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To achieve the level of performance that NIDAD is known for requires a unique approach. It begins with our philosophy and understanding of dog behavior as well as our understanding of what our clients need when it comes to performance.

Our selective breeding program is designed to produce dogs that will become excellent Diabetic Alert Dogs. Our dogs have superior scenting ability, calm temperament, intelligence and optimal health.

Health Care, Vaccinations and Screenings

• While in our care, puppies receive DA2PP-L vaccination at 5, 7, and 15 weeks of age.

• Rabies immunization at 16 weeks of age.

• Microchips are implanted at 8 weeks of age.

• Puppies receive routine de-wormers and treatments against common intestinal parasites every 3 weeks.

• Hips: We X-ray the hips and elbows of our breeding stock and have them evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

 

Our S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is designed to take a puppy to their maximum potential

A dog's most critical learning period is it's first six months of life. During this period a puppy is the most open to learning. This is when he learns the fastest, when he most readily masters new tasks and when he adapts most readily to new environments. Our S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is designed and structured to maximize the opportunity provided by this age period. Through the use of classical and operant conditioning, our rewards based teaching system utilizes the use of verbal markers for communication, as well as building behavior through luring, spatial pressure, leash pressure and shaping.

 

The Program focuses on five basic facets of the learning process

1. The Sensory, Emotional and Social development of the newborn pup.

• Biosensor Program - ENS (early neurological stimulation), is designed to improve performance in trainability, health and potential.  Days 3-16
• Scent Imprinting to Odor - Neuronal and synaptic development of olfactory networks. Neonatal period (birth -14 days) and Transitional period (14-21 days)

2. Development of the learning process.
Puppies learn and are thoroughly programmed to offer behaviors (put on cue) in order to "buy" rewards, such as treats and play. Teaches manners without destroying a pups motivation to learn through the use of productive play. Socialization period ( 21 -70 days).

• Introduction of Conditioned Re-enforcers.
• Puppy Massage - Eight step approach (touch, handling, sensation)
• Den Potty training - Differentiate areas of whelping box as potty area/sleep/eat/play areas.

3. Development of self-control.
Puppies learn to inhibit and control reactive responses, and to sit quietly in scenarios of great temptation. Juvenile period ( 70 days and older)

• Puppies transition from Reactive to Active behaviors.
• Introduction of non-reinforcement marker (non-social pressure easy no).
• Behavior Modification - Desensitization to outside stressors. Builds adaptation and coping skills in the face of new and strange scenarios.
• Directed Active Play - Develops strength, agility, coordination.

4. Programming of the core behavioral skills required of a D.A.D.
• Scent differentiation (two visually identical vessels).
• Conditioned Response, Active Alert (paw) to known scent.
• Obedience to Scent
• Obedience to Commands: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Watch, Kennel
• Outside for Potty

5. The Essential Seven Program
Improves development of desensitization and adaptation skills when faced with new and strange environments. Puppies experience a number of new and strange environments such as:

• Multiple obstacles and terrains
• A variety of surfaces and heights
• Crowds of people
• Vehicle traffic
• Dark confined spaces
• Loud noises

To ensure the partnership between you and your puppy gets started off right, you will attend a 2-day handlers course which includes instruction, demonstration and utilization of the following topics:

  ◊ Effective Communication (Leadership)

  ◊ Commands - Heel, Sit, Down, Stay, Come

  ◊ Scent, Alert, Reward Sequence

  ◊ Nutrition / Health

  ◊ Proper Socialization

  ◊ Public Access

  ◊ Service Dog Law

Also included is our Diabetic Alert Service Dog Utilization and Training Package together with follow-up hands-on training sessions for you and your pup.  These training sessions are not required but are available to you free of charge and may be scheduled in advance at your convenience. In addition NIDAD trainers remain available to assist you through phone or email consultation for the life of your dog.