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Seizure Detection Dogs: Training, Pros, Cons & FAQ

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

great pyrenees dog with his owner

Seizure Detection Dogs: Training, Pros, Cons & FAQ

Dogs are the most popular pets in America, as they’ve been bred to be more and more loyal to us as companions. They help us with so many things, whether it’s rounding up sheep or staying at home to show us love and affection. But there’s more that they do for us, including medical aid.

You may have heard of seizure detection dogs; but what exactly is a seizure detection dog? What differences does it have from other dogs? Well, to answer those questions, we’ve put together a useful guide for you to check out so you can learn everything there is to know about these heroic canines!


Where Are Seizure Detection Dogs Used?

Any dog trained for seizure detection is meant to be useful in helping people with epilepsy, a condition that causes people to have seizures from malfunctions in the brain.

Seizures are an event where people become unable to function properly, likely falling on the ground, which can cause them to hit their heads. People diagnosed with epilepsy may experience foaming at the mouth or even go unconscious. It’s imperative that they get help straight away, but it’s unlikely in many circumstances.

That’s where seizure detection dogs save the day, as they are trained to help those who experience an epileptic episode.

therapy dog visiting senior male patient
Image by: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

How Are Seizure Detection Dogs Trained?

Unlike normal domesticated dogs, seizure detection dogs are specialized in many different areas of training. These canines are trained to catch someone who is falling by running in between them and the ground or floor. They may also lay next to their holder to help prevent them from moving around too much, which can cause injuries.

These dogs are capable of getting medical help by activating an alarm to contact emergency services as well, which gets them to care as quickly as possible. They stay by the victim’s side until help arrives so they can be more comfortable in such a dangerous situation. Then again, this doesn’t mean they will perform perfectly in every event.

Advantages of Seizure Detection Dogs

The reality is that seizure-detection dogs are some of the most useful service dogs out there. They can notify others if they think there is going to be an epileptic episode, a life-saving skill that is difficult for humans to predict. Plus, they can respond in a way that will get people’s attention and help get their owner to a hospital for assistance.

Disadvantages of Seizure Detection Dogs

A huge disadvantage of seizure detection dogs is that they pretty much have to be at a person’s side at all times. This means the epileptic must bring their dog everywhere, which can be complicated due to the number of establishments and parks that don’t allow dogs. This also implies that they need to be taken care of like any other pet, which costs a decent chunk of money.

Two dogs are waiting for their owners outside a big shop or store
Image by: Frau Agnes, Shutterstock

divider-dog paw

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Much Do Seizure Detection Dogs Cost?

Based on numbers from, the typical range that a service detection dog will cost you is from $15,000 to $30,000. Unfortunately, it’s quite expensive to get this type of care for a low price because the training and resources that go into a seizure detection animal are very hard to get, but their service could potentially save a life.

What Dog Breeds Specialize in Seizure Detection?

There is a good number of dog breeds that specifically work with seizure detection. The most common ones are Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, and Labradoodles. Others include German Shepherds and Newfoundlands.

girl hugging her pyschiatric service dog
Image by: Africa Studio, Shutterstock



The benefits of a seizure-detection dog far outweigh the downfalls. They help both in the event that someone has a sudden seizure and afterward to get medical attention. There are a lot of reasons why you should appreciate their work. Hopefully, this guide gave you some insight into these furry heroes because they deserve all the treats they can get!

Featured Image Credit: Cody Hanson Photography, Shutterstock

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