Service dogs are such amazing animals who work hard to give their humans an opportunity to live their lives. Without these fantastic creatures, several people will not be able to function well daily. But have you heard of seizure alert and response dogs?
Seizure alert dogs help people who suffer from epileptic and non-epileptic seizures. Surprisingly enough, they are not trained to do so. They detect oncoming seizures naturally, and we still do not understand how they do it.
Are Seizure Alert Dogs and Seizure Response Dogs the Same?
While seizure alert dogs and seizure response dogs are not the same by definition, dogs can function as both. Dogs are not trained to detect oncoming seizures. They do this naturally. It is unknown how they detect an attack or what they pick up before it happens, so we can not train them for it.
Let’s talk about the definition of the terms. A seizure response dog is trained to perform tasks in response to a seizure. This is something we can train dogs for. In contrast, a seizure alert dog alerts its owners to an oncoming episode. When you’re in the market for a trainer, be wary of trainers misusing the terms. (Source: American Kennel Club)
What Are the Tasks of Seizure Response Dogs?
Many dogs can be trained to do the tasks of seizure response dogs, but it is essential to know that not all dogs are mentally and emotionally capable of grasping the concept of this job. It is vital that your dog has the right temperament to carry out the task efficiently.
Dogs should be gentle and well-trained in basic obedience. They should know how to manage their emotions and be calm in different surroundings. And since they would retrieve items, pull wheelchairs, and reach for switches, size is also essential. After all, a small dog may not be able to carry out these tasks.
The tasks of a seizure response dog vary on the need of their human. You can teach them as much as you need. Every person is different, and their needs will be based on that need. But the task that most seizure response dogs need to know is how to get the attention of a family member or caregiver when a seizure does occur.
Some seizure response dogs are trained to lay next to their humans during the seizure to keep them from harming themselves or falling over. They can also be trained to press buttons for alarms or other devices to call for help. They can also be trained to assist in mobility. They can pull wheelchairs and help their humans move to a safe place before a seizure happens. (Source: American Kennel Club)
What Breeds Are Ideal to Be Seizure Response Dogs?
Choosing the best dog for the job is essential. Be sure to pick a dog that will be able to assist you with the task efficiently. Getting a small breed might not be ideal if you need to reach switches, pull wheelchairs, or retrieve items in high spaces. That being said, here are some of the best breeds based on their temperament and intelligence.
- Golden Retreiver
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Labrador
- German Shepherd
(Source: Wag Walking)