The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Monday, September 11, 2017

High Alert and Spilled Pretzels at School

Bo ready to go to work at school with Austin.
Bo and Austin worked together at school today. Bo alerted to a 200. He also alerted to a 118 but Austin didn't wait 15 minutes to re-check, so we don't know if it was a false alert or an alert ahead of the meter. Austin felt like his blood sugar was dropping and because he was going to lunch, he ate without waiting and rechecking.

When I asked Austin how Bo did working in the cafeteria, he said Bo did good but not so good when they encountered spilled pretzels in the hallway.  Bo got a pretzel before Austin saw the spill. Austin said once he gave the leave command, Bo complied and left the pretzels.

Leaving food in public is something we are continually working on with Bo. Ideally, he would not put his nose down to sniff food on the floor or ground. A service dog (SD) should not be going for food like this -- it's not safe for the dog and it's not good SD manners.

Bo and Austin on their way into school.
Bo doesn't go for food that falls on the floor in our house or homes of people we visit but in public he will try to go for food on the floor or ground. I think this may be because we did more more training on leave at home when he was younger than we did in public. Dogs don't generalize like humans. So, it's important to train commands in different places and spaces to help dogs learn. In the case of leaving food, a dog must learn leaving food that's fallen on a kitchen floor is the same as leaving food on the ground on the street or any other place.  From what I've seen, and from what Austin tells me, there are a lot of opportunities to practice leaving food while working at school. I look forward to hearing from Austin about Bo's progress in this area as they spend more time together at school.

All in all, it was a successful day for boy and pup at school today.

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