Have you found yourself wondering the difference between a seizure response dog and a seizure alert dog? Perhaps you are looking for a service dog and aren’t sure which is the best fit for you? Or maybe you are curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!
We know how difficult it can be to find the right service dog. There are so many to choose from, and all completely different tasks, it can be a minefield.
Before you know it, you are confused, overwhelmed, unsure of who to trust or where to turn. The hopes of finding the right dog for you and your seizures seem dashed.
Well, no more! Today we are here with all the answers you need. Keep reading to find out what a seizure response dog is and what a seizure alert dog is. We will be covering the differences between the two dogs to help you find the right fit for you. Keep reading to find out more.
Seizure Response Dog
Let’s get into it! A seizure response dog comes in handy once you have had a seizure. They can’t usually detect when a seizure is about to happen, but they spring into action once it does! These dogs will keep you safe while having the seizure or go and get help if needed.
Seizure response dogs might press an emergency alert button, notify a family member of the seizure, get your phone, medication, offer you comfort, and so much more. These dogs are highly trained and are capable of opening doors, turning lights on, and even preventing injuries.
Depending on the dog, they can, in some cases, detect when a seizure is about to happen. It isn’t as common as it is with seizure alert dogs (more on them shortly), but a seizure response dog can help detect seizures and provide essential assistance once the seizure has occurred.
As you can imagine, a seizure response dog will undergo rigorous training to do these things. They will need to be loyal and intelligent dogs that can learn new commands and work independently when needed.
An element of this is instinct, but providing the dog will learn, can be trained. Often, disciplined and dedicated dogs are used to prevent them from being distracted and wandering off in your time of need!
Seizure Alert Dog
A seizure alert dog works to warn you of seizures before they happen! Roughly 15% of dogs have a natural ability to sense oncoming seizures from either a few hours or minutes before they happen! These warnings can help you better understand your seizures and one day even save your life!
So how do they do this? Well, a seizure alert dog will undergo rigorous training to understand physical and biological cues that suggest a seizure is imminent.
There is some debate about whether you can train a dog to notice these cues or natural abilities that can be honed. Either way, your dog will undergo training to be able to detect a seizure and alert you or others to it.
Often a seizure alert dog will display some unusual signs and behaviors when they detect a seizure. These can differ from dog to dog, but usually, they are some of the following:
- Pacing back and forth
- Keeping constant eye contact with you
- Acting edgy
Your seizure alert dog might display one or two of these signs, or all of them! Once you have noticed them, you can plan accordingly for your seizure.
Seizure alert dogs can also help after the seizure in notifying someone or getting further assistance if needs be. They don’t receive extensive training about this in the way a seizure response dog does but can provide the necessary care.
Now that we have covered what a seizure response dog and seizure alert dog does, let’s dive in and look at some of their differences. Knowing what divides them can help you decide which dog is best for you!
What Are Their Differences?
Seizure alert dogs and seizure response dogs have different roles, meaning they require different training and skills. Each dog will have slightly different attributes, but overall, you can expect similar behaviors from the dogs. We’ve got more detailed information about each difference and similarity coming up so keep reading.
The first and most obvious difference is that these dogs have different roles. A seizure alert dog is there to warn you of upcoming seizures, giving you time to prepare and protect yourself, and these dogs are like a warning signal rather than able to help you.
As we said earlier, seizure alert dogs can notify others of your seizure and provide assistance where necessary, but that isn’t their main goal. Instead, their focus is notifying you and giving you time to prepare for an upcoming seizure.
Seizure response dogs, on the other hand, jump into action during and after the seizure. Some of them can tell when a seizure is about to happen, but their purpose is to provide you with the essential aftercare.
They can notify others and bring you life-saving medication while you are seizing or afterward. While seizure response dogs can detect seizures beforehand, it’s not common; instead, they focus on after the event and are fantastic at assisting those that live alone or have seizures when no one is around.
When deciding between the two, it’s best to consider what would benefit you and your seizures best to ensure you get the right dog for you.
As they have different roles, seizure alert and response dogs undergo different training. When it comes to seizure alert dogs, there is some debate about whether you can train them or not.
Many argue that detecting a seizure before it happens is a natural ability rather than a teachable one. Instead, their training focuses on honing this skill and showing their owner a seizure has been detected.
This is different with seizure response dogs. These can be trained to recognize what a seizure looks like and the necessary responses that suit their owner.
Providing the dog is loyal, intelligent, and displays other common traits we see in service dogs, they can be trained to respond to seizures. This tends to mean that there are more seizure response dogs available than seizure alert dogs.
They Aren’t So Different.
It’s worth noting that these dogs aren’t that dissimilar. While their roles are different, there is some overlap, with many seizure alert dogs responding to seizures and vice versa.
There is also some overlap in their traits and training, along with eligibility. Both dogs have been proven to reduce the risk of seizures and provided a life-changing and life-saving service for many owners.
Whichever dog you opt for, you are sure to notice a difference in the quality of your life. Just be sure that you can dedicate the time to care for the dog too.
Once you have become acquainted and the dog is trained to recognize your signs and seizures, they can make wonderful companions that add love to your life.
And there you have it! Some differences between a seizure response and an alert dog. As you can see, while there are differences between the two dogs, there are also many qualities that bind the two together.
Whichever you opt for, you are sure to have a loyal and loving companion. Be sure to contact a service dog organization for more information and advice about getting your dog!