How many dogs do you have in training?
We currently have 20-25 dogs out with puppy socialisers and fosterers in either socialisation or advanced training. We have one “brood bitch” of our own.
How long is the waiting list?
We have a waiting list of 40+ people that have applied for dogs, waiting time can be over 3 years.
How many Medical Alert Assistance Dogs do you have?
We have around 25 dogs placed and working in partnerships
What costs are covered by the charity?
During training we pay for the dog’s insurance, veterinary fees, medical supplies, equipment, training and food. Once placed with a client, costs are covered by their 'owner'.
What help does the charity need?
As well as donations we always need to recruit more puppy and dog socialiser volunteers, to house a puppy or young dog and begin the socialising process for a puppy that will eventually be placed with a client. We also need families that are happy to look after one of our 'bio-detection dogs' on a full and life time basis.
We need volunteers to help with fundraising, giving talks, administration (at our training centre and home based) and helping with events.
Does the charity receive any funding?
The charity is wholly reliant on donations and receives no funding.
Does the charity cover the whole of the UK?
We cover the whole of England and Wales, and have applications for dogs from all areas. We hope to be able to service Scotland in the near future.
Where do you get the dogs from?
Dogs can be donated by members of the public, from assistance dog charities and from rescue centres. The temperament of the dog is very important (Medical-alert dogs should be very “people orientated”), and they must have a good sense of smell.
Can Medical Detection Dogs train family owned dogs?
Sometimes people approach us with a pet dog that is showing signs of alerting to their particular conditions. If the circumstances are right we will provide support to the client to train their dog and help the dog to become a qualified assistance dog. We currently have around 10 dogs that we support in this training.
How are dogs trained?
Dogs are trained using scent and breath samples collected from the client when they are experiencing an episode. The dogs are trained to identify the unique odours
At what age are dogs trained?
Dogs are usually ready for advanced training and placement with their new owner at around 18 months old, but this depends on the dog and breed as they have to be mature enough to begin the process.
How do the dogs alert their owners?
Dog alerts need to be clear and persistent, as when people are experiencing an “episode” they can become irritable, may not be aware they are having an episode or they may be asleep at night. Dogs are trained to either jump up and/or lick strongly. The type of alert will vary depending on the needs of the client.
How much does it cost to train a medical alert assistance dog?
The total cost of training a puppy from it joining the medical detection dogs’ programme to being qualified is usually around £10,000. This figure includes, training and ongoing support for the duration of the partnership.
What associations do Medical Detection Dogs belong to?
Medical Detection Dogs are members of Assistance Dogs (AD) International, AD Europe and AD UK.