They make great pets and loyal companions, but did you know dogs can also be trained to help people with epilepsy?
While Service Dogs are often associated with people who have visual impairments, Seizure Response dogs are becoming more and more popular around the world. The specialized training of these dogs gives people the confidence to live more independently.
Myth: Seizure Response Dogs are trained to detect oncoming seizures.
Truth: Trainers do not teach a dog to predict seizures, though some dogs may have this intuition.
Some common tasks that trainers DO teach the dog include:
• The dog can respond to the onset of a seizure by barking continuously until help arrives.
• The dog can also bark for help continuously when asked, or if the client drops to the ground.
• The dog can fetch a medical kit, and a commonly used item such as a phone.
• The dog can go and get someone in an in-home environment.
• The dog can offer comfort during the recovery period after a seizure by resting their head on their handler’s lap and remaining by their side.
For more information:
- Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides
- Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides empowers Canadians living with disabilities to navigate their world with confidence and independence, by providing a Dog Guide at no cost and supporting them in their journey together.
- Seizure Response Dog Guides are trained to assist people with epilepsy and are provided at no cost to applicants through Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. Trained to respond to the onset of a seizure, these Dog Guides know how to get help by barking or activating an alert system. They increase the safety, confidence and independence of their handlers. Each Dog Guide is trained to recognize the specific physical characteristics of their handlers’ seizures.
- click here for frequently asked questions about seizure response dogs (PDF)
If you have further questions about Seizure Response Dogs please contact:
Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides