CPL Stories

Tracy and Reggie

Tracy and Reggie

Tracy came to CPL for a successor home companion dog after her Maggie Mae passed away over three years ago. To quote Tracy from her application “I now …

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CPL Seizure Alert Dogs

Service dogs are invaluable partners for individuals living with  disabilities. They provide greater independence, freedom from fear, peace of mind and support — and with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals with disabilities have been given the right to have their service dogs with them in public spaces, buildings and facilities.

Approximately 65 million people around the world have epilepsy — over 2 million in the Unites States alone. Every year, the United States sees 150,000 new diagnoses of epilepsy. Many adults and children living with epilepsy admit that they often avoid certain everyday activities in fear of having a seizure in public.

CPL Seizure Alert Dogs give these individuals greater independence that improves their quality of life by alerting up to an hour ahead of time that a seizure is imminent giving their partners time to take precautions such as lying down or leaving crowded environments. This helps prevent serious injuries due to falls.

Epilepsy Statistics

How do CPL Seizure Alert Dogs Help Their Partners?

  • Displaying alert behaviors before a seizure occurs
  • Preventing injury by protecting its owner if he or she wanders/falls — at home or in public
  • Remaining close to its owner during a seizure to prevent injuries
  • Alerting a caretaker, family member or emergency response system
  • Fetching a telephone, alert device or medication
  • Opening a door or turning on a light

 How Are CPL Seizure Alert Dogs Trained?

After two years of training in basic obedience, service dog skills and advanced service dog skills, Canine Partners for Life evaluates each dog for its potential to alert to seizures. Alerting to an impending seizure is an innate ability in some dogs. Once a dog has been determined to have this ability, its alerting behaviors are encouraged and promoted through positive click and treat training methods.

Seizure Alert Dog alerting behaviors include:

  • Close eye contact
  • Pawing
  • Barking
  • Circling or pacing
  • Licking
  • Acting restlessly

CPL Seizure Alert Dogs have a remarkably accurate record in alerting to seizures. In fact, CPL is a leader in the service dog field in training and placing Seizure Alert Dogs. Very often from early in a placement, the CPL Seizure Alert Dog is already alerting its partner. But it often takes time for that communication to be fully understood and trusted. The partnership between canine and human is one founded on trust, respect and love. As the relationship grows, the intuitive bond between the two strengthens into a powerful form of communication.