said that … I live in Toronto and want to train my 7 y/o white retriever for this purpose. When will you be having classes closer to the Toronto area?
    Important question, from experience, what percentage of dogs do you find past the course and do an excellent job of being a medical alert dog?

    Doug Liverance

  3. Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, CCS, BGS October 12, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Im glad to hear you have been successful with our program before. But unfortunately given your dogs diagnosis, I do not recommend retraining your dog. Swinging blood sugars can be stressful for the vast majority of dogs, with most of that stress being excitement based and sometimes anxiety based (like when you dont respond or get grumpy or the dog cant get to you). We know in humans stress compounds the chance of having a seizure and Im sure that thats probably the case in dogs too. Personally I would recommend starting with a new dog. We have a litter of low blood sugar imprinted labradoodles that will be available between February and April that will give you a leg up on starting with a new dog. You can view our labradoodle litter information here. Plus, its possible that you could also teach your new Service Dog Academy labradoodle puppy to alert to your other dogs seizures!

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