D4D’s Standards for its Medical Assistance Dogs
The following Standards have been developed to provide D4D and its clients a common basis for understanding. The standards address many issues involved in the use of a Medical Assistance Dog to safeguard against hypoglycemia.
D4D promotes these standards to the medical assistance dog industry and potential consumers to assist in understanding the risks and rewards of using a medical assistance dog. D4D trains and places Diabetic Alert Dogs, which is only one type of Medical Assistance Dog.
- These Standards are based on the premise that these dogs are trained to provide reliable and consistent support to a person suffering from a serious medical condition.
- The Standards are intended to promote safety and educate clients about the risks and rewards of using a Medical Assistance Dog.
- The Standards are intended to promote reasonable expectations as to the capabilities of a trained medical assistance dog matched with a trained client to provide consistent and reliable service.
- The Standards are intended to assure the understanding between Medical Assistance Dog organizations and their clients that the success of a placement is dependent on skills developed and maintained by both the dog and the client.
- The Standards are intended to provide a basis for resolution of disputes between D4D and our clients, should the placement of the assistance dog not succeed to the expectations of either party.
Standards of Quality
- D4D will assure that the dog is sufficiently mature, socialized, and skilled in basic obedience to be properly accessed in public environments with the client.
- D4D will assure that the dog is trained to recognize the unique scent of hypoglycemia to trigger the appropriate alert behavior.
- D4D will retain evidence of the dog’s performance prior to placement with a client, sufficient to prove its abilities to perform the expected behavior under the direction of the handler/client.
Standards of Performance
- D4D will disclose expected minimum levels of performance based on the degree of reliability and consistency within which the dog will perform the trained medical alert.
- D4D will define minimum levels of expected performance to allow D4D and the client a common goal with which to determine when a placement has proven successful.
- D4D will define the conditions, timeframe and environments, within which the expected minimum levels of performance, should be achieved.
Standards of Client Training & Support
D4D will provide pre- and post-placement team training to the client to allow them to work independently to obtain the expected trained behavior from the dog.
- D4D will provide post-placement monitoring to assure the development of a consistent and reliable pattern of alerts between the dog and its handler.
- D4D’s certification of the dog will include consideration of all the elements required for public access under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Assistance Dogs International, as well as the medical alert capabilities developed to support the client’s medical needs.
- D4D will provide annual recertification opportunities to its clients in order to certify the dog’s skills to conform to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Assistance Dogs International.
- D4D will make available post placement training to assist the client with issues that may arise in the alert capabilities of the dog or behavioral issues for the working life of the dog.
Standards of Disclosure
- D4D will disclose the risks to the client associated with working with an assistance dog to provide a critical medical service. It will clearly indicate that the dog’s capabilities are dependent upon the active and continuing efforts of a trained and capable handler.
- D4D will disclose all terms and conditions of its services as well as any contractual expectations between D4D and its client.
- D4D will disclose conditions that may require the return of the dog to D4D’s possession.
- D4D will disclose all costs pertaining to the placement, training and certification of the dog and client, including those to be incurred pre- and post-placement as well as the basis for any future retraining required of either the dog or client after placement.
- D4D will disclose the potential risks of success or failure for dog placements made as part of its training processes.
- D4D will disclose the source, background, health and training associated with the dogs provided to clients.
- D4D does not provide warranties for its dogs. However, it does work to remedy problems, within its ability, as they may arise.
- D4D’s efforts under all these standards will be performed on a “Best Efforts” basis, given its limited resources, during normal business hours and at D4D’s primary place of business.