We are a family run garden centre that is well known nationally as a specialist for bare rooted hedging plants and young trees. The Garden Centre always has a good selection of shrubs and plants which are not commonly found elsewhere, together with a wide range of the more commonly sought after plants. Established for over 50 years, the Garden Centre has recently been redeveloped to a high standard. Our shop contains the largest selection of seeds and bulbs for miles around, together with garden chemicals, tools, garden furniture and many other goods. Outside we stock peat-based and peat-free composts, paving, fencing, timber decking, garden buildings and greenhouses, and a large range of pots, statues and garden ornaments. Our aquatics centre has a good reputation for their excellent quality tropical, marine and cold water fish. The Gardeners' Retreat, our coffee shop/restaurant, serves fresh home cooked food and is an excellent way to round off any visit to the Garden Centre.
At what age are dogs trained? Dogs are usually ready for advanced training and placement with their new owner at around 18 months old, but this depends on the dog and breed as they have to be mature enough to begin the process.
How do the dogs alert their owners? Dog alerts need to be clear and persistent, as their clients often have no awareness of an imminent “episode”. The dogs are with their owners 24/7 and alert during both the day and night. Dogs are trained to alert by either jumping up and/or licking strongly. The type of alert will vary depending on the needs of the client.
How do you ensure the Medical Alert Assistance Dogs are able to get enough sleep when, as part of their role, they often wake at night to alert their owner? Most dogs will sleep between 12 and 18 hours a day. Active assistance dogs will sleep less than sedentary pets as, it is thought, dogs have a tendency to sleep when nothing stimulating is happening. Dogs also have a much easier time of scheduling their sleep as they are able to simply shift their sleeping time to whatever time is available. Dogs have sleep cycles in which they experience periods of quiet, restful sleep, interspaced with periods of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Dogs cycle through the various stages very quickly (15 minutes) compared to humans (90 minutes). This means that they are well suited to interrupted sleep patterns. For example, if you are at home in bed and at 3.00am someone tries to break in to your house you would expect your dog to react. The dog has not been waiting for someone to break in but has reacted to the event. In the same way the Medical Alert Assistance Dogs react when they smell the change in odour associated with their owner’s medical condition.
How much does it cost to train a dog? The total cost of training a Medical Alert Assistance Dog is £13,000. The total cost of training a Cancer Detection Dog is £11,500 with an ongoing monthly cost of £600.
How accurate are Medical Alert Assistance Dogs? Medical Detection Dogs regularly monitor the performance of all their Medical Alert Assistance Dogs, collating data of the alerting behaviour exhibited by the dog and calculating true alerts and false positives. The partnership does not qualify until alerting accuracy reaches 90% or above, with a false positive rate of 10% or less. At Medical Detection Dogs they ensure all their dogs are closely monitored for alerting performance, behaviour and their effect on the individual’s health and wellbeing. Medical Detection Dogs stringent criteria mean every client regularly tests their blood and the dog becomes an additional aid alongside continuous careful management of their condition.
Which associations do Medical Detection Dogs belong to? Medical Detection Dogs is a member of Assistance Dogs (AD) International, AD Europe and AD UK and all their dogs are fully accredited assistance dogs.
Are there any other organisations that provide Medical Alert Assistance Dogs in the UK? Medical Detection Dogs is the only organisation in the UK that is a full member of AD International, and the only organisation which trains fully accredited diabetes alert assistance dogs.
What is Medical Detection Dogs’ view on non-accredited diabetic assistance dogs? Medical Detection Dogs is very concerned about untrained non-accredited dogs being supplied to alert to low and high blood sugars for people with Type 1 diabetes. It has been brought to their attention that at least one organisation has been training and selling these dogs for profit but not providing an aftercare monitoring or follow-up service. How do you know a dog is accredited? All Medical Detection Dogs’ coats carry the ADUK logo and all clients carry the ADUK passport or an official ‘in training’ letter prior to qualification. Non-accredited dogs can be identified by the absence of this logo.