Re DADs in restaurants ... I'd take on a case-by-case basis. If you have a non-diabetic human with you who can help, then maybe not. If you're by yourself and unable to feel when you're dropping, maybe so, provided your dog is well-behaved.

But then again, every moment you spend with a dog, you're training him something. Except for vest-off play time, whenever a service dog is with you, he should be working. A lot of DADs lose their focus when they're left at home because it's easier for the humans. If you do that too often, then working becomes optional instead of mandatory. That's how DADs become just expensive pets.

Re size of dog: My mentor (Debby Kay--look her up) breeds Labradors and has been breeding for service-dog capable animals for several dog generations, with excellent success as guide dogs and other service dogs. But inquiries from Hong Kong about DADs bring to light the need for a smaller dog, given the very tight living conditions there. Small, intelligent dogs like Papillons are among the breeds she has considered. Any dog can be trained to give a paw alert or tug on a toy hanging from a belt, rather than barking, but training the human to pay attention to it is another matter.

Re what substance the dog smells: The dogs are trained on saliva samples collected when the subject is at or below a target blood glucose level--70 or below, for example. When I started learning, we did not know what, precisely, the dog was smelling, just that "substance X" was is present in the saliva (and breath, probably, since some of the working dogs check their person's face).

Recent research (I think publication is pending) has turned up a specific substance present in a low glucose episode, and that substance is what the dogs detect. I may be mistaken, but I think the research was done in the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, where they're also training dogs to detect cancer.

Property owners and managers, while required to allow service dogs in their facilities, also have the ability, under the ADA law, to ask the handler to remove an ill-behaved dog. Whether the managers choose to do that, though--or are even aware that they may--is another matter.

I don't think I've ever seen a "fake" service dog, but if they seem to follow you around, you might print out some pocket-sized copies of the ADA law and share them with management, if not the offending handler, with a polite, "Were you aware ... ?"

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