We know and expect you to shop around. Not only is there the financial commitment of purchasing a Diabetic Alert Dog but for goodness sakes a life your life or family members life depends on this dog. What a responsibility that is and sadly at this time the US Government requires no standards, no expectations of what a Service Animals training looks like. Moreover, there is no license or certificate that is recognized by the Dept of Justice. It is worth mentioning that we are working with US Representative Mike Bost and others who previously worked on the PAWs Act to provide funding for Research for Diabetic Alert Dogs with the intentions to have medicare pay for them. From there our hope is Medicare applies pressure to have standards written with our help. Politics and Washington unfortunately aren’t as straightforward as we are but we will continue to fight!
- The Dogs, a trainer, is only as good as the genetics and animal in front of them. Sure one can get lucky a few times but if they do not have an immediate plan to source an animal and have a working history with the breed and know the lineage characteristics such as drive and temperament this is a huge RED FLAG. On the contrary if they can go into detail on this you’re already 50% of the way there!
- Communication, at the end of the day communication is everything. From day one communication must be clear and consistent. Now that being said, most dog trainers didn’t become dog trainers because they chose to right from the beginning we are a breed of our own. Some will communicate more often the others during the training process or sales process but what we are looking for here is that you fully understand and jive with your point of contact.
- Is training done in house or satellite locations and if done off site is there an accountability system in play for trainers. It would not be hard to pay a low end trainer eight thousand dollars to train a random dog for six months, slap a really good contract together that is lawsuit proof and then upcharge 100-200%. Yes, this statement will rub some kennels the wrong way but honestly we don’t care. We care that you look for this red flag.
- Commitment, what does the after care program look like? What does their word mean to you? In this day and age long gone or handshakes but in the dog world they still can exist if you find the right trainer. Still there are trainers who are honorable and do it for the right reasons. Trust your gut, if you don’t feel comfortable don’t do it! They and we are not the only fish in the sea!
- Lastly, we would encourage you to consider teaching ability after all if the service dog does not work properly for you because you did not learn enough or do not understand what you're supposed to be doing then how can it be a service dog. The trainer must be able to not train the dog but also teach you in an effective way on how to keep the standard that is expected.
We will not give you the answers to look for. We want you to feel comfortable with the answer whatever it may be. If you feel uncomfortable with the answer then as we said before trust your gut!
- Is this a commercial kennel yes or no?
- If yes, what is your air exchange policy? Air exchange is necessary in all commercial animal facilities from hogs to horses and yes even dogs.
- What is your vetting policy for puppy selection?
- What happens to any dogs who do not make your program?
- How many employees do you have?
- Do I own the dog as soon as I purchase or am I purchasing a contract?
- Does your state have laws governing your kennel operation?
- Are you my point of contact or a trainer?
- Who is the owner/ owners?
- Is this a for profit or non profit company and why have you chosen that?