No Available DADs at This Time. Follow the placed DAD, Koa at @koatheservicepup on instagram.
Koa is a Comfort Retriever (mini golden retriever) who was born on March 30, 2017. He will be about 35 pounds when full grown. He is trained to alert to blood sugar levels under 80 mg/dL and above 180 mg/dL. He has been alerting to live blood sugar levels since he was 4 months old. He is in the midst of his training now and will be ready for placement in Summer 2018 at the earliest. He loves to cuddle, run agility, have doggie playdates and, most importantly, do his job! He is on the active side and has a lot of personality. He lives on campus with me at Princeton University and has been accompanying me everywhere, including to classes and dining halls, since he was 5 months old. He is looking for someone with a more active lifestyle that is willing to have fun but also keep clear boundaries. Check out @koatheservicepup on instagram to learn more about Koa's training journey.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to contact Camden at or click the button below.
WHAT IS A DIABETIC ALERT DOG (DAD)?
A diabetic alert dog or DAD is a type of service dog that is trained to detect low and/or high blood sugars. The dog can smell when low and high blood sugar levels and quick drops and rises in blood sugar occur. DADs are trained to alert to this smell usually with one of the following: pawing, nudging, or holding a bringsel (a short stick).
HOW LONG IS A DAD IN TRAINING?
I start training DADs when I bring them home at 8 weeks. They are ready for placement anywhere between 14 and 24 months of age.
HOW MUCH DOES A DAD COST?
DADs can cost between $5,000-$25,000, depending on level of training and whether the dog is from a shelter or breeder. Cost of my DADs can be found on the Available DADs page.
CAN I HAVE A DAD IF I ALREADY HAVE ANOTHER ANIMAL IN THE HOUSE?
Yes. As long as all the animals get along with the DAD, the DAD can work through the distractions of other animals.
WHERE CAN A DAD GO?
A DAD is a service dog. By ADA law, service dogs are allowed access to most public places, such as restaurants, stores and public transportation. Be sure to read up on ADA laws and your local state laws to make sure you know where you and your DAD would be allowed to go. For example, service dogs are only allowed in certain parts of zoos for the safety of both your DAD and the other animals. More information about ADA law can be found here: or here:
WILL A DAD ALERT AT NIGHT?
DADs may alert at night, but it can never be guaranteed. I spend time training for night alerts (bringing out samples in the middle of the night and waiting for the DAD in-training to alert), but nothing is fool-proof. For example, if your DAD is out with you all day long and has little time to nap, when you go to sleep, your DAD will be fast asleep, too. Some DADs don't start night alerting until after a couple years, when they have fully matured. As an added security measure for night alerts, I also train my DADs to wake you up when a Dexcom alarm goes off.
HOW ACCURATE ARE DADS?
DADs can be pretty reliable at alerting to out-of-range blood sugar levels, but they are not machines. A well-trained DAD can be 70-90% accurate. However, for various reasons, a DAD may false alert or miss an alert.
Considering a DAD? Is a DAD right for you?
Here is some information on what it takes to have a DAD and what the placement process is like. Check out the FAQ page, too. Still have more questions? contact Camden at or click the button below.
ARE YOU WILLING TO CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGAR WITH A METER EVERY TIME YOUR DAD ALERTS ON YOU?
To verify your DAD is alerting correctly, you will need to bring your meter everywhere and check your blood sugar EVERY time your DAD alerts.
ARE YOU WILLING TO MEET UP APPROXIMATELY 2X A MONTH TO TRAIN?
I place DADs through a gradual transition training process. For example, we start by training together for a couple hours at a time, then the DAD would spend day with you, then an overnight, then a weekend, etc. This allows you to get to know your DAD over a longer period of time and makes for an easier transition upon placement.
ARE YOU WILLING TO ENSURE DAILY CARE OF YOUR DAD?
DADs require daily grooming and exercise. You also need to carry around supplies: meter, test strip, high value treats, poop bags, etc.
ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE TIME TO CONTINUE TRAINING AFTER PLACEMENT?
DADs need continued discipline and training to maintain appropriate behavior for public access and alerting. You will need to put in several hours a week to ensure your DAD is doing the best job he/she can.
If you would like to apply for a DAD, please click the button below to view the application.