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Seizure Assist Dogs

We train Seizure Assist Dogs to help people while they are having a seizure and afterward. The dog stays with the person and licks their face to try and bring them out of their seizure. The dog may be trained to get help or bring a cordless telephone. 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. The application and training process for an assistance dog can take up to a year before you are certified as an assistance dog team. Thanks to our generous supporters and volunteers, all of our dogs are provided to clients at no charge!

It is important to note that we DO NOT train Seizure Assist Dogs to pre-alert to seizures. Instead, our dogs are trained to help you in a number of ways once a seizure occurs. Some of our dogs exhibit an alerting behavior during or after training is complete and we can help “shape” that behavior, if it occurs, so it will be of more benefit to you. However, you should not expect our dogs to pre-alert to a seizure.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for our Assistance Dog program:

  • Must be a resident of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Iowa.
  • 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.

Application and Training Process

After requesting an application from Can Do Canines, you will receive an application packet in the mail that includes information about the program, the application forms, and a medical release and reference form. Once Can Do Canines has received your application materials and contacted your physician and references, you will be sent a letter of notification and your application will be given a preliminary review by the training team. If your application meets our requirements, the training team will contact you to set up an in-home interview. If accepted into the assistance dog program, training will be conducted in-home and in public over the course of approximately one to four months. Clients in the Twin Cities metropolitan area typically spend the first week training at our New Hope facility.

How To Apply

To apply for a Seizure Assist Dog, please click the button below and fill out the application request form. You can choose to receive your application by mail or download it as a .pdf. After you’ve completed the request form, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can download your application. If you would prefer to request your application by phone, please call Training Assistant Jessi Hiemer at 763-331-3000 ext. 157

Request an Application

An application fee of $50 must accompany your completed application This is the only cost to you during the application and training process.

After You Apply: Steps to Getting an Assistance Dog

Click here to learn more about the steps involved in finding an Assistance Dog just for you.

Pet Dogs as Seizure Assist Dogs

If you wish to have your pet dog trained as your assistance dog, the dog must meet all the same requirements for health, training and temperament as our own assistance dogs. You will need to supply information about your dog – such as breed, age, temperament, etc. – when you apply.

For specific information, go to Owner-Trained Assistance Dog Criteria