I need resources for training a cardiac alert service dog?

I know this is a hotly debated subject in some circles but I have a condition called neurocardiogenic syncope or vasovagal syncope which basically means I am prone to a low blood pressure / irregular beat / bradycardia mingling into a nightmare that makes me pass out. Under the worst possible circumstances the bradycardia switches to tachycardia and the stress of my condition could lead to sudden heart failure.

My doctor has become increasingly worried about this. He has suggested a medical alert dog focused on cardiac alert or response. An alert would mean before I pass out I get a nudge or something to warn me it will happen, a response being that I pass out anyway and the dog will seek help.

I am looking for any resources to complete this training. I have consulted with many local service dog trainers and academies and while many work with diabetics few know the procedures for cardiac training. They encouraged me to branch out beyond my state and ask the world. I did find a team in California who does this sort of work and I am still trying to contact them (their line is always busy).

Go ahead and grief if you must, tell me this is not possible, but I am only really going to listen to the answers which are helpful. Thank you!!

Oh, one last thing is I have not picked the dog breed yet – suggestions are appreciated. This dog would double as motility SA because when I am 'bad' but not passing out I am too dizzy to see. Sometimes too dizzy to move. I need help in these times walking if I am not at home, or sitting and not being alone. Knowing when it is safe to continue.

I have a firm grasp on my symptoms and can even induce this sort of thing sometimes by just standing in the heat for too long. Because of that I think it might be easier for me to accomplish the training than say someone who cannot replicate their symptoms (seizures etc).

Thanks for ANY help or resources you can find. I cannot afford $ 20,000 to get a dog from a reputable school half way across the country and I have heard to be incredibly cautious about scams. Some people pay that much then get a dog that isn't even house trained, or trained to sit! I don't wanna make that mistake and I have ranch / professional dog obedience training background.

  • <cite class="sig">K.Briagas</cite>

    I may be wrong but I believe if you qualify you should be able to get an assistance dog free. This looks like the way to go:


    If you want to train your own, look for email lists devoted to that purpose. We know how to train obedience behaviors and tricks — not assistance dogs. A good Labrador from your local shelter should train up just fine.

  • Liz.E.

    HI, try Canine Partners for Life. They are a nonprofit and only request a donation of $1,000 -3,000 and are extremely reputable

    • Jennifer Logue

      Thank you for this info I have contacted them to see if they can help my with a service dog for Vasovagal syncope

  • Desiree Barnes

    I have a dog that I would like to train because I also have Neurocardiogenic syncope except I have tachycardia and my episodes tend to be so bad they look like seizures. How did your search for a training program go?

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