2018 Seminar

M.D. Dogs Self Training Seminar

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2018 seminar! Below are photos from our event.

If you are interested in hosting an MD Dogs seminar at your location please send us an email enquiry and we would love to discuss the opportunity.





What: M.D. Dogs will be hosting a 2 and 1/2 day seminar which will teach attendees how to train their own Diabetic Alert Dog. The information covered will be everything from how to pick out a breed and a specific puppy, all the way through teaching live blood sugar alerts and passing a Public Access Test.

The goal for the seminar is to provide comprehensive instructions for a person with diabetes to train their own Diabetic Alert Dog, as well as to provide hands on experience and allow attendees to become part of a self training community to encourage and help each other.

Who: Designed for those with diabetes (or with a family member with diabetes) who are insulin dependent and would like to learn to train a Diabetic Alert Dog to alert to their (or a family member’s) low and/or high blood sugars. No dog training experience is necessary to understand the material presented.Trainers are welcome to attend, but the information will be geared toward those without professional dog training experience.

When: August 10 to 11, 9am to 5pm. There will also be an optional half day on August 9.

Where: Lexington, Kentucky.

Cost: Register after June 18 for $275.

Lunch, workbook, and resources included in cost. Additional family members can attend for $150. If you will be bringing your own dog there is an additional fee of $50. (Additional costs are fixed, rather than per day.)

August 9 from 4pm to 7pm we will offer a workshop to explain in detail where to get your dog, choosing a dog, and hands on practice temperament testing puppies. This will be at a breeder’s facility and cost $60.

Registration: To attend this seminar, please fill out the registration below. At the end of the form you will be provided with a link to a page for the payment, or you can click the button below. When registration and payment are complete, you will receive a confirmation email within 3 business days. Registration closes July 20, and full refunds are available until that date.


Tentative Itinerary

Below is the tentative itinerary. We do not know exactly which topics will fall on which days, as it will depend on how many dogs attend as well as what the attendees would like to focus on.

August 9

For those who do not yet have a dog, on Thursday we will meet at a breeder’s facility where we will go over the M.D. Dogs temperament test, used to evaluate puppies as potential DADs. We will then use a litter of puppies and temperament test them and discuss which puppy or puppies would have the potential to become a DAD. Attendees will get hands on practice and be able to perform the temperament tests for the puppies in order to prepare them for picking their own dog.

August 10


  • The science behind Diabetic Alert Dogs
  • Financial aspects of DADs
  • Who can self-train a DAD

Choosing a dog

  • Picking out a dog (full explanation will occur on August 9)
  • Puppy vs Adult
  • Shelter vs breeder
  • Ideal personality traits

Basic Training Concepts

  • Reinforcement and Punishment
  • *Marker words
  • Daily schedule and prevention of habits


Scent Training

  • Materials needed
  • Creation/Storage/Contamination of samples
  • Scent training steps in detail (From scent introduction to live alerts)
  • *Hands on practice with early scent training steps

​End at 5:00pm

​Optional dinner at local restaurant

August 11

Scent Training continued

  • Troubleshooting
  • Walking alerts
  • Night/False/Missed alerts
  • Changing alerting criteria
  • Alternate alerts and how and when to train them
  • bringsel
  • nose bump
  • *doorbell
  • *Scent games



  • Socialization vs Public Access
  • Socialization List
  • Schedules for socialization and public access
  • When to bring a dog in public as ‘in training’
  • Public Access Test
  • * We will practice obedience commands and real world situations

​When to wash out a DAD?

What are your rights?

-In public, housing, schools, work, airplanes, and with dogs in training.

Unique circumstances

– Going to school, flying, and work, and how to prepare

When to graduate a DAD

End at 5:00pm

About the Speaker:

Libby Rockaway began training professionally in 2011 and has since trained over 50 puppies which have gone to clients across the U.S., Brazil, and Dubai. In 2015 she wrote and published Puppy Steps: Practical training for your new best friend, which describes her methods for training a dog from puppy to adulthood. In 2013, Libby discovered her passion for Diabetic Alert Dogs. Since then she has trained multiple Diabetic Alert Dogs and placed them with children with type 1 diabetes.

Placing a Diabetic Alert Dog is as much about training the people as the dog, since the dogs need continual training even after placement. Because of this, Libby decided to begin helping families to train their own Diabetic Alert Dogs from the start. She wrote the M.D. Dogs Workbook: A guide to self training your own Diabetic Alert Dog, as well as created the M.D. Dogs self training video series with her DAD in training, Filly.