Thank you for your interest in our Medical-Alert Service Dogs. To get started, please review the minimum criteria and our 10 Step Program.

  • You must live within a 3-hour drive of our Nylabone Training Center in Concord, CA. For those living outside this area, please visit Assistance Dogs International to find accredited providers near you.
  • You must be 12 years old to be placed with a Medical-Alert Service Dog. We do provide Diabetes Buddy Dogs for children under 12.
  • You must be a non-smoker and live in a smoke-free environment. This includes marijuana smoking and any kind of vaping.
  • You must be insulin-dependent for a minimum of 12 months before submitting your application.
  • You are proactively managing your diabetes and insulin treatment under the guidance of your doctor and are physically capable and willing to handle a large service dog.

In our mission to ethically provide Medical-Alert Service Dogs for diabetics, D4D takes rigorous steps to unite clients and dogs. The following summarizes our 10 Step Program:

  1. Watch a Pre-Application Workshop (PAWS). This video will give you an overview of the program. Please watch and take the quiz to receive an application.
  2. Complete the Application. Our application requires references, a medical questionnaire completed by your doctor, and 3-months of blood sugar logs. Please contact our Programs Coordinator with questions about the application.
  3. Interview with us. We invite you to a day-long workshop that includes a personal interview at our Nylabone Training Center.
  4. Home visit. A trainer will ask to come into your home, meet your family, and get a better sense of your lifestyle and needs.
  5. Train with us. You will be asked to commit to D4D’s comprehensive 100-hour training program. Those under 18 years of age are required to attend all trainings with a parent.
  6. Temporary placement. You and the dog will develop a process to detect your low and high blood sugars, working towards the NICST standard of 80% detection.
  7. Permanent placement & Graduation. Once the goal of 80% has been confirmed with data, the dog will be permanently placed with you under NICST’s terms of placement. We celebrate our teams’ hard work and commitment with friends and family.
  8. Post-placement. We are available to help resolve any issues as they may arise and will provide continued support for the working life of your dog. Your training doesn’t stop after placement.
  9. Annual recertification. You are required to recertify as a working team each year.
  10. Welcome to the NICST Family! We have other programs to support you in managing your diabetes.

Want to keep track of where you are in the process? Download a summary of D4D’s 10 Step Program.