Friday, January 6, 2017

10 Reasons A Diabetes Alert Dog Can Change Your Life

1. A Sense of security.

Those with disabilities tend to feel vulnerable. Living with diabetes can be isolating and scary. Whether you live alone, or you’re afraid of your child being away from you, a Diabetic Alert Dog provides essential alerts and security.

2. Confidence to leave the comfort of your home.

Many diabetics avoid leaving their homes out of fear that they will be vulnerable and in danger, that the proper care or person won’t be around. With an SDWR service dog, our clients can leave their home knowing they have a physical crutch and a helper at their side if anything goes wrong. Diabetic Alert Dogs help individuals feel secure enough for family vacations, theme parks, road trips, excursions or simply living their daily lives.

3. Assist with side effects or symptoms.

If something does occur while outside of the home, or even at home, a specially trained SDWR service dog can assist in more ways than imaginable. A service dog can retrieve medications, food, and glucose meters. Each dog is trained specifically to help individuals perform tasks that are otherwise difficult.

4. Provide A Sense Of Community.

With SDWR, you receive so much more than a service dog. You become a part of a large community of like-minded individuals who face the same struggles every day. We are always prepared to give each other the support, comfort, and lend a listening ear when needed.

5. Emergency Assistance

Each SDWR service dog is trained to dial 911 on a special device and retrieve third party support if available. Sleep easier, breath deeper, and know that our diabetic alert dogs are trained to save lives.

6. Give freedom to those being held back.

Losing their freedom is one of the largest issues those suffering from disabilities address. Their lives are affected with a fear of something occurring to them while being alone. Some patients are physically unable to complete certain tasks. An SDWR service dog enables our clients to step out of their comfort zone while having a caretaker close by in case of an issue. The feeling of not having to lean on others for assistance gives people confidence and enables them to live a full life.

7. Around the clock support.

With a Service Dog, individuals and their loved ones can breathe easier knowing that if something comes up, their service dog will take the proper action to alert them or others. Diabetic highs and lows can be dangerous, especially at night during sleep, our service dogs are trained to wake their handler or someone near if necessary. Service dogs can attend school and work with their handlers to ensure they are safe at all times. SDWR’s service dogs are trained to care for you at all times of the day/night.

8. Stability

We receive many stories from clients who tell us about scary cases where their SDWR service dog saved the day. We love those stories. The stories about a stable lifestyle now being in the place with the help of one of our service dogs are just as rewarding to us. Having a constant caretaker, companion, best friend, and guardian angel provide for a stable and as consistent daily life as one can obtain with their disabilities. Our goal is to make our client’s lives more manageable.

9. Provide motivation for exercise

Who doesn’t need a little push to get some fresh air and the blood pumping at times? Service dogs are not to be considered pets, but all dogs love to expel their energy. Giving their service dog walk is a good way for anyone and their dog to get some exercise.

10. Most importantly, alert to your highs and lows.

A unique feature of Diabetic Alert Dogs is that they are trained to alert based off of one person’s specific high and low count. If an individual has a healthy range of 70-120, their dog will be trained to start alerting when they fall out of that range oftentimes, even after just one or two points of difference. There have been many instances of service dogs alerting more accurately than a continuous monitor and even before the monitor reflects the change.

We Train Our Diabetic Alert Dogs To Help With The Following:

  • High & Low Blood Sugar Alerts
  • Early High/Low Detection
  • Retrieve Third Party Support
  • Retrieve Food & Medication Such as Glucagon, Glucose Tabs, Insulin, Juice , Meters, etc.
  • Dial 911 on a Special Device
  • Public Access Training, Testing, Certifications

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers Delivers Diabetic Alert Dog to Pleasant Plains, Il

Pleasant Plains, Illinois - November 28, 2016 - (
On November 28, Aaron, a 37 year-old with Type 1 Diabetes of Pleasant Plains, Illinois, will be welcoming into his home a Diabetic Alert Dog from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers.
Aaron’s dog, a Labrador Retriever named “Samson,” has already received thousands of hours of training as a diabetic alert dog and it will continue to learn under the careful guidance of a certified trainer from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, “SDWR,” and through the rapport it develops Aaron.  SDWR has a mission to provide specially-bred and trained dogs for adults and children with invisible disabilities like Autism, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, and Diabetes.
Aaron is the father of two active daughters and he and his wife Becky are always “on the go.”  In addition to working very demanding hours in his work, Aaron is also a soccer coach.  Managing his diabetes is a challenge and the addition of Samson will make a significant and positive difference in his life.  An active person can often experience high and low blood glucose level swings.  Those swings are not only life-threatening; they also impact the long-term overall health conditions of a person diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Samson will help Aaron be able to avoid some of these swings by alerting before they get extreme or even life-threatening.  A three-year study of SDWR Diabetic Alert Dogs funded by the National Institute of Health found that the diabetic alert dogs were able to scent to high and low blood glucose changes often up to 20 to 30 minutes before a blood glucose monitor.  This extra time will make an important difference in the safety, security, and long-term health of Aaron.
Dan Warren, Founder and President of Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, indicates that the Organization’s diabetes alert dogs are trained to recognize and alert on the scent of low and or high blood glucose levels. “When Aaron’s blood sugar begins to fluctuate, Samson will pick up the scent and give the alert for ‘high’ or ‘low’ blood glucose levels to Aaron.”  In that same study conducted by the University of Virginia, it was concluded that SDWR service dogs are 93% accurate in their alerts.
Often diabetics don't feel their blood sugar fluctuation and their bodies are slow to react to how their insulin pumps have been programmed. These events can lead to dangerous lows, which can result in seizures, coma, and even death.  Implanted glucose monitoring systems (“CGM”) are often 20 minutes behind an alert dog’s sense of the glucose movement (from April 2013 study by University of Virginia utilizing Warren Retrievers’ service dogs).  Electronic systems measure parts per million while alert dogs have been shown to scent parts per trillion.
People may also sleep right through a glucose monitor's alarm, whereas a trained diabetic alert dog is taught to be persistent to the point where it will go get another member of the household if the dog’s “person” does not respond.  Additionally, these amazing dogs are trained to retrieve essentials needed such as Glucose tablets, Glucagon, insulin, juice boxes, testing meters or retrieve medication from a designated spot in the house.  Alert dogs are further trained to dial out on K-9 equipped phones to summon emergency medical help, if needed.
Samson will also work with the SDWR trainers and Aaron towards public access certification.  Dan Warren is quick to point out that, “all the incredible services these dogs can provide are through progression, hard work and dedication of the Organization and the family who must work together to build on training foundations and fundamentals.  This is about an 18-month training program.”
What sets SDWR apart from other service dog organizations are the customized training methods and SDWR matches dogs to their “person.”  According to Dan Warren, “that important bonding time between dog and person can begin to happen right away.  For the over seven years we’ve been utilizing this method of dog placement, we’ve achieved amazing results.  To date we have over 500 dogs working across the country and around the globe.”
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is a non-profit organization based in Madison, Virginia, and relies on donations to help the Organization in its mission, “Until there’s a cure…there’s a dog.”  To make or donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website,  To learn more about Diabetic Alert Service Dogs visit  To find out how you can volunteer or serve as a puppy raiser visit

Read more:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

SDWR Review: A Family's Look At Their Diabetic Alert Dog

Dear SDWR,
I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for our family. When I entered this program my intentions were to get a dog for my children. I never dreamed I would connect and grow to love everyone in the organization. You all have been here for us through thick and thin, for our victories and our downfalls always there to lend a word of encouragement even when I was in tears and done. I have called you in tears and you all have always been my biggest fan.
As we graduate out of your program today I can’t help but tear up and think back on my journey with you all. I have learned more about myself than I ever thought I could. Thank you for always being on my side and by my side through it all. I will always Cherish the training and love from each of you. Thank you for everything, every Alert reminds me of why I took this journey. I am so thankful and blessed to have Miracle as our DAD. I am double blessed to be Chapter Manager for and organization that I will forever stand and support til the end. I love each one of you so much. Cheri Campbell, thanks for always having my back and training this sweet boy to save lives. Dan Warren, thanks for always encouraging me and having faith in me. Sarah Gibson, thanks for all the support during my fundraising and still helping me today. Phil, thanks for the input from our first meeting in DC to this week’s training. Brenda, oh my biggest fan thank you for always helping me through those down times. Erin, thanks for always being my friend and trainer, thanks for all those late night calls when I was at my wits end couldn’t have done this without you. And last but not least Lucinda, your amazing in so many ways I love you to death. Thanks again for everything I love you guys your my family and I couldn’t imagine this life without any of you. Until There’s A Cure, There’s A Dog!!
Thank you,

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fallen Officer Puppy Program

Sponsor A Service Dog (FOPP)
Remembering Heroes As We Raise Life-Changers.

This week, we pay tribute to the brave men and women who have given their all for our communities. As National Police Week begins, we want to remember those who have fallen by dedicating our future service dogs to them. 

SDWR will be taking donations to sponsor a service dog as an FOPP puppy. Our goal is for puppies that come out of this program to be named after fallen Police who have paid the ultimate price. By naming future service dogs after service members, we feel we can carry on their legacy of sacrifice and honor.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Service Dog Denied Access: An Open Letter

March 31, 2016 Mr. Steve Joyce, CEO Choice Hotels 1 Choice Hotels Circle Suite 400 Rockville, MD  20850   RE:  Connie Bargerstock, General Manager Comfort Inn & Suites, 3501 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI  

 Dear Mr. Joyce:
   On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, there was an incident where a couple who have a diabetic alert dog from our Company, attempted to check-in for an overnight stay at the above-referenced hotel.  Ben and Cat Dykhouse were there with their diabetic alert dog, Maxx.  Maxx had on his public access service dog vest with patches that clearly identify him as a diabetic alert dog, a patch that included our Company name, and a patch that indicates the dog should not be separated from its handler.  The dog has not only received years of training to alert Ben Dykhouse, a type 1 diabetic, to life-threatening blood glucose highs and lows, Maxx has actually been trained to react in emergency situation where Ben is unable to care for himself by performing such tasks as retrieving testing meters, glucose tabs, or in the worst case dialing 911 on a specially-designed phone pad.  In addition to his medical needs training, Maxx has undergone rigorous public access certification testing.   The general manager of the Ann Arbor Comfort Inn refused to allow the Dykhouse family to check-in with Maxx without “a letter of certification” showing that Maxx is in actuality a service dog.  The general manager lectured our clients about their need to always travel with that paperwork and indicated that it has always been her experience to ask for and receive certification paperwork.   Mr. Joyce, I am sure as the CEO of a major US hotel chain, you are aware that the Americans with Disability Act provides very specific guidelines in what service providers can and cannot ask individuals with disabilities accompanied by a service animal.  And, I am sure you know that no service dog company gives “certificates of authenticity” to families with service dogs.  Under ADA law, there are only two questions your general manager can ask our clients.  1.  Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?   And 2.  What task has the dog been trained to do?   Your general manager, Ms. Bargarstock, was taped by our clients as she verbally chastised them for not having “paperwork” and denied them a room without such paperwork.  Further, she made our clients wait at check-in for well over 10 minutes, while she called “her attorney” to verify ADA law.  She returned agitated, but somehow miraculously informed about ADA law, and proceeded to check-in the Dykhouse family.  The Dykhouse family decided not to stay at the hotel given the rude way they were treated.  They received no apology from the general manager and in fact, the general manager refused to apologize and called our clients “liars.”   Mr. Joyce, clearly this is a deeply troubling incident.  The Dykhouse family came to Ann Arbor as representatives our Company.  They were slated to give a large presentation to the University of Michigan College Diabetes Network.  The College Diabetes Network is a national organization with a mission to improve the lives of students living with Type 1 Diabetes.  Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and the rate of college students dying from mismanagement of this disease is staggering.  The Dykhouse family and Maxx drove many hours to speak with young people about the need for them to manage their diabetes while away from home and on the college campus.    Their service dog, Maxx, was an integral part of the presentation as he demonstrated all the skills he learned to help Ben Dykhouse.   What happened to this family at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Ann Arbor was totally unacceptable.  Our Company is shocked that one of your General Managers could be so ill-informed about ADA law.  Additionally, we are appalled at the way our family was spoken to by your general manager, Connie Bargerstock.   It is my sole hope that you take the lead to ensure that not only your management but also all front desk personnel know ADA law and treat people with disabilities with the respect they deserve.  If you would like a copy of the tape of your general manager to use as a teachable moment for your company, you can find the entire tape on our website or Facebook page as it has been posted there with over 250,000 followers.   Thank you for your attention to this disturbing matter.  

Dan Warren President and Founder Specializing in Autism, Seizure, Diabetes and PTSD Service Dogs Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, Inc. P O Box 647 Madison, VA  22727 Phone:  540-543-2305 /

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Become A Puppy Raiser For SDWR

We are ready to place quite a few puppies in the coming weeks and we need YOUR HELP! Please consider registering today at
Volunteers do it not because they have more time, they do it because they have more heart!

  • What is the timeframe for raising a puppy? How long do raisers keep the dog? A: Raisers receive the pups when they are approximately 8 weeks old, and they usually remain in the puppy raiser home until they are between 14 and 18 months old. The length of time may vary, however, depending on the individual puppy’s development or our need for dogs.
  • What are the main responsibilities of SDWR puppy raisers? Who teaches the service dog tasks? A: Puppy raisers are responsible for teaching puppies good behavior both at home and in public, and what to expect and accept in this busy world. Raisers also rear the pups to be close companions—to trust and be trusted. The raisers’ goal is to develop energetic and curious pups into mature, dependable dogs that have the following characteristics:
    1. Well-behaved: The pups have good house manners and will not relieve in the house. They are quiet and calm, eat only their own food and are not destructive.
    2. Socialized to the world: The pups have been exposed to a wide variety of people, things and places and accept new situations in a calm manner.
    3. Well-traveled: The puppies are relaxed and comfortable when traveling in all modes of transportation: cars, buses, trains, airplanes, ferries, etc.
    4. People-friendly: The pups bond well with people, enjoy receiving verbal praise and are eager to please.
    5. Animal-friendly: The pups are calm and appropriate around all sorts of animals including other dogs, cats, birds, livestock, etc.
    6. Responsive: The pups obey basic commands and are cooperative during various training exercises.
The actual training where the dogs learn the specific skills and commands to be Service Dogs are done through a comprehensive approach involving each family in their environment once the dogs are returned to us by our professional staff of Instructors.
  • What if 12-18 months is too long of a commitment? A: We also need short-term raisers who will keep a puppy until it is at least 20 weeks old. Short-term raisers housebreak and begin training the puppy before it is placed with another raiser who will finish raising the pup.
  • Does an SDWR puppy require any special foods? A: Yes. SDWR does require that SDWR puppies be fed one of several specifically chosen brands of high-quality dry dog food. A SDWR puppy should never receive table scraps.

  • What breeds of dog does SDWR use? A: All dogs in the program are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers. We ask all volunteer puppy raisers to be flexible regarding gender, breed or color to assure that every puppy finds a home quickly and efficiently.
  • Where does SDWR get their puppies? A: We have our own breeding program and In addition to our private breeding, we work with several licensed breeders in Virginia, as well as futher afield, to obtain puppies that are best suited to service dog careers. These acquisitions are at the discretion of our organization.
  • I am 15 years old, can I raise a puppy? A: You must be at least 18 years old to be a volunteer puppy raiser. Those under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian living in the same household as a co-applicant on the puppy raiser application.
  • Do I need a fenced yard? A: We strongly prefer that our puppy raiser homes have a fenced yard. Puppy raisers must agree to follow our supervision and leash requirements. Puppies must not be off leash at any time unless in an enclosed area.
  • What type of training will I do with the puppy? A: Puppy raisers must set aside time for daily training and attend obedience classes for the duration of the project. In some areas, we provide puppy classes free of charge. However, if you live in an area without a SDWR puppy class available, you must find and attend an approved public obedience class at your expense.
  • How much exercise do the dogs require? A: Puppies need physical activity in the form of play or walking. Puppy raisers should expect to provide at least 25-40 minutes of exercise per day. SDWR puppies are not allowed to visit public dog parks.

  • How old do you have to be to raise a puppy? A: The primary puppy raiser must be an adult 18 years of age or older. However, minors are allowed to raise with an adult co-raiser living in the same home. Note: Puppies can’t attend school with children in the household.

  • I work outside the home; can I still be a puppy raiser?A: Absolutely! Most puppy raisers gain approval to take the puppy to work. We recommend speaking to your employer prior to applying. The puppy will need regular toileting breaks throughout the day.

  • Can the puppy stay at home while I am at work? A: It’s imperative to the puppy’s development that supervision and socialization are provided throughout every day. Puppy raisers must either have prior approval to bring the puppy to the workplace or provide an alternative for the socialization and care of the puppy during the day. When left unsupervised, SDWR puppies should always be in an appropriate size crate.

  • Who takes care of the dog if I go out of town? A: In most cases, the puppy can accompany the puppy raiser on vacation, or can be placed with a sitter that meets our criteria. We offer guidelines for age appropriate travel outings and activities.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Diabetic Alert Dog Alerts and Retrieves Meter

The SDWR Difference for Diabetes As service dog providers, we’ve seen first hand how Diabetes can affect not only the individual, but his or her family as well. Constant care, a lack of sleep, and unshakable fear from highs and lows are all realities a diabetes care taker faces. Diabetic individuals themselves might have a hard time living life fully, due to the limitations of coping with diabetes. Through SDWR’s highly-trained Diabetic Assistance Dogs, thousands of individuals and families lives have been touched. With our service dogs, those struck by invisible illness can find independence from fear and around-the clock care. Having a service dog as a companion promotes freedom, and keeps you safe from hitting sharp highs and lows. As we know, investing in a Diabetic Alert Dog is a solid investment in your mental and physical health.
For more information about our Diabetic Alert Dogs visit

Watch this service dog alert to a high and retrieve the meter!