Medical Response Dog

Couple with Assistance Dog

MEDICAL RESPONSE DOG  A medical response dog is a specific type of service dog specifically trained to help mitigate an individual’s medical disability. Typically, they are dogs whose job does not handle primarily epilepsy or psychiatric-based conditions, though some seizure response dogs or psychiatric service dogs may also be referred to as medical response. Many medical response dogs “alert” their handlers to conditions before they occur.


For example, service dogs partnered with diabetic persons may be trained to detect when the handler’s blood sugar becomes too high or low . Medical response dogs are also often trained skills to help in their handlers’ symptoms, such as bringing medications or a telephone, providing bracing and other mobility assistance, or any other number of tasks. Many medical response dogs may be trained by an organization or by their handler. There are no breed or size restrictions other than those directly related to the tasks needed. A Medical Response Dog may be trained to excel at one or more of the following tasks.


  • Summoning help, either by finding another person or activating a medical alert or pre-programmed phone,
  • Pulling potentially dangerous objects away from the person’s body,
  • “Blocking” to keep individuals with seizures from walking into obstacles, streets, and other dangerous areas,
  • Attempting to arouse the unconscious handler during or after a seizure,
  • Providing physical support (and the secondary benefit of emotional support, although this is not legally considered a task.)
  • Carrying information regarding the dog and the handler’s medical condition