Seizure Dogs

pit-bull-service-dog

"They are an alarm system. They are helpers, protectors, and service providers."

So-called seizure dogs can be all these things – and more.

Dogs can be trained as service animals for people with seizures, just like they can be trained to serve people with other disabilities. The law protects a person's right to use a service animal in any public place.

Learn about the Rights of Individuals with Service Dogs

A seizure dog is a dog that has been trained (or has learned) to respond to a seizure in someone who has epilepsy.

It is the name that is most often used. Some people distinguish between dogs that respond to someone who is having a seizure (seizure response dog) and dogs that appear to know when a seizure is going to occur (seizure predicting dog).

It depends what your goals are. If you are looking for a seizure response dog, you can discuss what you want the dog to do and work out a plan with a trainer.

However, getting a dog with the special skill of recognizing seizures in advance is another matter. Any claims by trainers that they can produce this type of behavior in a dog should be looked at very carefully, especially when the training is expensive. While some people report success, others have been disappointed.

More research is needed to better understand what dogs can and cannot do, whether there are differences between breeds, and how best to develop this unique skill.

Authored By:

Originally published

on Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Reviewed By:

Elaine Kiriakopoulos MD, MSc

on Sunday, April 07, 2019

Resources

Epilepsy Centers

Epilepsy centers provide you with a team of specialists to help you diagnose your epilepsy and explore treatment options.

Epilepsy Medication

Find in-depth information on anti-seizure medications so you know what to ask your doctor.

Epilepsy and Seizures 24/7 Helpline

Call our Epilepsy and Seizures 24/7 Helpline and talk with an epilepsy information specialist or submit a question online.

Tools & Forms

Download our seizure tracking app, print out seizure action plans, or explore other educational materials.

Find an Epilepsy Specialist

Ready for help? Find an Epilepsy specialist who can help guide you through your epilepsy journey.