Seizure Response Dogs

What Are Seizure Response Dogs

Unlike Seizure Alert Dogs whose primary task is to notify their owner about an oncoming seizure, the main task of Seizure Response Dogs is to support the handler after the episode has occurred. The support can be provided both physically and emotionally.

What Tasks Can a Seizure Response Dog Do for Their Owner

The tasks that a Seizure Response Dog can be trained to perform may vary. The physical tasks may include retrieving items such as medication, beverage, warm blanket, phone; removing items, that obstruct their owner’s access to a certain area; opening/closing doors; providing tactile stimulation to wake up the owner; pressing a button directly connected to 911; physically moving the owner to a safer place; protecting the owner through his/her body after they have fallen. Emotional-related tasks may include: staying next to the owner for comfort, and companionship, providing tactile stimulation and deep pressure therapy for calming effect. We can say that the tasks that a Seizure Response Dog can be trained to perform vary and are based on the owner’s needs.

Who Can Have a Seizure Response Dog

Many people can benefit from a Seizure Response Dog, such as individuals suffering from Epilepsy, people taking strong medication that has side effects, people having Brain Injury, Brain Tumor, Brain Infection, Abnormal levels of glucose or sodium in the blood, Prenatal Injury, Genetic Diseases. Also, severe pain and strong reaction to painful and difficult thoughts and feelings may cause dissociative seizures. We would say that both physical and mental illnesses can cause seizure. In order to be eligible for a service dog a person must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a person must have a history or record of such an impairment; a person is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

How Long It Would Take to Train a Seizure Response Dog

What time you will need to train a dog to become a Seizure Response Dog, depends on the tasks that you want him/her to perform for you. The tasks may vary based on their type and difficulty. Training a dog in easier tasks may take a week or several weeks while more demanding and complex tasks may take several months. It depends on your needs and your dog’s temperament and personality.

How Can I Get a Seizure Response Dog

You can train a dog through a professional trainer/ an organization, get a trained dog through a non-profit organization or train your own Seizure Response dog so that he/she performs tasks that will actually help you deal with daily challenges. All options have their advantages and disadvantages. Training a dog through a professional trainer is the most expensive option, you will have to take the trainer’ schedule into account. However, you will benefit form the knowledge of a professional. If you want to receive a trained service dog, you may need to wait a long time- it may take a year or more, before you get the dog. Also, you can not be sure that the dog has been trained to do tasks, that will suit your needs and lifestyle. Of course, this option is the most affordable one. Training your own Seizure Response Dog will give you the opportunity to adapt the process to your needs, know your dog better, strengthen your bond and train him/her in the tasks that will suit you most. However, you should be ready to invest time, energy and commitment and remain calm and patient.

Seizure Response Dog Breeds

There are no restrictions in regard to the breeds that can become Seizure Response Dogs. Your dog may not be excluded based on stereotypes about the breed or how he/she might behave. What breed will be most suitable for you, depends on the tasks that you want to train your dog to perform. More physically demanding tasks, require the dog to be of a larger breed. If you need your dog to provide mainly emotional support tasks for you, you can benefit from both larger and smaller breeds. Some large dog breeds, considered a good choice if you are looking for a service dogs are: the Golden and Labrador Retriever, the German Shepherd, the Poodle (as well as mixed breeds like the Goldendoodle, the Labradoodle, the Bernadoodle...etc.) the Collie, the Newfoundland...etc. Also, you can benefit from small breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier, the Corgi, the Pug, the Miniature Poodle, the Chihuahua, in case you need emotional tasks.

Seizure Response Dogs Rights

Seizure Response Dogs perform specific tasks directly related to a disability, that causes seizures, hence they are considered service animals. Regardless of their breed and size, all service dogs have the same access rights. They may not be excluded from premises open to use by the general public based on stereotypes about the breed. Service dogs may be excluded if they misbehave, are the premise must fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services or programs it offers.

Do You Need to Register and License Your Seizure Response Dog

“No. Mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA. However, as stated above, service animals are subject to the same licensing and vaccination rules that are applied to all dogs.” If your city requires all dogs to be registered or licensed, this applies to your service dog as well.