April 2, 2019
Does anyone use a service dog to help warn you of asthma triggers? If so, how was the dog trained? Any info would be helpful. Thanks
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Leon Lebowitz, RRT
April 2, 2019
Hi BreathlessInPittman and thanks for your post. This is a good question. Although I am not an expert on service dogs, I have not (yet) heard of dogs that have been trained to identify asthma triggers. I'm hopeful others with more experience and/or expertise will chime in with their views.
You may want to look into this further by looking into the service dog industry / dog training.
This is a real interesting idea and concept to consider.
Leon (site moderator)
Lorene Alba, AE-C
April 10, 2019
There are professional dog training facilities that claim they can train a dog to recognize and warn you to impeding symptoms. Of course you can't be allergic to dogs.
Many people with dogs that are not official service dogs say their dogs warn them, but I've never had a dog do this, and my dog and I are very bonded.
Many of us are poor percievers and have trouble recognizing symptoms and early warning signs. Talking to your doctor can help sort this out.
Keep us posted!
April 11, 2019
Thank you so much for your comments! When I have tried to get a discussion started about service dogs to warn for asthma triggers, it usually is very short. I get 2 basic answers: "Yeah. I know somebody that trained a dog like that, I don't know how they did it and can't contact them" or "I don't know how for sure but my best guess would be to keep the dog with you all the time."
I haven't found much that I consider helpful.
In case you haven't guessed, I already have my service dog (in training). She is a blue leopard Catahoula named HulaHoop. I've trained her this far and I have made an interesting observation recently: HulaHoop has become very interested in my breath. After a few weeks of sniffing my breath, she also started comparing my breath to the breath of my friends! I think we might have found the path we were looking for! HulaHoop hasn't started giving me alerts yet but I truly believe she will be giving alerts soon. It's like she is trying to figure out why I'm different.
She's seen me have some pretty bad asthma attacks and it upsets her but I think she will figure most of it out. If she could alert me to cigarette smoke, it will be worth all the time I've spent working with her. (I won't tell how many times the smell of a cigarette, even outdoors, has put me in ICU).
If HulaHoop can help keep me out of the hospital even one time, I will consider this mission a success!
I am open to any and all suggestions and ideas of ways to help train her with this asthma alert situation.
Y'all give me some ideas and I'll keep ya posted on our progress!
Lyn Harper, RRT
April 11, 2019
Hi BreathlessInPittman - I'd love to meet HulaHoop! and what great name!
I hope you have tremendous success with her. It sounds like you're well on your way. I'm going to do a little more research and see what information is out there.
Best to you and HulaHoop!
Lyn (site moderator)
April 23, 2019
I'll introduce you. HulaHoop is my profile pic. Thanks for your encouragement.