Can Do Canines trains seizure service dogs to help people while they are having a seizure and afterwards during recovery. Some of the common tasks our Seizure Assist Dogs perform include:
- licking or nudging the face of their partner to bring them back to consciousness faster
- get an emergency phone
- retrieve an ice pack or compress
- nudge their partner to their side or on to their back during the seizure
- lie on their partner during the seizure
- activate an implant using a magnet to help control the seizure
- touch a life-alert button
- alert another person to come to the aid of their partner
In addition, the dog wears a backpack with pockets that can hold medicine and medical alert information in case the person is unable to communicate. We do not train our dogs to keep other people away during the seizure or to guard their partner.
It is important to note that Can Do Canines DOES NOT train Seizure Assist Dogs to pre-alert to seizures. Instead, our dogs are trained to help their partner in a number of ways once a seizure occurs. Some of our dogs exhibit a pre-alerting behavior during or after training is complete. If so, we can help “shape” that behavior if it does occur, so it will be of more benefit to the client. However, a person should not expect our assistance dogs to pre-alert to a seizure.
General Criteria for Seizure Assist Dog Applicants:
- Must be a resident of Minnesota or Wisconsin
- Must have a seizure disorder
- Must be physically and financially able to take full responsibility for the dog after certification
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must not currently own a dog unless applying to owner-train their pet
Click on the photo below to watch a video clip of one or our seizure teams.
Video Transcript of Ryan and Gallagher:
I was deployed in 2011-2012 to Kuwait and Iraq. During my time there, I was hit with a suicide vehicle that unfortunately caused a traumatic brain injury and gives me seizures routinely up to 15 times a day. But the average is four.
I had a psychologist that I had met afterwards that had told me that I had switched to seeing myself as a disabled person, and that was really starting to wear on me, becoming dependent on my wife for absolutely everything in my day-to-day life.
Thankfully, with Gallagher here, I was able to actually achieve some more of my independence again.
I've really changed my outlook thanks to this new form of independence of seeing myself as a person with a disability instead. And that has really helped make me a much happier person just in general.
And I thank Can Do Canines and Gallagher for all their assistance with me and this process.