Diabetes Alert Dogs Don’t Detect Hypoglycemic Scent

Dr. Bill Quick Health Pro
  • I’ve written previously about my skepticism that dogs can accurately warn humans that blood sugar levels  are low (Diabetes Alert Dogs Are Still an Unproven Concept). Now there’s  scientific evidence, from a medical and veterinary school collaborating with DAD trainers, about whether these dog...

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Published On: August 08, 2013
10 Comments
  • KMM-Dad
    Oct. 15, 2015
    You might want to check out the latest research from Dr. Dana S. Hardin, a clinical research physician at Eli Lilly and a clinical professor at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine. The study found: "Results All DADs displayed statistically significant (p value
    • Dr. Bill Quick
      Health Pro
      Oct. 15, 2015
      Thanks. The abstract is at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26440208 Bill William W. Quick, MD, FACP, FACE Editor, D-is-for-Diabetes http://www.D-is-for-Diabetes.com
  • Anonymous
    DogUser
    Nov. 21, 2013

    I'm on my second Alerting standard poodle now, both started spontaneously alerting within 3 weeks of me bringing them home. My previous dog was accurate 95% of the time, woke me on lows over a dozen times too. After her death I bought another poodle, she started alerting by bringing me my tester within 3 weeks. I have taken her alert and converted it to a touch...

    RHMLucky777

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    I'm on my second Alerting standard poodle now, both started spontaneously alerting within 3 weeks of me bringing them home. My previous dog was accurate 95% of the time, woke me on lows over a dozen times too. After her death I bought another poodle, she started alerting by bringing me my tester within 3 weeks. I have taken her alert and converted it to a touch on my leg, she is 1 year old now, accurate 85% of the time! I expect her to get over 90% accuracy as she matures. She will alert at 90 or below, 190 or above and wakes me by pawing and whining. If you don't like those numbers, wait to test for 30 minutes because they are that far ahead of a meter.

  • Anonymous
    WoodMom
    Aug. 10, 2013

    You have a lot of nerve posting results of a "study" using only 3 dogs and making judgments based on an anecdotal observation.  By any standard, that would never qualify as a statistically correct or scientificall based STUDY.  Talk to the qualified trainers and the people who live with Diabetic Alert Dogs day in and day out before you post something...

    RHMLucky777

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    You have a lot of nerve posting results of a "study" using only 3 dogs and making judgments based on an anecdotal observation.  By any standard, that would never qualify as a statistically correct or scientificall based STUDY.  Talk to the qualified trainers and the people who live with Diabetic Alert Dogs day in and day out before you post something as ill informed as your proported "study".  Living with diabetes is a constant juggling act and while the dogs are not robotic machines, they can be another tool to help with diabetes management.  No Diabetic Alert Dog owner would ever say that that dog could replace other diabetic tools, but they can be effective and helpful. 

    You don't talk about what type of sample you used, the environment in which you tested, who the "trainers" were, and why you used only 3 dogs.  Your posting is an insult to those qualified trainers who work with these dogs and to the families that continue to train them to assist in diabetes management. 

    • SASNC
      Aug. 28, 2013
      According to the article the study was conducted by Oregon Health Science University. I'm not familiar with this organization but apparently one of the organizations that trains DADs volunteered to participate in the study so apparently they were satisfied with how the study was conducted or they certainly could have declined to participate. To attack the author...
      RHMLucky777
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      According to the article the study was conducted by Oregon Health Science University. I'm not familiar with this organization but apparently one of the organizations that trains DADs volunteered to participate in the study so apparently they were satisfied with how the study was conducted or they certainly could have declined to participate. To attack the author of this article seems somewhat unfair and you provide nothing but anecdotal evidence about how good DADs work. You could say your comment is also not statistically valid. For someone who is making a decision on a DAD isn't it important for them to know about studies that don't show a satisfactory result as well as studies that do? Isn't it also important for people to understand that this isn't proven science and there are risks of failures as well as successes? If someone has decided against a DAD based on this one study, this one article .....then they probably aren't making a very informed decision and quite possibly a DAD is not the best course for them My suggestion to you if you feel so strongly about the benefits of a DAD, provide information in your comments about organizations or article that show positive testing or research results. That would be much more valuable to someone trying to learn more about DADs than attacking the author.
    • neverreaddrbillagain
      Jun. 05, 2014

      THis is for the person criticizing you for being critical of the bogus 3 dog study.

      Look at organizations like Sugar Dogs International that have hundreds of dogs that use their program . Most of the trainers out there don't have a clue how it works, let alone how to do anything more than bucket train a dog to a smell then wonder why the dog fails to alert....

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      THis is for the person criticizing you for being critical of the bogus 3 dog study.

      Look at organizations like Sugar Dogs International that have hundreds of dogs that use their program . Most of the trainers out there don't have a clue how it works, let alone how to do anything more than bucket train a dog to a smell then wonder why the dog fails to alert.

      I'll let you in on a secret, dogs know more than you think, they just don't know how to express it. My dog is now alerting 95% on high and low, for both me and total strangers she meets. She has just started alerting to cancer too, she picked it up on her own, with a unique alert for it. I usually ask the person if they have any idea why she is pointing at them(unique smell) and so far it is cancer or chemo every time.

      So, my DAD is smarter than your honor roll kid any day and she is self-trained.

  • Deafmack
    Aug. 09, 2013

    I read a long a few years back that a dog has to already have the natural ability to detect fluctuations in blood sugars and whether they are high or low. One cannot train a dog to have this ability. It is just like some dogs graduate to become seeing eye dogs for the blind while others just don't have the necessary behavior to do that kind of work.