We do diabetic alert imprinting on puppies starting at day two. If you are considering a diabetic alert dog let us help you get off to the right start. Contact us for more details.
We begin by asking the adopting family to collect low or high blood sugar saliva samples from whomever the puppy will eventually be diabetic alert dog for. The diabetic person will collect saliva samples on small gauze pads by placing the pads in their mouth any time their blood sugar gets under 70. They are then placed in a small plastic bag and marked and dated with the blood sugar count of that time. These should then be sealed and frozen and sent to us, the breeder, no less than one week prior to the anticipated delivery of the puppies. Upon receipt we continue to keep the pads frozen until each one used.
Once the liter is born, we take the gauze pads and thaw each pad daily as needed and either swab the mother’s milk sacks with the gauze swabs or soak the swabs in a small amount of water in spray bottle and spray the mothers stomach and milk sacks. The puppies begin to associate this scent with the positive event of nursing from mom. This process continues for at least the first four weeks, and all puppies are starting to walk and begin demonstrating their personalities.
While we continue to use the scent for all the puppies, we begin to evaluate puppies that seem to demonstrate the temperament, personality, and interest in further training with the diabetic scent. At this time we start using individual gauze pads to visually show puppies, and as they show interest in the scent and smell it with their nose, we begin giving rewards.
After another week of training all puppies, we begin to narrow down the top three puppies showing the most desired interest toward this training. We then work with these three puppies exclusively, narrowing down each week to finally one puppy we believe has demonstrated the best overall traits for final training. At this point we work with that puppy alone until at least 10 weeks of age. This puppy is trained to search for the diabetic scent by smell alone on command, and bump our hand to tell us they have found the scent. This process is continued until the adopting family picks up the puppy.
Please note that this is just the beginning process and starting foundation for continued training once the puppy arrives at the adoptive family’s home. Continued training like described above for scent work, obedience, and training out in public settings MUST be continued for no less than 1 year and usually up until 2 years of age. This process sets a strong imprinted interest and marker for the puppy to understand and desire to do this work long term. Your role is VERY important and your commitment to continuing training is CRITICAL. We have seen families that have committed to their daily training and have been completely successful, as well as seen families that have not been committed and have seen little or no long term results. There are many great resources out there to help you with your continued training and we suggest you use as many of these resources as possible. Your dog will change your life, if you make the right investment early on.
Please feel free to ask us as many questions as you need, and we promise to help and support your training as long as you want.
Thanks for choosing us at Doo South Labradoodles to train your Diabetic Alert Imprinted Puppy!!!
Ed and Teresa Schwalbach
Labradoodle Breeder South Carolina
Please read below a recent email report from a family that got a imprinted puppy from us about a year ago. Also below is a remail chain from another family that adopted one of our puppies for seizure alerting.
Hi Ed and Teresa,
Shadow will be one year old tomorrow. It’s hard to believe how fast the time has gone by. I thought I’d send an email that you can post on your website about DADs (Diabetic Alert Dogs). It might be of some help to others who are interested in getting an imprinted dog from you.
Shadow was 10 weeks old when we picked him up. There was a lot of adjusting to do, since we’d never had an inside dog before. The potty training and scent training took a lot of commitment, but it has definitely been worth it.
We have been training him ourselves, and have been pleased at how quickly he learns and how smart he is. Our primary focus was to train him to detect low blood sugar levels because Virginia doesn’t always feel when her sugar level drops to a dangerous level. You had started that process for us by imprinting him before we picked him up. Of course, we are also training him in good behavior skills.
I don’t remember how old he was when he gave his first alert. He was younger than I expected him to be, though. Once he got fairly adept at alerting for lows, he started also alerting for highs. We didn’t teach him how to alert for highs. He just figured it out on his own. You can imagine that with all of the holiday eating that has just passed, Virginia’s BS levels haven’t been too great. There have been days that it felt like (to Virginia) that he was alerting all day long, especially, when her sugar levels were high and wouldn’t drop or would drop slowly. She is having to learn to read him and trust what he is telling her with his actions. He is rarely wrong.
A week or two ago, Virginia came into the living room and said, “It sure is a good thing we have Shadow.” I asked, “Why do you say that?” She answered, “He just alerted me and I checked my sugar. It was 36 (or maybe 38).” That is way too low for comfort. I said, “Do you feel bad?” Her answer, “No, I feel fine.” He has done this for her many times. I’m always glad when he alerts her when her sugar is starting on a downward trend, but isn’t in a bad range yet. That way we are able to keep it more stable and she feels better overall.
One of the reasons we picked a labradoodle was because we were told they don’t do a lot of shedding. This has proven to be true for us. Shadow gets a weekly bath and there is very little hair loss in the tub. We also don’t have dog hair all over the house.
Shadow has a great personality, maybe overly friendly at times, and as I said, he is a quick learner. We are always being asked what kind of dog he is and being told how beautiful he is. There are the usual doggy issues: chewing something that he shouldn’t or barking when it is inconvenient but they aren’t constant problems. Just as children aren’t always well-behaved, neither is Shadow. However, he has been a great blessing to our family and we are so thankful to have him.
THANK YOU! THE SCHWALBACH FAMILY FOR BREEDING LABRADOODLES AND SELLING LABRADOODLES
I’m glad you enjoyed the card. The hard part of writing it was that I had so many other Genesis stories I wanted to share. Just a day or so ago she alerted Caleb when his meter read 151. I thought she was mistaken, but within about 20 minutes Caleb’s sugar was in the 70’s. I would be glad to talk to any other diabetic families. My number is (334) 546-0172.
This is Camille Scott. (I got the champagne boy from Mercy’s last litter.) I
just wanted to pass on a compliment. I met with a service dog trainer today.
She was evaluating him to see if he would be a good service dog. (He passed
on each of her evaluation points by the way.) She said she has never seen a
Labradoodle that is so calm and is an excellent service dog candidate. She
said the labradoodles she has seen are bouncing off the walls and don’t
settle for years and aren’t good choices. She was genuinely excited to work
He is naturally well mannered. When the trainer was done I noticed Finn was
interested in the agility class going on. We stood and watched them. He lay
down and never even made a peep. Every trainer working said they had never
seen such a wonderful Labradoodle.
He does seem to know when I’m having problems. He doesn’t have the know how
yet to get me help in all situations. But he doesn’t leave my side at all
when I’m in bad shape. He has gotten me help twice. And once woke me by
clawing at me until I came around. If my husband finds me passed out he is
always asleep on my feet
He is very sweet but oddly doesn’t like to cuddle. I’ve never had a dog that
doesn’t. So we’ll work on that some as the closer he is to me the more
likely I’ll come to the surface enough to even get myself help. (I pass out
over and over… And in some moments come near enough to the surface that I
can push through if someone works hard to wake me.)
Allison & Ezra’s Story
Just thought I’d let y’all know some of what Ezra has been up to lately, but first, I want to thank you for your encouragement! There are days when the whole training process majorly tries my patience, and that last email that you sent helped me know that the countless hours of training have really paid off! 🙂
He lost his first teeth (2 front teeth on the top) on 1/14 and 1 adult tooth is already coming in.
On 1/16 he graduated from obedience 1 and had his first obedience 2 class this afternoon. He is doing AMAZING!!! He is extremely intelligent! He has learned SO much on his own
… Like how to make my wheelchair move including how to turn it on, and he also figured out what bag my meds come from. If I am in a place that is triggering a reaction and I don’t listen to Ezra, he will grab the joystick on my wheelchair and, if it doesn’t click (noise made when brakes release), he will grab the switch to turn it on and then grab the joystick again. If I’m being triggered and have my meds bag close by where Ezra can get to it, he will grab, tug, paw, and yank it until we let him know someone is going to help me. I’m hoping to soon do some new videos of him doing his commands. I’m really, really, REALLY hoping to catch some videos of certain things like grabbing the meds bag, driving my chair, what he does when his water dish is empty, etc.
He sleeps with me full time now, and is doing very well all night. Sometimes in the middle of the night, he will crawl out of my bed and get in bed with my sister.
He is doing rather well at telling us he needs to potty by either ringing the bells or barking at the door.
My other dog, Bella (Shorkie), is actually learning from Ezra! lol. She observes Ezra while I’m working with him and figures out what he does to get treats! I didn’t realize it until one day when I was working with Ezra, She came up, sat beside Ezra, and started doing “watch me” with him. It’s like buy one get one free. . . Pay for lessons for one dog and then practice at home to train the other! 🙂
Ezra continues to be such a blessing to me! He is my little hero, and I love him so much! A few recent pics are attached. Again, if for some reason you can’t view them or don’t receive them just let me know!