Medical Alert Dog Academy

We Assist, Detect and Alert With Creativity, Persistance and Intelligence

Access To Service Corp

Access To Service Corp is a not for profit Arizona corporation created to educate the public about service dogs.

We are based in Tucson Arizona but have clients and trainers who use our educational system and training methodology worldwide.

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Service Dog Basics

Our service dog program has 5 levels. The first 3 levels are basic to advanced obedience. This is necessary for all service, assistance and therapy dogs. This booket covers Levels 1, 2 and 3.  Level 4 is covered in Public Access Games and Level 5 is split into separate classes for the types of "tasks" each Service Dog must know for their handler.

Level 1 covers:
Warm Up
Loose Leash Walking 
Attention 
Wait at the door 
Meet and Greet 
Leashing Up Manners  
Leave it 
Come 
Wait for the food bowl 
Stay 
Settle
Give and Take 

Level 2 covers:
Wait in the car
Pass by other dogs 
Wait at the door with Distractions 
Warm up time with distractions
Leashing up manners with distractions 
Sit, Down and Stand for physical evaluation, vet visits, grooming and meeting new people.
Recall 
Handling 
Stay with distractions
Loose leash walking in the real world
Leave it with food, toys and other dogs.
Targeting, Directionals and Shaping Behavior

Level 3 covers
Back Up 
The Heel Command 
Sit / Down / Stand Stay with Distractions 
Recall
Meet and greet 
Attention to ower under heavy distraction
More Leashing up manners
Table Manners
Do you really know sit 

Mobility Service Dog

Bracing
Pulling
Leading
Crowd Control
Balance assistance 
Preventing Falling and Fainting Injuries
Finding Exits
Finding the Car
Finding Help Safely


Training The PTSD  and Panic Disorders Service Dog

Night Terrors Management
Interrupt and Redirect Self Harm
Deep Pressure Therapy
Coping with Emotional Overload
Using Smell to Alert to a Coming Panic Event
Using Smell to Detect Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizues
Using Smell to Detect the Onset of a Migraine

Training The Assistance Dog

Alerting to emergency sounds
Find a person or place
Room Search
Opening and Shutting Doors
Retrieving Objects 
Dialing Emergency Phones
Pushing the Handicapped Button
Helping with Household Chores
Fetching Your Medicine
Keeping Track of When You Should Take Your Medicine

Training the Service Dog Retrieve

Retrieve is used in competitive sports and in daily life. It is useful as well as a fun and interactive game for you and your dog. It is also important for most service dogs to be able to do for their handlers.

The retrieve behavior is part of your dog’s natural instincts as part of the hunt. Bringing food back to the puppies was a necessary part of canid life. I try to include as many of these behaviors as possible, structured to fit in our human world, so that the dog not only loves the activity, but needs it. 

Basic Medical Alert

Service dogs bring freedom to their partners 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. A person partnered with a service dog has full public access rights as granted by federal law (The Americans With Disabilities Act), which allows them to take their dog into all public facilities. Service dogs are never separated from their human partners! A competent service dog program spends two years preparing each dog for its working life. Service dogs must be physically sound, temperamentally stable, happy working partners.

Medical Detection and Alert Dogs use their incredible noses to sense bio-chemical changes in your body. Every change has an attached smell. If we can isolate that smell, we can train your dog to detect it, alert you to its presence and help you reduce the effects of whatever condition is causing it.

Getting a Persistent Alert

It's all well and good to train your dog to recognize odor, but how are you to know that your dog smelled the odor you've trained him for - he has to tell you ! That is what we call an alert behavior. This set of modules teaches your dog how to perform an alert behavior when triggered by a scent or a change in your physical condition (like tremors). This module also teaches you how to know it's an alert and how to respond.

Then once you have that alert, how do you make sure your medical alert dog continues to alert, escalates the alert and basically drives you crazy until you do something effective to handle the issus.

Intelligent Disobedience

Intelligent Disobedience training teaches the dog that the alert or the assistance is more important than other cues or commands the human is insisting on. This is most important with guide dogs and traffic and medical alert dogs and their handlers health. A service dog should never be punished for doing it's job, even if the human thinks it wasn't necessary. A dog's sense are miles above a human's and they probably sense something we can't.

If I have taught well, my service dog will understand what I want. If I have taught well, my service dog will want to do what I ask. If he says no, I need to trust that he is aware of something I have missed. Instead of forcing him to comply, I need to find out what that is. If I believe that dogs are intelligent animals, it makes sense to acknowledge that intelligence and let it be expressed through the training. It makes sense to use their senses to help keep us both safe.

Advanced Scent Games for Medical Alert

Scent recognition with decoy scent
AKA Scent One Food Zero, this module teaches your dog that work comes first and that work is fun.

This booklet will help you help your dog make the choice to stick to the task at hand and always target YOUR scent first. This turn your scent into a preditor of fun, food and sniffing pleasure.

Scent recognition with distractions
This Scent Detective module will increase your dogs' natural scenting abilities and the use of problem solving techniques and games that raise the level of focus and engagement and teach the dog to alert even in the presence of distractions and in new locations with strangers and other dogs.

Your dog will learn that it's the scent that is important. 

Scent recognition in public places
The ultimate distractions happen away from home. Home and the training space become ultra familiar and nothing is really distracting anymore. This module takes you out step by step into public places while keeping your dog's focus on the task at hand.

This module will also show those with allergies how to approach restaurants and grocery stores and your dog's need to smell the food.

Troubleshooting Your Scent Detective

Life happens. Even to our highly trained service dogs.  This booklet will show you not only how to maintain your dog's incredible abilites but also how to bring back your dogs need to assist you and alert on those smells that are necessary for your continued health.

Raising a Service Puppy

Running. Jumping. Playing. Problem solving. Dogs live for this stuff!
Exercise—for both mind AND body—should be fun for you and your dog.

Just as with our Puppy Learning Games program, we will teach each student how to creatively exercise dogs so that it is fun, fullfilling, and useful. There is no boredom with these exercises, they can be done from your easy chair or with your running shoes on.

In addition, most of these exercises are also structured games that we use in our programs, so not only are you exercising your dog, you are also teaching! 

Public Access Games

Public Access training has several parts to it.  
Self Control and Impulse Control
Thinking Through Arousal
Ignoring Distractions
Understanding Environments
Sights, Sounds and Smells
Strange Surfaces and Wobbly Walking
and the test items as follows:

Controlled unload out of a vehicle
Approaching a Building
Controlled Doorway Entry
Walking through a building
Recall 
Basic Obedience Skills
Noise Distractions
Being around food
Being off leash
Controlled exits
Controlled Loading Into A Vehicle

Bio Detection

A bio-detection dog is a dog trained to identify conditions and diseases in humans using its sense of smell. Dogs can be trained to identify cancer, or minute changes in body odor that reflect dangerous sugar levels in people with diabetes, Addison’s Disease, or the smell of an oncoming seizure. These alert dogs can warn their owners, bring vital medical supplies, and even call for assistance.

A biodetection dog is a dog trained to detect conditions and diseases in humans. For instance, dogs can be trained to identify the odor of cancer, or minute changes in body odor that reflect dangerous blood chemistry for people with conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, and seizure disorders.


Environmental Toxin Detection

Our home and work enviornments can be full of things that adversely affect us. Mold, toxic cleaning products, undetected asbestos, mice and rats, termites, formaldehyde, radon, .

In addition to disease we also train our dogs to find those things in our environment that many doctors are starting to realize increase our chances of getting various diseases. Parkinson's, Alzheimers, AutoImmune diseases such as PANS/PANDAS and MCAS are considered environmentally caused auto immune syndromes.

Environmental toxins can cause serious health effects when exposure is allowed to accumulate, but it is important to remember that the poison is in the dose. Problems usually result from prolonged or excessive exposure; the occasional use of a plastic cup probably won’t hurt you!

While it is impossible to completely eliminate exposure (and it might drive you crazy to try!), a few simple steps will go a long way towards protecting you and your family once you know the toxins are there.

I Can Hear That

Hearing dogs are trained to alert their owners to common sounds like doorbells, oven timers, smoke alarms, telephones, babies’ cries, or alarm clocks. Hearing dogs make physical contact with their masters, nudging or pawing them to get their attention. Most are trained to lead their handlers toward the source of a sound.

Outside the home, hearing dogs perform additional duties. Most will not respond to ambient street noises like car horns or sirens. However, because they are keenly alert to environmental sounds, their partners can ascertain a great deal of information about their surroundings by observing the dogs’ cues. This serves to alert people with severe hearing losses to the approach of persons or vehicles which may be a threat or hazard. Owners of hearing dogs report that having a trained canine helper gives them an increased sense of security and independence that other assistive means just can’t provide.


Conditions

Some Conditions Our 

Clients Have Trained For

Diabetes

  • Blood Sugar Alert and Management
  • Wound Detection and Alert

Seizures

  • Alert
  • Support
  • Assistance

Anxiety Disorders

  • PTSD
  • Panic Disorders

Dangerous Diseases Early Detection

  • Cancer
  • Parkinson's
  • Alzheimers
  • Kidney Disease
  • Valley Fever

Heart Conditions

  • Blood Pressure
  • Dysautonomia
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  • Orthostatic Intolerance
  • Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS) 

Other

  • Narcolepsy/Cataplexy
  • Migraines
  • Chronic Pain
  • Allergies
  • Mast Cell Diseases