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Speedify LIVE: How Korey the Diabetic Alert Dog Virtually Helps People Train Service Dogs
November 16, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST
With the ongoing pandemic many people found new careers online. One such person is our guest on the 30th episode of Speedify Live, Sam. Inspired by her own pet, Korey the Kanine, she found her calling in training Diabetic Alert Dogs in the virtual space.
Using only her webcam and Zoom, she has more than 20 clients online, helping people train their four-legged best friends to become Diabetic Alert Dogs. They are specially trained, using sweat or saliva samples, to alert their owner to changes in their blood sugar levels. This unique ability is all thanks to dogs’ keen sense of smell, which allows them to detect different levels of blood sugar, as well as other illnesses such as cancer and even Covid-19 – yes, you read that right! Talk about man’s best friend!
Here are our 5 takeaways from the Livestream interview:
- Diabetic Alert Dogs are able to notice possibly dangerous changes in blood sugar, which is when your dog will “boop you”, aka push their adorable nose into you to alert you to the possible issue. They can also be trained to bring you your sugar-source-of-choice, like juice or a chocolate bar, open the fridge to get your helpful snack, and in case you faint, they will stay with you and bark until someone comes to help.
- Not just any dog can become a Diabetic Alert Dog. As unfortunate as it may seem, not all breeds can be trained for this special, very important task. Breeds that are generally considered “working” breeds, like Labradors, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds are the best pick due to their strong sense of smell, and they’re generally easily trainable. While breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs, who are known to have breathing problems are not the best fit for the job.
- Can you teach an old dog new tricks? While it’s recommended to start Alert Dog training at an early age, as early as 2 months old if possible, older dogs can learn too. If they’re generally well behaved, and have already had basic training, you could try and train them for detecting your blood sugar levels as well, But keep in mind that it might take a bit longer, and there’s no guarantee.
- If you’re new to service dogs, you should know that people are not allowed to ask your service dog to leave a public space. The only thing they’re allowed to ask is whether it’s a service animal and what service it provides. But as long as the dog is well-behaved and doesn’t harm people, your Diabetic Alert Dog is allowed to accompany you pretty much anywhere.
- Training dogs via Zoom can sometimes be a challenge due to various technical difficulties that may arise, such as Streamergencies. Sam tells us that she’s had some experiences with Streamergencies due to thunderstorms on her and, and an overall weak connection on a client’s end. Even without video, the call kept breaking, so they had to reschedule their training session. So if you plan on training your best friend to become an Alert Dog on Zoom, make sure to have a strong internet connection.
This is where Speedify can help you out! With Speedify, you can make sure that your Zoom calls, or any type of online meetings and Livestreams don’t fail you. You can combine multiple internet connections – as many as your particular device is physically able to connect to – in order to get better speeds and stability.
When it comes to streamergencies, I've had my share of Internet issues due to thunderstorms and overall weak connection on clients' end. In some cases we needed to reschedule our training session.