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Is there a Profile of Spontaneous Seizure-Alert Pet Dogs? A Survey of French People with Epilepsy

Abstract : Despite controversies and the lack of research, dogs are empirically selected and trained to perform as service dogs, in relation to the dogs' and future owners' characteristics. We assessed the characteristics of both humans and dogs in an unbiased population (not selected or trained) of spontaneous seizure-alert by pet dogs and investigated whether we could replicate previous findings. We addressed a self-reporting questionnaire to French people with epilepsy. We analyzed the general characteristics of the humans and pet dogs and their behaviors that could alert their owner before a seizure. In addition, we used the Monash Canine Personality Questionnaire refined to evaluate pet dogs' personality through five different traits, and the Monash Dog-Owner Relationship scale to assess human-dog relationships. In line with previous reports, we found no particular factor, either pet-, people- or epilepsy-related that could be associated with the presence or absence of alert behaviors. Alert behaviors and circumstances were explored and three different alert patterns emerged. In terms of personality, seizure-alert pet dogs scored significantly higher than non-alerting dogs for the traits "Motivation" and "Training Focus" and lower for "Neuroticism". The owner-dog bond score was significantly higher for seizure-alert dogs than for non-alerting dogs.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 4:05:12 PM
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Amélie Catala, Patrick Latour, Ana Martos Martinez-Caja, Hugo Cousillas, Martine Hausberger, et al.. Is there a Profile of Spontaneous Seizure-Alert Pet Dogs? A Survey of French People with Epilepsy. Animals, 2020, 10 (2), pp.254. ⟨10.3390/ani10020254⟩. ⟨hal-02468236⟩



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