Medical Alert Dogs


Description: With specialized training, dog alerts the handler to a perceived medical situation. 


​Alert dogs are trained to pick up on subtle body or chemical changes that a sufferer develops during the phase preceding the medical incident. ​


An alert dog is highly trained and perceives changes in both physical and psychological behaviors that precede a medical incident in their handler.  Dogs are able to identify the initial onset or phase, which often begins a medical incident.


The dog is then able to warn you so you can take yourself out of the situation or seek preventative treatment.


Dogs trained to alert you when a medical incident is coming may indicate by:​


  • Sit & Stare intently at their Handler

  • Pawing at their Handler in a designated way (or in the case of a small dog, Jump up on you)

  • Refuse to Leave your side

  • Nudge or Lick their Handler (e.g. fainting)

  • Whine or Bark

  • Walk around their Handler in a Circle

  • Use of a Bringsel

  • Bring their Handler a designated item. (e.g. medication, phone, pills)

  • Or employ other designated or trained behaviors.



Disabilities that may benefit or be mitigated:

  • Guide work, navigating around moving and stationary obstacles, potholes, low-hanging obstacles

  • Employing “intelligent disobedience” or refusing a command to go forward in a potentially dangerous situation (e.g. oncoming traffic, sudden drop-off, etc.)

  • Indicate changes in the environment such as curbs, steps, edges, barriers, etc.

  • Find certain key locations such as entrances, exits, elevators, an empty seat, bench, or a specified area or destination (e.g. hotel room), etc.

  • Stand over and Protect you if you Fall or are Incapacitate, Prevent you from Falling or Sliding out of a Chair.  (e.g. seizures, vertigo, fainting)

  • Checking an Area for the Presence of People, follow a designated person (e.g. EMS, hostess, family member, etc.)

  • Retrieval of a Named or Indicated Item, (e.g. phone, pills, beverage, insulin, epi-pen).

  • Balance or Counterbalance Assistance

  • Bracing or Momentum Pull

  • Opening/Closing Doors

  • Call 911 (via K-9 rescue phone)