A seizure service dog gives our clients and their family members peace of mind and an added layer of security. Our dogs are trained on our clients’ specific scent samples, which are collected during an episode. In training, we combine the scent from our clients with trainers acting out a seizure to maximize the chances of the dog’s picking up the seizure before it happens. Our dogs are trained to do a "go tell" during a seizure, in any location, to alert someone to find help. There are different types of training depending on seizure the types of seizures you experience, your lifestyle, your age, and other important factors. Although we'd love for our dogs to be able to pick up on every single kind of seizure, unfortunately 100 percent accuracy is impossible. Please keep this in mind when looking into the program.
The very first step for our dogs is going through our puppy raising program. We test them bi-weekly to determine which program they'd best fit into. All of our dogs are handpicked by our trainers and temperament tested for each program. Once our dogs have completed our puppy raising program, we start them off in obedience. Here they learn commands such as heel, sit, down, auto sits, come, leave it, bed and load up. Our dogs are raised and trained both at our facility and at our trainers' homes. This helps us get the dog used to a family/home environment, thus making the transition into your home a lot easier. We try to make all the training relevant to what the dogs' daily lifestyle will be by beginning training in a home environment. Our dogs spend a great deal of time in obedience training since this is the foundation of the program. To move on to the next step in training, each dog must pass our standard obedience test to demonstrate the proper level of obedience needed to move on to the next step in training. We test on/off-leash and in low/high-level distraction settings.
The second step is public access. We begin by reinforcing all obedience training in a low-distraction environment, such as a library. We then gradually work our way up to higher distraction environments such as shopping centers, restaurants, and office buildings. While in training we also bring our dogs around different transportation such as vehicles, buses, commercial airlines, and elevators. Before moving on to the last step, they are tested in public access to ensure they can follow commands out in public.
In the last step, the dogs are trained to alert on a seizure. This will give you time to find a safe place to sit/lie down. Dogs are trained to alert on the scent the client because they smell the chemical reaction that occurs in the body. Once we have a reliable alert from our dogs, we act out seizures to train the dogs to visually recognize symptoms. While training the dog we have our trainer act out a seizure both at home and in public so the dog can get you help wherever you are. We teach the dogs to do a “go tell” to get someone else for help in any situation. They are required to pass a scent and alert test to show their ability to alert as well as a visual test for recognizing the seizure. Though it hasn't been scientifically proven how the dogs are able to alert on the seizures, we've had great success with our training methods. But this greatly depends on our clients’ seizures, as well as the type of scent kit they are able to provide.
The time frame for this program is 9 to 13 months, depending on our current training status. Currently we have the lowest time frame of any company in the U.S. as we do not carry a waiting list. This helps keep our program more client-specific. Our deliveries consist of 3 days’ in-home training, where a trainer will work with you and your childorother family member on how to handle your dog properly at home, in public, and everywhere else. We've had great success with our in-home deliveries, and we find our clients learn better at home.
Cost depends on many factors, such as specific training required, location, and breed. Thus, we cannot give a quote without a completed application. Our seizure service dog program starts at $23,000. Please keep in mind that our service dogs are at cost and not eligible for coverage under any health insurance plan or funding from any government program. We offer interest-free payment plans for those who qualify. Many clients also choose to fund-raise to help offset the cost.
Thank you for taking the time to learn how our program works. We want you to be well informed of the ins and outs of getting a service dog through Loyalty Service Dogs. We want to build strong relationships with each client we help. Please fill out an online application to begin your journey in getting a service dog.